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
The offense was sporadic. The pass defense continues to be an issue. Yet, the Buccaneers found a way to win by making big plays in all three phases to beat the Chargers 34-24 at Raymond James Stadium. Bucs have now won three straight to improve to 5-4 while the Chargers fall to 4-5.
The Chargers struck first on the third play from scrimmage. Phillip Rivers hit Danario Alexander on a slant and Leonard Johnson missed the tackle. Alexander took it 80 yards on the touchdown to give San Diego a 7-0 lead. The Bucs came right back on their first possession. They went 80 yards on 9 plays to tie the game 7-7 on a Josh Freeman 2-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark. Doug Martin had a big 42-yard catch and run to set up the score. On their next possession, Chargers went right down the field again on an 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a Rivers 13-yd TD pass to Antonio Gates to make it 14-7 Chargers.
The Bucs were able to drive it downfield to begin the 2nd quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Freeman hit Mike Williams deep over the middle for a 54-yard gain. Connor Barth booted a 40-yd FG to pull the Bucs within four at 14-10. The Bucs special teams made a big play midway through the second quarter when Dekota Watson blocked a Mike Scifres punt. Adam Heyward scooped up the loose ball and scampered 29 yards for a touchdown to put Tampa Bay up 17-14. Chargers respond late in the first half with another 80-yard drive. Rivers found Malcom Floyd for a 3-yd TD pass to put the Chargers back in front, 21-17.
In the second half, the Bucs took back the lead as Freeman led Tampa Bay down the field. Freeman’s QB sneak on 4th and 1 at midfield kept the drive alive. Then, it was Freeman hooking up with Tiquan Underwood on a 15-yd TD pass to give the Bucs a 24-21 lead. There was a scary moment late in the 3rd quarter. Quincy Black was carted off the field after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Ryan Mathews. Black was taken to a local hospital for observation.
Early in the 4th quarter, Rivers made a crucial mistake while the Chargers were driving in Bucs territory. He was picked off by Leonard Johnson, who took it back 83 yards for a touchdown to make it 31-21 Bucs. The Chargers were able to draw within three on a Nick Novak 33-yd FG to make it 31-24 Tampa Bay. It capped an 11-play drive spanning 64 yards. The Bucs defense stiffened after that. LeQuan Lewis picked off Rivers later in the game. Barth added a 45-yd FG late to seal it.
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