The Bucs fall to division rivals New Orleans in the Superdome - 11/6/2011
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday October 16.
Ntohing beats a win in on national TV in front of a sold out crowd!
By Tom Krasniqi
On paper, the Buccaneers against the Patriots appeared to be a mismatch in favor of New England. But the young Bucs defense made incredible strides, but the on the field team effort came a costly price. When the smoke cleared, the Bucs were left standing with a 30-28 win over the Pats at Raymond James Stadium on Friday night.
The Bucs jumped out to a quick lead early on. On the game’s first possession, the Bucs marched it down the field and scored on a Doug Martin 1-yard touchdown plunge. Josh Freeman was 3 for 3 on the drive with all 3 passes going to Vincent Jackson for 49 yards. The Bucs harassed Tom Brady in the first quarter. Brady was sacked by Michael Bennett and fumbled but the Patriots recovered. On the very next play, Brady’s pass intended for Rob Gronkowski was deflected by Ronde Barber and picked off by safety Mark Barron. The rookie returned it 22 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to make it 14-0 Bucs.
The Patriots responded with an 81-yard drive in the 2nd quarter, capped off by a Stevan Ridley 1-yard TD run to make it 14-7 Tampa Bay. But aside from that, the Bucs defense did an outstanding job in pressuring Brady. Michael Bennett and Adam Hayward recorded sacks and LaVonte David pressured Brady into an incomplete pass.
Unfortunately, the big story on Friday night revolved around a rash of injuries suffered by key Bucs players. Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph suffered a serious right knee injury in the 2nd quarter and had to be carted off the field. Head coach Greg Schiano says he’s worried about Joseph and will “be praying for him”. Doesn’t sound promising at all. The mood in the locker room was somber regarding Joseph. The Bucs fear it could be a season-ending injury. Ted Larsen filled in for Joseph. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered a knee injury in the 1st quarter. He came back to play the next possession but was kept out after that. Schiano believes McCoy will be fine. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn hurt his elbow trying to recover a Brady fumble. Clayborn is expected to fine along with McCoy. But it certainly looks as if the Bucs lost a key member of their offensive line in Joseph. And with two weeks to go until the season opener against Carolina, they are scrambling for answers.
News & Notes:
Freeman started the game completing 5 of his first 6 passes. Freeman was 5 for 13 after that and he really struggled with his accuracy.