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September 30, 2012 @ 7:04 pm
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Bucs' Comeback Thwarted By Redskins In 24-22 Loss

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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After Tampa Bay stormed back from a 21-6 deficit to take a 22-21 lead in the fourth quarter, Washington rallied to win the game, 24-22, on a 41-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff, who had missed three field goals earlier in the game. The loss drops the Bucs to 1-3 on the season.
Led by kicker Connor Barth and quarterback Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers made a furious fourth quarter comeback to take a 22-21 lead over the Redskins with 1:42 left in the game. But Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III completed passes of 14, 20, 4 and 7 yards, in addition to scrambling for 15 yards to drive Washington down to the Tampa Bay 24 to set up the game-winning 41-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff, who had missed his first three kicks on Sunday.

“As far as I can see he got under the contain player and busted out,” Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said. “He made a good run.

“That’s what so many games come down to in the NFL – a two-minute drive to stop them or a two-minute drive to win it.”

Barth was a hero for Tampa Bay, making all three of his field goal attempts from 50, 57 and 47 yards. His 57-yarder was a personal best, and his 47-yarder gave the Bucs a momentary lead in the fourth quarter.

Freeman overcame a shaky first half in which he completed 13-of-22 passes for 88 yards and an interception to finish the game completing 24-of-39 passes for 299 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Mike Williams led the Bucs with 115 yards on four catches, including a career-long 65-yarder, while Vincent Jackson had six receptions for 100 yards, including a season-long 54-yarder, and a touchdown.

But Griffin was spectacular in completing 26-of-35 passes for 323 yards and rushing seven times for 43 yards and a touchdown. Redskins running back Alfred Morris gashed the Bucs’ top-ranked rushing defense for 113 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries (5.4 avg.).

Tampa Bay was unable to get its ground game on track. Rookie running back Doug Martin led the team with 33 yards on eight carries, while LeGarrette Blount and D.J. Ware each finished with 17 yards rushing. Blount had a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that pulled the Bucs to within two points, but Freeman’s two-point pass to Williams fell incomplete.

“It’s the NFL, and we could be 4-0 or 0-4, but none of that matters,” Schiano said. “We just need to get better. You want to win? You’re close? Get better and you’ll win.

“Because you lose at the end you failed to finish, but we didn’t do a bunch a stuff to put us in position [to win].”

Heading into the Bucs’ bye week, Tampa Bay falls to 1-3 with the loss and Washington moves to 2-2 on the season.

First Quarter – Bucs 3, Redskins 0

The Buccaneers got on the scoreboard first in the first quarter thanks to a 50-yard field goal by Connor Barth, which was his 23rd consecutive field goal dating back to last year. Josh Freeman was 5-of-5 for 43 yards on the drive, which was setback due to a holding penalty on center Jeremy Zuttah that negated a 15-yard run by rookie running back Doug Martin.

First Quarter – Redskins 7, Bucs 3
Alfred Morris ripped off runs of four and 17 yards, Robert Griffin III dumped the ball off to fullback Darrel Young, who made Aqib Talib miss and picked up 24 yards down to the Tampa Bay 30. Tight end Fred Davis picked up 26 yards down to the Tampa Bay 14 on the next play. On third-and-5 at the Tampa Bay 9, Griffin ran up the middle to the 1-yard line before fumbling into the end zone where Pierre Garcon recovered for the Redskins touchdown.

Second Quarter – Redskins 14, Bucs 3
Washington’s scoring drive was set up by cornerback Deangelo Hall, who stepped in front of Vincent Jackson at the Tampa Bay 35 to pick off Freeman’s pass. A 12-yard pass to Davis moved the ball down to the Tampa Bay 26 where on fourth-and-1, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy jumped offside to give the Redskins a first down. Another offside penalty by Gary Gibson helped Washington convert a third-and-1 at the Tampa Bay 10. On the next play, Griffin III ran up the middle on a QB draw for a 5-yard touchdown.

Second Quarter – Redskins 21, Bucs 3
After a three-and-out, it took the Redskins just two plays to go 60 yards. Griffin III connected with Leonard Hankerson for a 21-yard gain, followed by a 39-yard touchdown by Morris. With 5:15 left in the second quarter, the Redskins were up 21-3.

Second Quarter – Redskins 21, Bucs 6
Barth drilled a 57-yard field goal to cut into Washington’s lead right before halftime. Martin started things off with a 10-yard run, followed by a 17-yard run by D.J. Ware on third-and-4 at the Tampa Bay 41. But the drive stalled and Freeman only picked up three yards on a QB scramble down to the Washington 39 to set up Barth’s career-long kick.

Third Quarter – Redskins 21, Bucs 13
Freeman started things off right with a 65-yard bomb to Mike Williams down to the Washington 20-yard line. Williams beat cornerback Josh Wilson and safety Madieu Willims for the big gain. On third-and-goal from the Washington 7, Freeman rifled the ball in between Hall and Williams to Vincent Jackson for a touchdown to cut the Redskins’ lead to 21-13.

Fourth Quarter – Redskins 21, Bucs 19
The Bucs traveled 79 yards in five plays to draw within two points. Freeman hit Jackson with gains of 54 and 22 yards to set up Tampa Bay at the Washington 2-yard line. Two plays later, LeGarrette Blount ran up the middle for the touchdown, but a two-point conversion pass to Williams was incomplete.

Fourth Quarter – Bucs 22, Redskins 21
Freeman hit Tiquan Underwood with a 19-yard gain to the Washington 34, and came back to Underwood again on third down on a wide receiver screen pass for five yards that fell four yards short of a first down. That set up Barth’s 47-yard field goal that put Tampa Bay ahead 22-21 with 1:42 left in the game.

Fourth Quarter – Redskins 24, Bucs 22
The Redskins drove 56 yards in seven plays to win the game. Griffin III hit Santana Moss with a gain of 15 yards before finding Davis for a gain of 20. After Griffin III scrambled for 15 yards, he hit Moss with a gain of seven yards down to the Tampa Bay 24. A 41-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff gave Washington the victory with three seconds left.

For the first time this season, the Bucs did not score any points on their opening possession. … Running back D.J. Ware had a career-high 17-yard run … Quarterback Josh Freeman tied his career long and wide receiver Mike Williams set a career high with a 65-yard pass play to set up Vincent Jackson’s touchdown, which was his second as a Buccaneer. Williams finished the game with four catches for 115 yards – his first 100-yard game of the season. Jackson had his second 100-yard game as a Buccaneer, finishing with six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. … Sunday marked the first time Tampa Bay had two receivers with 100 yards since September 13, 1992 when Lawrence Dawsey (five receptions for 105 yards) and Mark Carrier (seven receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown) played against Green Bay. … Punt returner Roscoe Parrish made his debut today for the Buccaneers. … Running back LeGarrette Blount scored his first touchdown of the season against Washington.

Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth had a career day with a personal best 57-yard field goal in the second quarter, in addition to a 50-yard field goal in the first quarter. His 47-yarder with 1:42 left in the game gave Tampa Bay a brief 22-21 lead over Washington.

Barth has now made 25 consecutive field goals dating back to last year. Not only is that a personal best and a franchise record, it is also the longest current streak in the NFL. For his perfect day, Barth is PewterReport.com’s Bucs MVP.

Bucs' inactives against the Redskins were: WR Chris Owusu, RB Michael Smith, CB Myron Lewis, CB Anthony Gaitor, S Keith Tandy, OT Jeremy Trueblood, and LB Najee Goode

Redskins’ inactives against the Bucs were: QB Rex Grossman, WR Aldrick Robinson, CB Cedric Griffin, RB Ryan Grant, FS Brandon Meriweather, LB Markus White, G Adam Gettis

Linebacker Lavonte David had a wrist injury at the start of the third quarter. He was replaced in the defensive lineup by Adam Hayward, but eventually returned.

Cornerback Eric Wright suffered a head injury a few plays later and did not return. He was replaced in the lineup by cornerback E.J. Biggers.

Free safety Ronde Barber injured his left collarbone in the third quarter. Barber was replaced by Ahmad Black in the lineup initially, but returned a few plays later.

• The Buccaneers’ tackling was sloppy on Sunday, especially in the first half. Linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Aqib Talib had some notable misses that allowed the Redskins to gain extra yardage after the catch. The Redskins had four pass plays 20 yards or longer in the first half and also allowed Alfred Morris to rip off big runs of 17 and 39 yards, the latter of which went for a touchdown.

In the second half, the Bucs defense clamped down, especially against the run. The Bucs allowed a 30-yard pass play on a trick play in which Robert Griffin III lateraled the ball to Brandon Banks, who lateraled it back to Griffin III, who threw the ball to Niles Paul for a big first down. But Griffin III completed his sixth pass play for 20 yards or more when he hit tight end Fred Davis for a 20-yarder on Washington’s game-winning field goal drive.

“In the first half we didn’t tackle like we did in the first three games,” Schiano said. “Up until that last drive we pitched a shutout in the second half, but that’s what we’re talking about.”

• Tampa Bay also had a lot of penalties, drawing five infractions for 67 yards by halftime, including a 32-yard pass interference penalty on free safety Ronde Barber. The Bucs finished with 10 penalties for 107 yards, including two critical infractions in the second half.

One was a 15-yard personal foul for a late hit on middle linebacker Mason Foster on Griffin III after an incompletion that would have forced Washington to punt from its own 1-yard line. The other one was a false start on right guard Ted Larsen on Tampa Bay’s failed two-point conversion play in the fourth quarter.

“There are certain penalties I can live with and there are some that are inexcusable, and we had some of those today,” Schiano said. “We didn’t play smart, and we didn’t create takeaways. We have to do a better job coaching.”

• Quarterback Josh Freeman’s indecisiveness in the first half will cause Schiano to grit his teeth. Freeman showed some hesitancy on a 5-yard scramble and took a hit to his left shoulder. On his second scramble, a 3-yard run, he slid well before the first down marker and set up fourth-and-7.

“I’m okay with him running the ball, but he needs to slide when he gets near a defender,” Schiano said last week. “It’s hard enough to keep your quarterback healthy and you don’t want to turn him into a running back in my opinion.”

After starting the game 8-of-9 for 64 yards in the first quarter, Freeman was 5-of-13 for 24 yards in the second quarter. He looked tentative until hitting Mike Williams with a 65-yard gain in the third quarter loosened him up.

Tampa Bay (1-3) has a bye week before hosting Kansas City (1-3) on Sunday, October 14 at 1:00 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS.

Last modified on Sunday, 30 September 2012 20:56

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  • avatar

    Play calling has been suspect, but Freeman is so scared to run for the first down. I hope it isn't the coaches that tell him not too. The defense is still young, and they were on the field way to much. After a few questionable calls that went against us, we still are going in the right direction. I hoped for 8-8 this year and they might make it. David and Barron look like future All-Pro players. I was at the game and was disappointed but we are competitive, unlike last year. We as fans need to be patient, they have lost their 3 games by only 13 points. Rome wasn't built in a day, so as long as we are competitive we are going in the right direction
  • avatar

    gibsonmix, I so agree with you.
  • avatar

    I really enjoyed the game because we never gave up. The Defense was on the field a lot and hung in there. This was a competitive team. In no way does our record reflect the Bucs from last year; this is a much better team. I appreciate Schiano. We are just a Free Agency and Draft away where we will win these types of games rather than losing them. We need a good TE and there is not one on this team and it is hurting us on Offense. Freeman was not consistent at all. He started off 7-8 and then did a big slide backwards for several passes after that. His accuracy and decision making was very poor more than half the game. He still shows that he can throw the deep sideline pass, but is horrible down the middle and criss crosses. He is no Steve Deberg when it comes to hiding where he is handing off the ball to or who he is passing to. Deberg was a very average QB too. Freeman is playing more like a rookie than a four year starter. He is not a franchise player and would not start for most of the teams in the NFL. I feel like he is in the same boat as the 49er QB Smith that it took a certain type of coach to get him going; Olsen nor Sullivan have been able to take Freeman to the next level. I'm not ready to get off the bus, but Freeman has got to pick it up or we will have to start grooming somebody else next year. Go Bucs! Get the next one. Coach please trade Blount if you are not going to use him.
  • avatar

    I agree Horse, we just need to be patient.
  • avatar

    GO YUCCS!!!! Looks like another top 5 pick in the 2013 NFL draft.. It really SUCKS to be a fan of this team.
  • avatar

    Quote from Greg Schiano- "That’s what so many games come down to in the NFL – a two-minute drive to stop them or a two-minute drive to win it," Really.........I thought the game always comes down to who can destroy the opposing center on the kneel down play.
  • avatar

    Number one cause is offensive play calling along with a quarterback who can't find anyone other than his main receiver. Sullivan and Freeman are a poor coach and player whom has kept this team from being 2-2 or 3-1. Agree with you Roy, that again the coach should have played back and given them all the underneath stuff but gave up big yardage trying to get to RG3. Bad coaching overall cost this team today and the last few weeks.
  • avatar

    I should also state that I'm not "hating", just stating facts.
  • avatar

    It's hard to pin this loss on any one play. The thing that stands out the most to me is what Roypadrick pointed out, the blitzing on the last drive when we should have kept two safeties deep and had man underneath. We should have been rushing 3 D-linemen with on extra LB on the field spying Griffin. Freeman played like crap in the first half and turned it on at the end. I think the play calling contributed to that with not enough short passes being called, as they were obviously working at the end. Also, lets not forget about that horrible unnecessary roughness call when Griffin was scrambling and got tackled well. I guess losing by 2 is better than losing by 24 like last year...I guess...
  • avatar

    The Buccaneers have lost 13 of their last 14 games, NOTHING else needs to be said about this franchise.
  • avatar

    Another loss that can be pinned on bad play calling. On that final defensive stand, we -- YET AGAIN -- blitzed the QB, failed to get pressure, and allowed a ton of yards in a couple plays. This happened in all three losses. I have been a strong Freeman supporter for years now, but I am starting to wonder about his decision-making ability. I can't decide if the play-calling is hindering him, or if he is making bad decisions. Also, am I the only who who sees our receivers (and TEs and RBs) not getting ANY yards after the catch? Mike Williams' run after the catch late today was one of the first I've seen all year. Just me???
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