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Week 14: Jets (13) Bucs (24)

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Winuvas, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

    Oct 8, 2009
    Week 14: Jets (13) Bucs (24)

    Bucs Save Win for Rainy Day

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    In a rainstorm of proportions that would make Noah wince, the Buccaneers pulled out a 24-13 victory in front of a soaked sellout crowd at Raymond James Stadium this Sunday.

    This game was a microcosm of Tampa Bay's season: starting slow, getting behind the eight ball early, and turning it around late to get the victory. This game was Coach Winuvas' second victory in three tries, and it came against a quality Jets team that has had some rough luck this year.

    The game started off with both teams attempting to establish the run. Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman committed the first turnover of the game late in the first quarter, throwing an ill-advised pass to tight end Tony Scheffler that ended up in the hands of star Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Jets then spent the last of the first quarter and part of the second on a drive that would net them a touchdown when Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez completed a 5 yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery.

    Drives stalled out back and forth, but Tampa Bay would answer late in the second quarter with a drive of their own using their two minute drill to perfection. A costly Derrick Ward fumble at the Jets 4 yard line killed the drive, and the Jets would drive down to get in range for a Jay Feely field goal to end the first half with a 10-0 lead.

    Tampa Bay's rushing attack could not get off the ground against the relentless blitzing of the Jet's Rex Ryan 3-4 defense. Another interception thrown to Jets safety Kerry Rhodes turned into another field goal midway through the third quarter. Tampa Bay's offense had only mustered 113 yards of total offense through three quarters.

    Then the fourth quarter happened.

    Tampa Bay's defense stiffened, getting 2 turnovers in the final quarter from interceptions of Mark Sanchez passes, and Josh Freeman found his groove, completing two touchdown passes in the final frame. Along with a Mike Nugent field goal and an interception return for a touchdown by Quincy Black, that made the difference.

    "We got lucky today," Coach Winuvas said in his post-game press conference. "There is absolutely no way we should have won. I'm happy for the guys in that locker room that never quit. They never gave up. That is the kind of culture we're trying to rebuild here."

    Freeman finished 16 of 28 for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns to go with 2 interceptions, besting his counterpart Mark Sanchez, who went 18 of 30 for 195 yards and 1 touchdown to go with 2 picks. The Jets running game was solid, as Thomas Jones ran 23 times for 107 yards. Derrick Ward, Tampa Bay halfback, ran 19 times for only 59 yards.

    "Our running game concerns me right now. We're not blowing people off the ball and that is not good," Coach Winuvas said. "These guys are solid run defenders though, but we still need to execute, and we didn't do a good job of that today."

    Freeman's favorite receiver today was slot wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who snagged 5 balls for 78 yards and 1 touchdown. Freeman spread the love a bit though, hitting six other receivers than Gaffney.

    "I was just open against their blitz schemes," Gaffney said of his outbreak. "Josh (Freeman) saw it and hit me on quick stuff and I broke a few open."

    The Jets, meanwhile, had three players with 4 catches each and seven receivers that had a catch in the game. The best was tight end Dustin Keller, who had 4 catches for 57 yards.

    The Tampa Bay defense came to play today, shutting out the Jets in the first and fourth quarters. Middle linebacker Barrett Ruud had 7 tackles and 2 forced fumbles, while 4 players combined for 5 sacks of Mark Sanchez. Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka had 2 sacks on the day. The Jets defense was led by middle linebacker David Harris who had 5 tackles on the day.

    "Our defense is getting better every week. But playing against my mentor Rex Ryan was awe-inspiring. It really is a joy to watch one of his defenses in action," Coach Winuvas said after the game. "I hope to have a defense like that in Tampa Bay over the next few years, and an offense that can succeed all game long."

    Coach Winuvas is 2-1 since coming to Tampa Bay from Kansas City. He still has a tough road ahead of him, however: next on the schedule are the Seattle Seahawks, then two divisional games against the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, who will be looking for revenge after their week 12 upset loss. Can Coach carry the team through?

    Keep up with all the Buccaneers coverage you can stand on the franchise site:

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