In the spirit of the 25 greatest Bucs of all time, I thought I’d do a countdown of what I think the most exciting Buccaneer games of all time were. Hopefully this can bring back some memories to the long-time fans. Please note that these are not the biggest games but what I consider some of the most exciting, entertaining, and well played games. For example, while the 79 Chiefs game and 77 Saints game were huge wins in our history, they were in and of themselves not the most exciting or best played games and so are not on the list. Anyway, here are 21-25 in my opinion:25: 2011: New Orleans at Tampa Bay (26-21 TB). Even as the 2011season was a disaster, this game in week 6 put the Bucs in first place in a great shootout. Drew Brees threw for 383 yards while Josh Freeman countered with over 300 himself and Ernest Graham contributed over 100 yards on the ground. The game is actually best known for Saint coach Sean Peyton having his leg broken on the sideline, but its defining moment came when the defense intercepted Brees in its own endzone with 4 minutes left , one of four turnovers the defense got on the day. Connor Barth kicked four field goals, and WR Aurelilus Benn hauled in a 70 yard pass for a touchdown in the second quarter.24: 1995: Green Bay at Tampa Bay. (13-10 TB (OT) Normally a 13-10 overtime game wouldn't be considered exciting, but this was an exception. Brett Favre and the Pack came seeking to secure a play-off spot while Tampa was fighting to stay in contention but losing 5 out of their last 6. The game went back and forth with each team getting interceptions in their own end zones. Dilfer's involved him getting picked off while trying to throw to Warren Sapp after Wyche told him to fake a hand off to him up the middle. One of the stranger plays I've seen involved Tampa catching the Packers' defense coming off the side line after a timeout at the end of the first half on third down deep in Tampa territory. In the second half, the Bucs took at 10-3 lead on Jerry Ellison's 3 yard run before Favre catches Hardy Nickerson off guard on a TD pass in the 4th. Two bad interference calls that did not go Tampa's way helped to set up their score. Following an incredible conversion on 3rd and 18 by Horace Copeland with two minutes left, Alvin Harper dropped a pass forcing the Bucs to punt. Favre then drove the ball down into FG territory on a long pass up the middle and a Buc cornerback missed a pass put right in his hand a play later, adding to the drama. However, Ryan Longwell misses the winning FG as time ran out in an answer to Alvin Harper's prayers (he'd missed numerous passes that game). In overtime, Dilfer hit Rhett (who earlier had an incredible turnaround run up the middle in the third quarter for 16 yards) on a tight sideline pass to put the Bucs in FG range and Husted hit a 50 yard FG to put an exciting win in Tampa's column and to keep them very much alive in the playoff race with two weeks left. Unfortunately, Tampa lost its final two games and Sam Wyched would be fired. 23. 1989: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears. (32-31 TB). For the first 23 years of their existence, Tampa only won twice in Chicago but this one was a thriller. With 6 minutes left Tampa was ahead 20 -10 thanks to the help of DE Reuben Davis returning an Interception for a touchdown. Coming off of a Buc FG to make it 23-10, Mike Thomzak comes in at quarterback for Chicago and proceeds to hit not one, not two, but three 50 yard touchdown passes to put Chicago ahead with less than two minutes remaining. In the interim, Testaverde also hit a 60 yard bomb himself but the extra point was mixed. Soldier field was going crazy, but then Vinny led the Bucs down on a great final drive setting up a short FG by Donald "Kicker" Igwebueike to break a five game losing streak. One left this game with an overwhelming feeling of "what just happened there."22. 1981: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24-23 TB). Most long time Buc fans remember 1981 best for their final week victory against the Lions in a winner-take-all showdown. Not as many remember, though, that this showdown was set up by a thriller against the Falcons two weeks earlier. Future Buc coach Leeman Bennett's Falcons were trying for a second consecutive playoff birth against the Bucs, who were riding a two game winning streak and were hoping to win the division title. After Buc kicker Capece missed a game clinching chip shot FG, Bartkowski moved the Falcons into FG range but they miss a 40 yard try when Scott Brantley (how's that for a name from the past) grazed it, and the kick went just wide. Before Capece missed his FG, a TD pass to Giles was called back due to offensive pass interference. The game started out with fireworks, going back and forth. Atlanta got a FG in the first after Tampa muffed a punt but then Tampa fires back with a touchdown drive of their own. In a back an forth second half, the signature turn of events involved Atlanta intercepting a Doug Williams pass and returning it to the Tampa 10, but it was called back due to a personal foul call. A few plays later, Williams hits top 20 Buc Kevin House on a 70 yard touchdown pass. The win put Tampa in position to win the division, but they'd just miss out against the Chargers the following week on a Chargers last second FG after Jimmie Giles fumbled a ball with Tampa in Charger territory and a chance to win it all then and there.21. 1997: San Francisco 49ers at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-6 TB).[/ The Buccaneers' first game in pewter was one of great milestone games in their history. Former Buc Steve Young led his perrenniall power 49ers into Tampa stadium. He'd only play in the final quarter, however, after he was sacked by Sapp and suffered a concussion when his head his Hardy Nickerson's knee. Later in the second quarter, Jerry Rice would be lost for most of the season when Sapp tackled him on a revers and accidently grabbed his facemask. Many said that Tampa only won because of this, but back up QB Jeff Brohm came in and started off with 7 or 8 straight completions and two FG's, giving them a 6-0 halftime lead. Husted missed an early FG opportunity after the Bucs blocked a punt and Alstott ran off tackle for 38 or so yards. Anthony (I think) gave up a fumble deep in 49er territory and Patrick Hape fumbled on an ill-advised call giving him the ball to run up the middle inside San Fransisco's 10. The turning point of this game ironically came when Hardy Nickerson gave their opponent a first down after he spit in William Floyd's face having stopped them on downs. They missed the FG, however, and from there Tampa took over. Husted hit a 40 some odd yard FG, Tampa swarmed the Niner's offense on their five, and then Dilfer hit TE David Moore on a beautifully set up run-action fake to Alstott, who had two other long runs earlier in the game. In the 4th Young had to return to the game, but was totally shut down. All-in-all, he was sacked 5 times and picked off twice. Tampa would go on to start the season 5-0, and despite the fact that the Niners went 13-3 this season, I believe Tampa was the NFC's second best team that year next to the Packers. The game marked Steve Mariuchi's first game as San Francisco's coach. His last game would also come against the Buccaneers, a 31-6 play-off drubbing in 2002 against the eventually Super Bowl Champions.Hope you enjoyed the memories. Games 20-16 coming up tomorrow.