The Tampa Bay Buccaneers couldn’t catch any breaks from the officials and couldn’t overcome two first quarter turnovers on offense in their 17-10 loss at the hands of the Washington Redskins in Saturday’s Wild Card playoff game. But the Bucs got great play from their defense, which held the Redskins to only 120 yards – an NFL record for fewest yards allowed in a playoff game. The previous record was held by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, which only posted 134 yards in a playoff contest, but still managed to win that game.
For its efforts, the Tampa Bay defense is this week’s PewterReport.com Pewter Players of the Game.
Of the Redskins’ 17 points, only 10 came against the Bucs defense with the touchdown coming on a 6-yard run by Clinton Portis after Washington took over at the 6 after a Tampa Bay turnover. Washington scored a defensive touchdown when Sean Taylor returned a fumble for a score to account for the team’s other TD.
Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell completed only 7-of-15 (46.6 percent) of his passes for 41 yards and threw one interception. Brunell was also sacked twice and had a quarterback rating of 25.7.
Portis, who gashed the Buccaneers defense for 144 yards rushing and a touchdown on Nov. 13 of this year, was held to 53 yards on 16 carries (3.3 avg.). Safety Dexter Jackson also broke up Portis’ halfback pass to Santana Moss at the goal line.
Moss, a Pro Bowl receiver, was limited to just 18 yards on two catches, and had one 11-yard run.
The Redskins’ longest play on offense was a 15-yard catch by tight end Chris Cooley.
Middle linebacker Shelton Quarles led the Bucs with 11 tackles, followed by linebacker Derrick Brooks and cornerback Ronde Barber, who each posted eight stops. Brooks also forced a fumble in the game, but the loose ball was recovered by the Redskins.
Defensive tackle Ellis Wyms and defensive end Simeon Rice each had a sack, and cornerback Brian Kelly came up with a fourth-quarter interception.
“Our defense played great,” said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. “It’s a great accomplishment. Our defense played great – played incredible. It’s too bad we didn’t win the football game. When you turn the ball over and give up two touchdowns yourself, it’s going to be hard to overcome that.”
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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org