If there was any saving grace for New Orleans natives about the Saints' loss in the divisional round of the playoffs, it could have been that another New Orleans native had quite the performance for the opposing Buccaneers.
That would be Leonard Fournette — or Playoff Lenny, thanks to Big Cat from the "Pardon My Take" podcast — who was born in New Orleans and was a standout throughout his three-year stint with the LSU Tigers. He's been a standout at times in his NFL career, too, though he only averaged 3.8 yards per carry in his debut season for the Bucs in 2020.
Once the postseason came around, though, a whole different version of Fournette was unleashed.
On Wild Card Weekend, Fournette ran all over the Washington Football Team for 132 total yards and a touchdown, before doubling down on that performance and going for 107 and a score against the Saints in the divisional round. With two 100-yard, one-touchdown performances in the first two games of the playoffs —specifically, Weeks 18 and 19 of the football calendar — he's in some very exclusive company. Below is the full list of players who have accomplished this feat (via Stathead):
Of course, the requirement of playing in a Wild Card game limits the number of players who could have accomplished this feat, but when you look at Fournette's performance through the whole scope of NFL postseason history, it remains impressive. There are only 30 other running backs with two such games throughout a single postseason, including Emmitt Smith, Franco Harris and Marshall Faulk, and it's worth noting that Fournette potentially has two more opportunities remaining. Should he total 100 yards and a touchdown next week, the group of players he'd join is pretty staggering (via Stathead):
As long as Playoff Lenny is by Tom Brady's side, the Buccaneers won't have to fully rely on the 43-year-old future Hall of Famer entirely. However, going up against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for the conference title is no small task, and the Bucs should prepare Brady for a big-time workload as he seeks out his seventh ring.