Leonard Fournette became “Playoff Lenny” for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he took it further in a 31-9 Super Bowl LV win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
He prefers “Super Bowl Lenny” as he Tweeted after the Super Bowl. Fournette’s play backed it up with rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against the Chiefs, too.
It capped started a mini Twitter rant he started on Feb. 6 before Sunday’s Super Bowl, posting about his journey from the waiver wires to the Big Game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waived Fournette right before the season despite two 1,000-yard seasons in three years after being the fourth pick in the 2017 draft. He didn’t want to talk about that following the Super Bowl per the New Orleans’ Advocate’s Rod Walker.
Fournette didn’t stay in NFL limbo long before the season. Bucs linebacker Devin White, a former teammate of Fournette’s at LSU in college, encouraged Bucs head coach Bruce Arians to sign him per The Advocate’s Scott Rabalais.
Fournette signed with the Bucs and played a limited role throughout the regular season but took off in the playoffs, earning the nickname “Playoff Lenny.” He had career lows in carries, 97, and yardage, 367, while scoring six touchdowns during the regular season.
The fourth-year back picked up steam in the playoffs with 93 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries at Washington in the Wild Card round on Jan. 9. “Playoff Lenny” never slowed down with five catches for 44 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans in the Divisional Round on Jan. 17 while rushing for 63 yards on 17 carries. He scored the go-ahead touchdown at Green Bay and rushed for 55 yards in the NFC Championship on Jan. 24.
His touchdown against the Chiefs put the Super Bowl out of reach for the Chiefs in the third quarter.
Fournette’s Super Bowl performance capped a historic individual postseason per ESPN Stats and Info. Only former Denver Broncos great Terrell Davis and Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald have reached the end zone in four postseason games in one year.
On the way to the end zone or moving the chains, Fournette surpassed his regulars season numbers during the playoffs per Pro Football Focus.
Fournette’s postseason performance eclipsed that of previous star Bucs skill players in the playoffs with more than 100 yards of total offense in more than one game per The Athletic’s Greg Auman.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady gave a shout out to Fournette for his performance against the Chiefs per Buccaneers.com’ Scott Smith.
Brady recruited Fournette to join the Bucs along with longtime New England Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski, and free agent Antonio Brown — all three fittingly scored touchdowns in the Super Bowl per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Fournette notably was the only former five-star recruit on the field in the Super Bowl per Buchholz High School Football.
He also was one of two players from his New Orleans-based high school of St. Augustine. Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu also came from that school. They were also two of six former LSU stars in the Super Bowl.