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buckit

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: October 06, 2007, 11:26:39 AM

This Sunday, the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could well be the game of the week.  The last time these two teams met, it resulted in an instant NFL Classic, as Peyton Manning led his team back from a 35-14 deficit to win the game in the final minutes.  It is heralded as the greatest comeback in NFL history.

This game has all the makings of another memorable NFL game.  The coaches could not be more different.  Tony Dungy's quiet strength and meticulous attention to detail has his team playing solid, mistake free football.  Dungy will look to keep his team calm, patient and an ever-present threat no matter what the score. 

On the other sideline stands Jon Gruden.  Gruden's fiery passion seems to have finally caught on in the Buccaneer locker room.  The Buccaneer defense is flying to the football and making big plays, while the offense plays like a team possessed. 

Both coaches have something to prove on Sunday.  Dungy, who was fired unceremoniously after the 2001 season would love the opportunity to force Tampa Bay to revisit that decision.  On the other hand, Jon Gruden, who was specifically brought in to help Tampa win Super bowl XXXVII is under tremendous pressure to perform as his Buccaneers have only put up one winning season since 2002.  Gruden will be looking to prove that he was the right choice to lead this Buccaneer team into the future.

Offensively, both teams have been hampered by injury.  The loss of running back Cadillac Williams to a season ending knee injury combined with the loss of Pro left tackle Luke Pettigout may severely limit the Buccaneers running game, forcing Jeff Garcia to make more plays with his feet as rookie left tackle Donald Penn goes up against one of the best pass rushers in the game, Dwight Freeney.  The loss of Pettigout could force the Bucs to play max protect, effectively limiting Gruden’s dynamic offense. 

The Colts this week will most likely be without their big time play makers.  Wide receiver Marvin Harrison, whose injured knee kept him out of Friday’s practice, running back Joseph Addai who has an injured shoulder and safety Bob Sanders with a rib injury are all game day decisions for Indianapolis.  Harrison’s back up, Aaron Moorhead is also questionable, missing Friday’s practice with back spasms.  Colts linebacker Rob Morris was placed on injured reserve earlier in the week. 

While the Buccaneers loss of Cadillac Williams is devastating, they have shown capable depth in running backs Earnest Graham who has 3 touchdowns on the season and backup Michael Pittman, who was the featured running back in Tampa during their 2002 Super bowl run.

The Colts may have lost their future Hall of Fame wide receiver, but they still have Peyton Manning.  And as long as he’s on the field, the Colts have a chance to beat any team at any time. 

Just as it was in 2003, this game is likely to come down to the final seconds.  The odds are on the Colts, but don’t count out Jon Gruden, who’s Buccaneers thrive on being the underdog.  In the words of Terrell Owens, “Getcha Popcorn Ready!”


Bucs 28, Colts 24


___________________________________________________

Dear Glazers,

Please sell the team to Eddie DeBartolo.

Thank you,
--the fans

SunnyD

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#1 : October 06, 2007, 03:50:19 PM

I would say the Jets comeback against the dolphins in 2000 is heralded as the greatest comeback in NFL history.

DanTurksGhost

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#2 : October 06, 2007, 03:57:54 PM

Nope. The greatest comeback in NFL history is a game that I actually saw:

Bills vs Oilers, 1992 AFC Wildcard playoff game. The Oilers led 35-3 in the second half, and, with Jim Kelly injured, the Bills came back (led by backup quarterback Frank Reich) and scored 38 points and gave up just 3 more, to win the game 41-38.

Frank Reich and the Bills overcame a 32-point deficit to win a PLAYOFF game. That, my friends, is the greatest comeback in NFL history, bar none.

gone

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#3 : October 06, 2007, 04:01:05 PM

Nope. The greatest comeback in NFL history is a game that I actually saw:

Bills vs Oilers, 1992 AFC Wildcard playoff game. The Oilers led 35-3 in the second half, and, with Jim Kelly injured, the Bills came back (led by backup quarterback Frank Reich) and scored 38 points and gave up just 3 more, to win the game 41-38.

Frank Reich and the Bills overcame a 32-point deficit to win a PLAYOFF game. That, my friends, is the greatest comeback in NFL history, bar none.

Beat me to it.  I couldn't believe that one. 
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