The most important numbers to come out of the first half of Tampa Bay’s season finale at Atlanta: 13 and three, the respective point totals for the Buccaneers and the Falcons. A year ago, in a somewhat similar situation, the Falcons took a 42-7 lead into halftime, so Sunday’s game shows rather significant improvement in 2012.
Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on some numbers that individual Buccaneers are ringing up in the service of a potential season-ending victory. Several Buccaneer records and milestones could still fall before Sunday’s game is over.
* Mike Williams is certainly off to a good start, with five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. He needed 69 yards coming into Sunday in order to get to 1,000 for the first time in his career, so now he is just 27 away with two quarters to go. Williams has already surpassed his rookie-season total of 964 yards, with 973 at the moment.
* QB Josh Freeman set the team’s single-season and career touchdown pass mark with his eight-yard strike to Williams in the second quarter, which gave him 27 in 2012 and 78 overall. The old marks were 26 by Brad Johnson in 2003 and 78 by Vinny Testaverde from 1987-92. Freeman can still reach another milestone in the second half as he needs just 19 more passing yards to be the first Buc QB to hit 4,000 in a season. In the first half, he was 12 of 18 for 138 yards.
* WR Vincent Jackson doesn’t have a catch yet, so his pursuit of the Bucs’ single-season mark has become a bit harder with just two quarters to play. Still, he needs just 89 yards to surpass Mark Carrier’s 1,422 from 1989, and that is certainly within his range in the second half.
* And, of course, DE Michael Bennett remains just one sack shy of 10, which would make him the first Buc to hit double digits since Simeon Rice in 2005. The Bucs did get to Matt Ryan twice in the first half, but the two sacks went to Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Lavonte David.
Two quarters and many potential records to go as the Buccaneers conclude their 2012 season after the intermission.