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 stars seem to be aligned for the Buccaneers. They were at home. They were honoring the 2002 championship team. They were facing a rookie quarterback and a 3-9 Eagles team. Should be an easy win, right? Ahhhh, no sir. The Eagles scored on the game’s final play to stun the Bucs 23-21 at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. The Bucs have now lost 3 straight to fall to 6-7 on the season. Meanwhile, the Eagles snapped their 8-game losing streak.
Both teams struggled to move the ball in the first quarter. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman was off point to begin the game. Freeman misfired on several passes to open receivers as he completed just 2 of 7 passes in the opening quarter. The Bucs defense did sack Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles twice in the opening quarter as Gerald McCoy and Michael Bennett were able to get to him. Both teams combined for 66 yards in a scoreless game after one quarter.
The Eagles got on the board first in this one and it came in the second quarter. Alex Henery booted a 27-yard field goal to give Philly a 3-0 lead. It capped a 33-yard drive in 9 plays. The big play on the drive was an amazing 20-yard, one-handed catch by Jason Avant along the sideline. Philly added to that lead on a Foles 10-yard TD run on a scramble. Foles hit a wide open Avant to set up that score to make it 10-0 Eagles. Philly had a chance to extend the lead right before the half but Henery’s 58-yd FG hit the left upright and was no good.
The Bucs got a huge break early in the 3rd quarter that got them back in the game. Damaris Johnson muffed a punt inside his own 10-yard line. Dekota Watson recovered the ball at the Eagles 5. Three plays later, Freeman found Mike Williams on a 1-yd TD run to make it a 10-7 ballgame. Eagles responded with a nice drive on the ensuing possession but Henery shanked a 31-yd FG to give the Bucs more momentum.
The 4th quarter began with the Bucs taking the lead on a Freeman 13-yd TD pass to Vincent Jackson to give the Bucs a 14-10 lead. The Bucs would add to their lead later on when Doug Martin cashed in on a 4-yd TD run to put Tampa Bay up 21-10 with 7:21 left in the game. The Eagles made things interesting late when Foles hit Clay Harbor on an 11-yd TD pass with 3:55 left. The two-point conversion failed and that made it 21-16 Bucs. Foles and the Eagles engineered an amazing drive late in the game, including a big completion to Jason Avant down to the Bucs 1-yard line on a 4th and 5 play. After Foles spike it to stop the clock, he found Jeremy Maclin on the game-winning 1-yd TD pass with no time left on the clock. Maclin beat Leonard Johnson on the play. Game over. Season over. Playoffs out the window.
News & Notes: