PEWTER POLL QUESTION Which player was the MVP of Tampa Bay's 14-13 win over Cincinnati on Sunday? Bucs fans can start voting now by clicking here.
JOSEPH MAKES HIS DEBUT Rookie right guard Davin Joseph took to the playing field for the first time in the regular season as a Buccaneer on Sunday. With two rookies – Joseph and right tackle Jeremy Trueblood — on the right side of the offensive line, the Buccaneers managed 126 yards on the ground and gave up just sack on the day.
KELLY AMONG INACTIVE Tampa Bay cornerback Brian Kelly was inactive Sunday for the second game in three contests. Kelly has been sidelined with a degenerative foot condition that has plagued him for the past three years. Kelly was replaced in the starting lineup by Juran Bolden. The following players also were inactive: QB Chris Simms, CB Alan Zemaitis, DB Derrick Strait, FB Jerald Sowell, T Donald Penn, WR Maurice Stovall and WR Mark Jones.
CADILLAC GETS GOING Running back Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams turned in another impressive performance against the Bengals, rushing 19 times for 94 yards (4.9 avg.). His most impressive run of the run came in the third quarter when he rumbled down the field for a gain of 38 yards in the Buccaneers’ first scoring drive of the game. Williams now has 205 yards over his last two games.
GRADKOWSKI CONFIDENT Rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski was given the opportunity to win the game through the air for the Buccaneers. He responded by going 25-for-44 for 184 yards and tossing two touchdowns. Gradkowski only had one batted ball at the line of scrimmage for the game and also picked up two key first downs on third downs to extend drives. Gradkowski threw the game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Clayton with 35 seconds remaining in the contest.
PENALTIES PLAGUE BUCS Keeping the trend of being one of the most penalized teams in the league, Tampa Bay committed nine penalties for 75 yards on Sunday. Not to be outdone, however, the Cincinnati Bengals committed 10 penalties for 84 yards, including a costly roughing the passer penalty that extended Tampa Bay’s final drive, which eventually ended with the Bucs’ game-winning score.
MONKEY OFF HIS BACK Wide receiver Michael Clayton finally got the monkey off his back in the fourth quarter when he caught an 8-yard scoring strike from quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. Clayton had not scored a touchdown since the final game of the 2004 regular season. The play was initially ruled incomplete, but replay overturned the call and gave the Clayton and the Bucs the touchdown.
"The ruling on the field was, in the process of making the catch, the receiver was going to the ground, and when he hit the ground the ball came loose,” said head official Mike Carey. “However, there's a provision that within that process the receiver had two feet down and did a football move, ala extending the ball, which he did in this case, broke the plane, the ball's dead at that spot before it hits the ground, so it's a touchdown."
STRANGELY FAMILIAR The 2006 Buccaneers are starting to look eerily similar to the squad fielded in 2004 in terms of wins and losses. In 2004, the Buccaneers started out 0-4 before getting back to winning ways against New Orleans in their fifth game of the season. The 2006 Buccaneers are 1-4 after picking up their first win of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals.
BUCS LOSE TURNOVER BATTLE, WIN GAME For the third consecutive game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers failed to get a takeaway, something that has become a staple of the Buccaneers’ success in years past. More often than not, winning the turnover battle is the key to winning the game. Tampa Bay turned the ball over one time on an interception, but still managed to win the game despite losing the turnover battle.
MR. SMITH GOES TO THE END ZONE Tight end Alex Smith matched his touchdown total from last season following his 2-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. Smith has now caught at least one touchdown pass in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
WYMS RECORDS FIRST MULTI-SACK PERFORMANCE Defensive end Ellis Wyms recorded his first career multi-sack performance vs. the Bengals. He took down quarterback Carson Palmer in the second quarter for a loss of eight yards then took down Palmer on the Bengals’ final drive to preserve the win.