BARBER BLUNDERS AGAIN
Cornerback Ronde Barber was called for pass interference for the second consecutive week helping Atlanta sustain an early scoring drive. Last week against the Ravens, Barber was flagged on the opening drive after interfering with Derrick Mason. Both penalties have led to opponent touchdowns.
Defensive end Dewayne White came up huge again on special teams Sunday, blocking an Atlanta field goal in the fourth quarter. Last season when the Buccaneers played the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium, White blocked a potential game-winning field goal in overtime to help preserve a victory for Tampa Bay.
SIMMS CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE
Quarterback Chris Simms had three passes intercepted against the Falcons, two by cornerback DeAngelo Hall, bringing his season total to six. Simms has yet to throw a touchdown this season despite having three possessions inside the Atlanta 10-yard line.
Wide receiver Joey Galloway was the lone bright spot for the Buccaneers Sunday. Galloway caught nine passes for 161 yards for a 17 yards-per-catch average. Galloway was pitted against cornerback DeAngelo Hall for most of the game but managed to slip free on many occasions for huge gains against the Por Bowl cornerback.
EIGHT QUARTERS AND COUNTING
Tampa Bay has failed to score an offensive touchdown for eight consecutive quarters. The Buccaneers are one of two teams that are experiencing offensive futility over the first two games. The Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay’s opponent in Super Bowl XXXVII, failed to score a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 and have not scored one this season.
JUST FOR KICKS
Punter Josh Bidwell continued his run at another Pro Bowl Sunday with an impressive 42.5 yard average on four punts. Bidwell pinned the Falcons inside the 20-yard line once. Bidwell is averaging 44.5 yards per punt for the 2006 NFL season. His special teams partner, kicker Matt Bryant, missed two of the three field goals he attempted Sunday.
DEFENSE GASHED BY FALCON RUNNING ATTACK
Tampa Bay’s defense, which is usually stout against the run, allowed Atlanta to rush for 306 yards, the most given up by a Buccaneers defense under Monte Kiffin.
THREE AND OUT
Tampa Bay's next opponent – the 0-2 Carolina Panthers. The winner of this game will still be alive and kicking for a playoff spot and possibly the NFC South division title. The loser, however, will fall to 0-3 on the season and will officiallly be on life support. The Bucs host the Panthers at 1:00 PM next Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
QB Tim Rattay, CB Brian Kelly, CB Alan Zemaitis, LB Jamie Winborn, G Davin Joseph, WR Paris Warren, TE Dave Moore and WR Maurice Stovall were inactive for Tampa Bay’s game in Atlanta.
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