2017 Player Recap: Kwon Alexander

2017 Player Recap: Kwon Alexander

2017 Player Recap: Kwon Alexander

Despite only playing 12 of the team’s 16 games in 2017 due to injury, Kwon Alexander finished the season with 70 solo tackles, cracking the top 20 among all linebackers this season. Whittle that down to just inside linebackers and Alexander moves up even more.

Alexander recorded 97 combined tackles on the year and a career-high three interceptions. In fact, since entering the league in 2015, Alexander has a total of six interceptions, which is tied for the fifth-most by any linebacker during that timeframe.

The third-year player turned up the heat towards the end of the year in the month of December, recording over half his total tackles on the year during that 31-day span. He had 50 tackles over the course of five games, recording double-digit tackles in three of the team’s last four. He registered his season-high total of 13 tackles (all solo) against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football in Week 15. The following week at Carolina, Alexander followed up that performance with eight tackles and a 28-yard interception return, his longest of the year.

Speaking of takeaways (something the Tampa Bay defense ranks top-five in dating back to the beginning of the 2016 season), Alexander forced a fumble in the Week 12 victory over the New York Jets. The middle linebacker punched the ball out of New York running back Bilal Powell’s hands, which was then scooped up by linebacker Lavonte David and led to a drive that was capped off by a Tampa Bay field goal.

Earlier in the season, Alexander missed Weeks 3-6 with a hamstring injury. The Bucs were 1-3 in his absence. However, Alexander was back for both times the Bucs faced off against the Atlanta Falcons, a team he has typically done well against throughout his career. He totaled 21 combined tackles against the Falcons in 2017, adding to his 65 combined tackles, 2.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery highlight reel against the division rivals in his career. He led the team in tackles each time the Bucs played the Falcons this season as well, with eight in Week 12 and 13 in Week 15.

Off the field, Alexander had some fun with Hard Knocks before the season began this year and had players and coaches alike sporting his ‘Li-Ti-Rilla’ t-shirts. The phrase combines a lion, a tiger and a gorilla, and Alexander uses it to describe his playing style and skills. It’s become a familiar term among the Tampa Bay fan-base throughout the year.

Alexander finished the season with a combined 97 tackles, 70 of which were solo, seven tackles for loss, three interceptions and one forced fumble. The inside linebacker was also voted a 2018 Pro Bowl alternate this season.


Published at Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:53:03 +0000