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
For about three quarters, the Buccaneers looked like the better team on the road against the defending Super Bowl champs. But unfortunately, the team collapsed in the 4th quarter as the Giants overcame a 14-point deficit to beat the Bucs 41-34 at Metlife Stadium.
The Giants got off to a good start on the game’s first possession. Eli Manning connected twice with Hakeem Nicks to set up a 37-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. The Bucs came right back with a 45-yard field goal by Connor Barth to tie it at 3-3. It was set up by a 41-yard pass play from Josh Freeman to Vincent Jackson. The Giants came right back down the field and got another Tynes field goal of 24 yards to go up 6-3. The Giants should’ve had a touchdown but Manning missed a wide open Ahmad Bradshaw in the end zone and Martellus Bennett dropped a pass in the end zone on 3rd and goal.
The second quarter brought about mistakes by the Giants and the Bucs were able to capitalize. It began with Mason Foster picking off Manning at the Giants 28-yard line. Freeman found Jackson on a 29-yard TD pass to give the Bucs a 10-6 lead. Later, Brandon McDonald picked off Manning and that set up a Doug Martin 8-yard TD run to give the Bucs a 17-6 lead. The Giants responded with a Manning TD pass to Nicks to make it 17-13 late in the first half. Then, with the Giants driving again, Eric Wright picked off Manning and returned it 60 yards for a score to make it 24-13 Tampa Bay at the half. The Bucs had 21 points off turnovers in the first half.
Arrelious Benn returned the opening kickoff of the second half 55 yards to set up the Bucs in New York territory. That led to a 52-yard FG by Connor Barth to make it 27-13 Bucs. The Giants chipped away with two more FGs to make it 27-19.
The Bucs defense was classic bend-but-don’t-break….for most of the day. Then, the 4th quarter came and they broke down. Manning found Victor Cruz on an 80-yard bomb for a TD on a blitz. Eric Wright came off the corner and Cruz ran by Ronde Barber for the biggest play of the game. Andre Brown’s run for two tied the game at 27. The Bucs went 3 and out and when the Giants got the ball back, Manning was thinking touchdown, not field goal. And they got it when Manning found Martellus Bennett on a 33-yard TD to give the Giants a 34-27 lead.
Bucs responded on the next drive. Freeman hit Dallas Clark three times and then he found Mike Williams on a 42-yard TD to tie it at 34-34 with 1:58 left. But back came the Giants. Manning found Nicks for a 50-yard completion to beat Aqib Talib, who was torched all day long. Andre Brown ran it in from 2-yards out with 31-seconds left to give the Giants a 41-34 lead. And that’s how it ended. The Bucs were that close to being 2-0. Maybe they’ll learn from this experience.
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