Ram CB Janoris Jenkins Interception Return for TD

The Buccaneers converted a quick first down on their second possession of the day on two powerful Doug Martin runs.

On first down, DT Kendall Langford got into the backfield for a sack and Freeman again saw pressure on second down, forced to throw it into the ground. On third down, Freeman aimed toward WR Mike Williams for the first time of the day. Williams slipped on the cut-back and the ball fell easily into the hands of St. Louis CB Janoris Jenkins.

Jenkins tiptoed down the sideline and stayed in, running down the field. He was met by a number of Buccaneers at the five-yard line, but was able to break through for the touchdown.

The 41-yard interception return gives the Rams a 7-3 lead. Buccaneers will take over at the 20-yard line after the kickoff.

CB Danny Gorrer Intercepts Bradford in the End Zone

The St. Louis Rams’ first drive of the game began at their 20-yard line. On just their second play, QB Sam Bradford hit WR Danny Amendola who was immediately met by CB Leonard Johnson who jarred the ball loose. After bouncing around, all the way back to the five-yard line, it ended up in the hands of another Ram player.

The referees determined that at one point during the scrum, the Buccaneers had recovered and then fumbled themselves, giving the Rams a new set of downs inside their own five-yard line.

Bradford worked his way out of the hole, finding WR Chris Givens for 14 yards. After a run for no gain, Bradford connected with his third wide receiver, Brandon Gibson. The next set of downs saw a short run, LB Lavonte David pass breakup and ultimately a third down pass that converted the first down.

On first down from the 31-yard line, Bradford took a shot for the end zone toward Danny Amendola. The ball was cut off and intercepted by CB Danny Gorrer in the end zone for a touchback!

The Buccaneers will take over after the turnover at the 20-yard line on their second drive of the day with 14:10 left in the second quarter.

Bucs on Board First with Barth Field Goal, 3-0

The Buccaneers got things rolling on their first possession of the game. RB Doug Martin got things started with the first touch of the game. It was QB Josh Freeman who converted the third down on a sneak.

On the ensuing set of downs, Josh Freeman connected over the middle with WR Vincent Jackson for a 19-yard gain and a first.

The Buccaneers slowly made their way upfield with another 12-yard Freeman run and 9-yard connection again with Jackson. They set up a first and goal, but were moved back with a false start penalty and DE Chris Long sack of Freeman. They couldn’t make up the yardage and settled for a 28-yard field goal.

The drive ate up nearly 10 minutes of clock on 15 plays. St. Louis will get their hands on the ball for the first time with 5:22 left in the first.

Rams vs. Buccaneers: Coin Toss and Kickoff

Buccaneer captain Josh Freeman, Vincent Jackson, Adam Hayward, Gerald McCoy, Ronde Barber and Andrew Economos took to mid field for the coin toss in the Buccaneers final home game of the season.

The Buccaneers will receive the opening kickoff

Greg Zuerlein’s kick went nine-yards deep into the end zone where KR Roscoe Parrish took a knee. The Buccaneers offense will take the field first.

St. Louis Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Inactives

The Buccaneers’ final home game of the season kicks off in just under one hour. The Buccaneers host the St. Louis Rams. Here are today’s inactives:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB LeQuan Lewis, RB Michael Smith, G Roger Allen, WR Chris Owusu, WR David Douglas, DT Corvey Irvin, DT Matthew Masifilo

The Buccaneers placed DE Aaron Morgan on IR and promoted DE Markus White from the practice squad to the active roster.

St Louis Rams: QB Austin Davis, WR Steve Smith, RB Terrance Ganaway, TE Cory Harkey, LB Sammy Brown, T Joe Barksdale, DT Matt Conrath

Shelly Smith will start in place of Harvey Dahl at right guard for the Rams.

Encouraging Week Leads Up to Rams Game

The Buccaneers had a bad game last Sunday in New Orleans.  They followed that with a strong week of practice, according to Head Coach Greg Schiano.  Whether or not that translates into an improved game day remains to be seen, but Schiano is optimistic, given what he saw Wednesday through Friday.

“We had a really good week of practice, and now I’m anxious to see us play,” he said.  “I think we’ll play well, but as a coach you never really know.  Anybody who tells you they do is guessing.  But I have a good feeling about the way our guys will play today, and they just have to go out and do it now.”

Schiano actually started the week by giving his team a little extra time off, letting the players rest on both Monday and Tuesday.  That kind of schedule is usually reserved for weeks following victories, as a reward, but Schiano thought his players needed the time to clear their minds after their first lopsided loss of the entire fall.

“It’s been a long season,” he said.  “We gave them a chance to kind of take a breath.  Certainly after last week there are a lot of ways you could have approached it, but I thought this was the best way.”

The Bucs have dropped four games in a row, after a four-game winning streak that had put them into the playoffs, but the game at New Orleans was the only one that wasn’t still in doubt in the fourth quarter.  A fast-starting team for most of the year, the Bucs were shut out in the first half for the second straight game, but unlike the Week 14 Philly contest, weren’t able to rally after halftime.

Schiano obviously would like to see his team return to starting fast, but he didn’t alter his approach during that nice week of practice.

“We do the same thing,” he said.  “Our preparation’s the same, our openers, we walk through them in the same way.  Sometimes your opponent has something to do with it.  Maybe they had a little bit better of a plan at the beginning of the game than we did.  Maybe it was just unfortunate timing with the call against their call.  There are a lot of things that go into a successful play.  One is the call, then there’s the other guy’s call.  Number two, do we execute the call?  Then number three, a little bit of luck, a wind gust, all of those things.  You tell me how you factor in all of those things, and that’s why you practice.  You keep doing it over and over again, repetition, and repetition kind of cuts those variables out, little by little.”

Schiano thinks all those repetitions could pay off on Sunday once the whistle blows.

Buccaneers Fall to the Saints, 41-0

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will head back to Raymond James Stadium next week after leaving New Orleans with a 41-0 loss.

Buccaneer QB Josh Freeman had a rough day against the Saints defense, with a lot of miss communications and a lot of pressure. Freeman ended the day hitting on 26 of his 47 passes for 279 yards with four interceptions and one lost fumble.

WR Vincent Jackson did not have a catch in the first half, but come up with an impressive showing in the second, catching six balls for 81 yards, leading the way for the Buccaneers. TE Dallas Clark led the team in receptions with eight and put up 42 yards. WR Mike Williams compiled 63 yards on four grabs.

The Buccaneers all but abandoned the running game after being down in the first half. Doug Martin finished the game with 16 rushing yards on nine carries and three catches for 19 yards. LaGarrette Blount came into the game on the last drive and put up four rushes for 25 yards.

Defensively, S Mark Barron led the team with 10 total tackles. S Ronde Barber and LB Lavonte David had seven apiece. Da’Quan Bowers added a sack.

For the Saints, QB Drew Brees hit on 26 of his 39 passes, ending the day with 307 yards passing and four touchdowns.

RB Darren Sproles, TE Dave Thomas and WRs Joseph Morgan and Lance Moore were on the receiving end of those scores. TE Jimmy Graham ended the day leading the team in receptions and yardage with 69. Both Morgan and WR Marques Colston broke 60 yards, as well.

Darren Sproles added 22 rushing yards to his reception touchdown. Fellow RB Mark Ingram led the team with 90 yards on the ground on 14 carries.

Defensively, it was DE Cameron Jordan who cause the fumble on a sack of Josh Freeman. DT Will Smith had the Saints’ other sack in the game. Safeties Rafael Bush and Isa Abdul-Quddus each had an interception, while CB Jabari Greer intercepted Freeman twice.

The Buccaneers fall to 6-8 in the loss and will go home next week to face the 6-7-1 St. Louis Rams.

Saints Make It 41-0

The Saints have added 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Since the half, the Buccaneers have been opting to go for it on fourth downs, ultimately giving the Saints more possessions.

QB Chase Daniels checked into the game on the most recent Saints drive, which started at the Bucs 43 yard line following a fumble recovery. A holding penalty and stuffed run put them back in their own territory on a third-and-18.

A long pass was broken up, but pass interference was called, giving the Saints the ball at the 11 yard line. From there, RB Mark Ingram ran his way up the middle and into the end zone for the score.

Seeking Second-Half Adjustments

A week ago, the Buccaneers’ offense was shut out before halftime for the first time all season, leading to a 10-0 deficit against the Eagles at Raymond James Stadium.  On Sunday in the Superdome, Tampa Bay was surprisingly blanked in the first two quarters for the second game in a row.

Against Philadelphia, the Bucs’ offense adjusted well after the intermission and scored the next 21 points.  Though the Eagles rallied in stunning fashion to steal a 23-21 victory, it was still an encouraging turnaround for the offense.

Tampa Bay will need more of them same in Week 15 after falling behind 24-0 in the opening half in the Superdome.  Continue reading