TAMPA -- Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Sunday's defensive performance reminded him of how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' dominant units from their glory years used to play on a consistent basis, the group that included Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and Ronde Barber.
The Bucs sacked Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel seven times and intercepted him four times in a 27-6 victory Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
In a sloppy game that featured seven turnovers, and six personal foul penalties, the Tampa Bay defense stole the show, swarming Manuel and holding the Bills' dangerous running back duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to just 34 yards. Manuel's four interceptions matched his total from his first eight games.
"If that defense plays like this, I don't see us losing a game in a very long time," Bucs veteran guard Davin Joseph said. "Sometimes it's just amazing to watch them really work."
Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon also had a rough game, going 9-for-25 for a career-low 90 yards with two red-zone interceptions. But Glennon also threw two touchdown passes, lifting Tampa Bay (4-9) to its fourth win its last five games after an 0-8 start.
The Bills (4-9), meanwhile, have lost five of their last six. Jackson said coach Doug Marrone allowed players a chance to speak in the locker room post-game and "clear the air."
"I think guys here have every right to be frustrated after a game like that," Jackson said. "Bottom line, we didn't play well. You go back and look at film, and I can't think of anything we did right."
The Bucs struck first, with running back Bobby Rainey breaking free for an 80-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game -- the fastest score (17 seconds) and longest run in franchise history. McCoy said Rainey's run sparked the entire team and set the tone. Rainey, who finished with 127 yards on 22 carries, broke free down the left sideline, making a couple of Bills defenders miss.
"It was a great feeling," Rainey said. "Everybody played a part."
The Bills cut the Tampa Bay lead to 7-3 midway through the first quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter, set up by a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Glennon had a couple of nice throws on Tampa Bay's scoring drive late in the first quarter, including eluding the rush and throwing on the run for a 38-yard touchdown to wide receiver Vincent Jackson, making it 14-3. Jackson, who was limited with a hamstring injury in practice, came though with three catches for 70 yards, though had one touchdown taken away after an official review.
"You can't ask for more from a guy that's out there playing hurt and have that type of game," Bucs left tackle Donald Penn said. "He's having a Pro Bowl season."
Glennon and Manuel threw three interceptions in a seven-play period early in the second quarter. On the last, Bucs cornerback Johnthan Banks returned his pick to the Bills' 41-yard-line, setting up a 53-yard field goal by veteran kicker Rian Lindell.
The Bucs helped put it away right before the half, on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Glennon to tight end Tim Wright, making it 24-3. The drive was extended by a Bills roughing the passer penalty.
"We just made a bunch of mistakes early and we were never able to overcome them," Bills center Eric Wood said.
While the Bills entered the game leading the league in sacks (43), they had just one on Sunday. Tampa Bay's defense had more highlights, with cornerback Darrelle Revis having a sack and forced fumble and linebacker Lavonte David racking up two interceptions and a sack along with nine tackles. David is the first player since Brian Urlacher in 2007 to have five sacks and five interceptions
"I think he's playing as well as any linebacker in the league," coach Greg Schiano said of David. "He does everything; tackle (defend the) pass, blitz. There's nothing that guy can't do."
NOTES: Bucs WR Vincent Jackson surpassed the 1,000 yard total for the fifth time in his career. ... Bucs C Jeremy Zuttah suffered a shoulder injury. ... The Bucs' 21-point halftime lead was their largest since a 24-point lead against Atlanta in 2007 (27-3; 12/16/07). ... Bills FB Frank Summers was inactive, the first game he's missed this season, with Evan Rodriguez starting in his place. ... There was a pre-game moment of silence, and the flag was put at half mast, in tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died last week
By The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: December 8, 2013 06:43:42 PM
Buccaneers' defense dominates Bills
|All Times Eastern|