Bucs and Broncos Keep It Close in First Half

Tampa Bay and Denver played a remarkably even first half, statistically, but the visiting Buccaneers led in the one stat that matters most, taking a 10-7 lead into halftime.

The numbers to this point suggest that the second half will be yet another down-to-the-wire dogfight for the 6-5 Buccaneers, who haven’t lost a game by more than seven points all year.  Here is where both teams stood at halftime in a variety of key statistics.

  Bucs Broncos
First Downs 11 10
Net Yards 171 150
Yards Per Play 5.7 5.8
Rushing Yards 50 42
Net Passing Yards 121 108
Sacks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Penalties 5 6

The Buccaneers’ defense allowed a touchdown on Denver’s first drive but forced punts on the next three.  QB Peyton Manning and the Broncos have converted just one of four third-down tries.  The Buccaneers’ top-ranked run defense has already racked up four tackles for loss, including a big one by DT Gary Gibson just before the two-minute warning, which helped force Denver’s last punt.

Tampa Bay is 3-1 this season in games in which it has led going into halftime.  However, Manning and the Broncos will get the ball first to start the third quarter after winning the opening coin toss and deferring.  Further updates will be posted throughout the second half in the Captain’s Blog.

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