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 mark of a good team is pulling out a win when you’re not playing your best. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have now done that two weeks in a row and have the makings of a playoff team. The Bucs overcame an 11 point deficit with six-minutes remaining and went on to stun the Panthers in Carolina in overtime 27-21 to win their fourth straight game. The Bucs are now 6-4 on the season.
The Bucs struck first after Captain Munnerlyn fumbled on a punt return in the first quarter. The ball was recovered by Dekota Watson. A few plays later, Josh Freeman found backup tight end Nate Byham in the back of the end zone for a touchdown that gave the Bucs an early 7-0 lead. Later on in the first quarter, Connor Barth booted a 51-yard FG to put Tampa Bay up 10-0. Munnerlyn made up for his fumble by picking off Freeman and returning it 74-yards for a touchdown to put the Panthers on the board late in the first quarter. Bucs lead it 10-7 after one quarter of play.
The Panthers took the lead in the 2nd quarter on a Jonathan Stewart 1-yard TD run to make it 14-10 Carolina. The big plays on that drive were a Stewart 30-yd catch and run and a Mark Barron pass interference penalty in the end zone. Panthers tried to add to their lead but Justin Medlock missed a 40-yd field goal. Carolina went into the locker room with a 14-10 lead.
Both teams struggled to sustain drives in the second half. In fact, there was no scoring in the third quarter by either team so Carolina began the 4th quarter with a 14-10 lead. Big play of the game was in the 4th quarter when the Bucs drove it all the way down to the Carolina 1-yd line. Then, Doug Martin appeared to have fumbled just as he was crossing the goal line. Luke Kuechly recovered the fumble. Replays showed Martin may have crossed the goal line before the ball came out but the breaks weren’t going the Bucs’ way on this day. The Panthers took over from there and promptly drove the football down the field. Came Newton threw a 29-yard TD pass to Brandon LaFell to make it 21-10 Carolina. That was a huge momentum swing in the game as it ended up being a crucial 10-point swing. Instead of it being 17-14 Bucs, it was 21-10 Panthers. Bucs got a Connor Barth 40-yard FG to cut it to a 21-13 Carolina lead with under four minutes left.
The Bucs got the ball back with just over a minute left and no timeouts. Freeman engineered a terrific drive that culminated with an incredible 24-yard TD pass to Vincent Jackson with 12-seconds left to make it 21-19. Freeman found VJax for the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 21-21 and force overtime.
At the end of regulation, you could sense the game had turned toward Tampa Bay’s way for good. Bucs won the toss and the rest was history. Martin set the tone with two big runs, including a 27-yard scamper into Carolina territory. Freeman hit Dallas Clark for the game-winning 15-yard TD catch to give the Bucs an improbable victory.
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