Antoine Winfield Being An “X-Factor”

January 12th, 2024

Primary defender.

Maybe the concept of an “X-factor” has changed.

Joe used to believe an “X-factor” was an area of the team that most folks wouldn’t quickly think of as being a key to a team winning.

For example, when Tom Brady played for the Bucs, did anyone think of him as an “X-factor?” Of course not, he was the Bucs’ best player, or at least one of the two or three best players.

So when former NFL defensive back and scout Bucky Brooks, typing for, claimed an X-factor for the Bucs on Monday night will be Antoine Winfield, that struck Joe as weird.

The do-it-all playmaker fills the stat sheet as a safety with elite blitzing, tackling and coverage ability. Winfield can impact the game as an extra pass rusher (SEE: six sacks this season) or deep-middle defender (three interceptions and 12 passes defensed), while also flashing impressive skills as a rock-solid tackler (tied for the league lead with six forced fumbles). Considering how Todd Bowles wants to bring pressure from every angle, Winfield’s versatility could help the Buccaneers make a surprising run this January.

Again, Joe thinks of an “X-factor” as a secondary or lesser element that could rise up and hurt an opponent. Almost an unexpected star or unit.

Winfield is one of the top players in the league. He may be the Bucs best defender this year (Lavonte David is right there, too).

In fact, if Bucs coach Todd Bowles doesn’t use Winfield in blitz packages, well, something is wrong.

For Joe, an X-factor would be Rachaad White roasting the weak Eagles pass defense by catching the ball out of the backfield.

22 Responses to “Antoine Winfield Being An “X-Factor””

  1. garro Says:

    I guarantee you Philly doesn’t see it like Brooks the punt returner bust does.

    Or indeed AWJ himself for that matter. I personally hope Hurts is not worried about him though. LOL

    Go Bucs!

  2. ATLBuc Says:

    I agree that AWJ is too good to be an X factor but I believe the same is true of White catching balls out of the backfield. I think good examples of possible X factors would be YaYa, Watts, Britt, Hall, Gaines or Gholston. If any of those guys have a great game it would greatly improve our chances of winning

  3. Boss Says:

    Who would have thought we would need a safety to win the game for us. I thought that was defense.

  4. TexasBuc Says:

    I think the more common use now is more like “key factor” – the player that will make the most difference/impact vs their counterpart. But I’m with Joe, that the term is overused and misused more than not. But with AWJ not being selected to the Pro Bowl, maybe he’s the one guy that’s BOTH versions of the phrase! Hope he keeps that chip on his shoulder and plays lights out on Monday. Go Bucs!

  5. PSLBucfan Says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if Cade Otton became our X-Factor for this game! Hope is a strategy here, but how great would it be if he showed up like Gronk.

  6. Todd Says:

    What’s a Twitter factor?

  7. SteveK Says:


  8. realistic-optimistic Says:

    After Winfield Sr’s rant, it looks like everybody affiliated with the NFL is going out of their way to praise Winfield Jr. They know the Pro Bowl snub was ridiculous. First McCourty gives him the belt. Then they give him player of the week and player of the month. They put him on the NextGen Stats All Pro team. There’s no doubt he’ll make 1st team All Pro.

    All of the accolades are absolutely deserved, don’t get me wrong. It’s just funny to see the NFL scrambling now after they messed up.

  9. SteveK Says:

    Hoping he can carry us, bc he’s that good! Never thought I’d see another Buc DB that gives me “ronde confidence”.

  10. Fred Says:

    Is Bowles packing yet?

  11. WillieG Says:

    I want to see a “screw the Pro Bowl” performance from Winfield:
    A sack
    An interception
    A forced fumble
    6-7 tackles

    Or more?

  12. Usfbuc Says:

    Same for me WillieG, Winfield is easily the team MVP this season.

  13. Usfbuc Says:

    I would love to see us draft a solid safety this year to pair up with Winfield so he can help coach them up.

  14. DWE Says:

    An X factor is the unknown factor that could be a difference maker. The X factors for me is the health of Baker and which offense Canales brings to the game

  15. unbelievable Says:

    In the world of branding and brand strategy / business strategy, “X-factor” means something that is unique and differentiates you from everyone else. So I think it makes total sense here.

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    Izien could be a X-factor. The old definition of the term was an unknown that came out of nowhere and made/makes a gigantic impact. AWJ is a blue ribbon, known (and highly respected) factor. I hope both players make YUGE impacts on a winning MNF game, lousy weather or not. Go Tampa Bay!!

  17. D-Rok Says:

    PSLBucfan Says:
    January 12th, 2024 at 7:01 am
    Wouldn’t it be great if Cade Otton became our X-Factor for this game! Hope is a strategy here, but how great would it be if he showed up like Gronk.


    orlbucfan Says:
    January 12th, 2024 at 10:29 am
    Izien could be a X-factor.


  18. D-Rok Says:

    The true X-factor for me, as always, is how our O-line plays, specifically the interior. Save for turnovers, if we can block the Eagles D-line much better this time, it will be the key to victory…in a sense, it’s the X-factor for me.

  19. SteveK Says:

    Hopefully Winfield keeps winning so we can keep talking about Buddha Baker and the Bs pro bowl.

    I hope AWJr. Leads us to his second ring, and then we can laugh more at the pro bowl.

    What a complete joke of a process.

    No stars baker makes it in contract year.

    I loved AW Sr. As a player and now even more as a father. What a great man. I remember when he jumped into AWJr’s arms after the Super Bowl. I wish he had one of his own, but it’s beautiful to see him love and appreciate his son!

  20. SteveK Says:

    Just get some pass rush going so AWJr can wreak havoc

  21. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Yep absolutely. The safety position is undervalued by all this stat geek horsecrap. Same with LB and RB. But a killer at any one of those positions flips the script. Wouldn’t give up Winfield for anyone

  22. HC Grover Says:

    Plan9 is the x factor