It'll be a new year with a new team for Jake Delhomme when the Cleveland Browns kick off their season Sunday at 1:00 PM, but there's one thing that Delhomme will be a little bit familiar with: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is a team that Delhomme has basically faced twice every year he's been a starter with Carolina.
Last year, Delhomme's statistics obviously weren't too impressive as he completed 55.4% of his passes for 2,015 yards, 18 interceptions, and 8 touchdowns in 11 games. His record during those games was 4-7, but he was only able to play the Buccaneers once. How has he fared over the past two years against the Buccaneers?
- 2009, Week 6 at Tampa Bay: 9-of-17 for 65 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions. Those sound like Derek Anderson numbers, don't they? The Panthers picked up the victory by a score of 28-21 despite Delhomme's lackluster stats. He was sacked once.
- 2008, Week 6 at Tampa Bay: 20-of-39 for 242 yards, 3 interceptions. This was an ugly game for Delhomme and the Panthers, as they were blown out 27-3 despite the fact that they had a pretty good year overall.
- 2008, Week 14 vs. Tampa Bay: 14-of-20 for 173 yards, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown. The Panthers won this game by a final score of 38-23, but again, it wasn't a very good day for Delhomme in terms of statistics.
Looking at recent history, it seems as though the Buccaneers might have Delhomme's number a little bit. That was with the Panthers though, and I anticipate his experience as a member of the Browns will be quite different.
Bucs Nation, our Tampa Bay affiliate, also did a report looking at Delhomme's career numbers versus their team. They noted the high number of sacks that Delhomme has received at the hands of the Bucs:
The Bucs have amassed 14 total sacks against Delhomme for a total of 128 yards lost. That ranks Tampa second among teams in sacks against Delhomme, with Atlanta compiling 18 against the former Panther. But that number could and should rise after this weekend, and who knows, maybe they can surpass 18 sacks after this week.
In 12 career games against the Buccaneers, 14 sacks really isn't that bad -- that's only a little over a sack per game. If Tampa Bay suddenly generated five sacks against the Browns...well, let's just say that's not going to happen unless he has a serious meltdown.
During his career, Delhomme was 9-2 against the Buccaneers, and that includes the years in which the team was known for their defense under Monte Kiffin. Hopefully he can bump that win total up to 10, because if the Browns are going to be a competitive team this year, this is the type of game that should be automatic.