BARBER MAKING HISTORY Ronde Barber continues to add to his Hall of Fame resume following his stellar play against the Eagles. In the first quarter of Sunday’s game, Barber caused a fumble on wide receiver Jason Avant and later picked off Donovan McNabb, returning the interception 37 yards for a touchdown. Barber nabbed another pass from McNabb in the third quarter and returned it 66 yards for another touchdown. The second touchdown was the 10th in Barber’s career and with his 30th career interception moves him past Cedric Brown for second on the all-time interception list for the Buccaneers. Besides being the only cornerback in NFL history to record 20 sacks and 20 interceptions, Barber needs only one interception to move into a tie for first place with Donnie Abraham.
BRYANT RUNS THE OFFENSE Kicker Matt Bryant, besides being the hero of the game after nailing a 62-yard field goal, accounted for all of Tampa Bay’s nine offensive points. Bryant gave the Buccaneers a 6-point lead with just over a minute remaining in the game. Bryant’s game winning field goal was the longest in team history and the second longest in NFL history.
OCTOBER HEAT At game time of Sunday’s game between Tampa Bay and Philadelpia, the temperature in the Tampa area was listed at 88 degrees with a feels like temperature of 97 degrees on the field. The humidity was also high for late October at 74 percent. For a game in late October, it had the feel, temperature wise, of a game in early August.
BUCS INACTIVE PLAYERS The following players were inactive for Tampa Bay’s game vs. Philadelphia: QB Chris Simms, CB Brian Kelly, CB Alan Zemaitis, FB Jerald Sowell, T Donald Penn, G Jeb Terry, WR Maurice Stovall and WR Mark Jones.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT Newly acquired cornerback Phillip Buchanon made his way on to the field for the first time as a Buccaneer Sunday, fielding punts in place of injured wide receiver Mark Jones. Buchanon, who was cut by the Houston Texans and quickly signed by the Buccaneers, averaged eight yards on one return.
WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS Wide receiver Paris Warren caught his first career catch against the Eagles, a 31-yard reception from quarterback Bruce Gradkowski late in the second quarter. Until the Buccaneers’ final drive of the second half, they had been anemic on offense, only amassing 28 yards.
JUST GIVE HIM THE BALL While he didn’t have a bad day running the ball, Bucs running back Cadillac Williams rushed for 82 yards on 23 carries (3.6 avg.) vs. the Eagles on Sunday. Williams now has 394 yards rushing through six regular season games in 2006. The Bucs are now 8-0 when Williams carries the ball 21 or more times in a game.
RECORD-SETTING ATTENDANCE The official attendance for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium was 65,808, which was a regular season record for the Buccaneers.
BUCS GET DEFENSIVE After forcing just three turnovers in the first five games of the 2006 season, the Buccaneers defense forced four turnovers vs. the Eagles, returning two of those turnovers for touchdowns. Most teams that win the turnover battle win the game, and such was the case for the Bucs against the Eagles. Tampa Bay’s defense almost gave the game away, however, allowing the Eagles to drive 80 yards to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. The defense gave up 506 yards of total offense to Philadelphia. For the second time this season, the first being against the Atlanta Falcons, the Buccaneers defense gave up more than 200 yards rushing to their opponent.
BRUCE ALMIGHTY Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski led the team to its second consecutive come-from-behind win in the last minute of regulation. Today, Gradkowski led the Buccaneers on a five-play, 20-yard drive to set up Matt Bryant’s game-winning field goal. Last week, Gradkowski led the Buccaneers on a 54-yard drive that culminated with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Michael Clayton with 35 seconds remaining to win the game. Gradkowski completed 13-of-26 pass attempts against the Eagles.
BUCCANEERS FIX SLOPPY PLAY Long touted as one of the most penalized teams in the league, the Buccaneers committed few errors in all phases of the game and were only flagged twice for a total of 15 yards on Sunday. The one costly error was a tripping call on rookie Jeremy Trueblood, who was flagged last week for tripping as well.
WYMS STAYS HOT Defensive tackle Ellis Wyms, the starter following Anthony McFarland’s departure from Tampa Bay, picked up another sack against the Eagles. He now has three sacks in the last two games.
A BOLD PLAY Cornerback Juran Bolden intercepted his first pass of the season and 10th of his career in the first quarter vs. the Eagles. Bolden returned the interception 27 yards.
UP NEXT: NEW YORK GIANTS After starting the season 0-4, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won two straight games and are now 2-4 on the season. The Bucs travel to New York next Sunday to play the 3-2 Giants, who play the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football this week.