Running back Leonard Fournette played a big role in Sunday’s Buccaneers win and his impact went beyond the four touchdowns he scored over the course of the afternoon.
The Colts had a 24-14 lead at halftime and the Bucs needed to rally to avoid their fourth road loss of the 2021 season. According to Bucs players, Fournette helped spark that rally with a speech at halftime.
Fournette said the “energy was down” around the team and he sent a message that “you have to want to fight, each and every play” in order to win. Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. said Fournette reminded the team that they “control our own destiny” and quarterback Tom Brady said Fournette’s words were “huge” for the team. Tight end Rob Gronkowski noted that Fournette’s play backed up everything that he said.
“It was excellent. It got everyone fired up,” Gronkowski said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. “He went out there and he backed it up too, and it just shows just how much we respect Lenny. I felt like we were flat in the first half. The energy wasn’t there. The second half, we just went out there and played as a team — offensively, defensively — the defense was creating turnovers, we were scoring, Lenny was just running the ball amazing, and we just stuck together too. And to have a win on the road like that — that was a playoff-caliber win.”
The win moved the Bucs a step closer to playing actual playoff games and Fournette was the driving force for the team on and off the field on Sunday.