Buccaneers-Bills: What we learned
Updated On: Dec 08 2013 06:19:59 PM CST
TAMPA -- Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Sunday's defensive performance reminded him of how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' dominant units from their glory years used to play on a consistent basis, the group that included Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and Ronde Barber.
The Bucs sacked Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel seven times and intercepted him four times in a 27-6 victory Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
In a sloppy game that featured seven turnovers, and six personal foul penalties, the Tampa Bay defense stole the show, swarming Manuel and holding the Bills' dangerous running back duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to just 34 yards. Manuel's four interceptions matched his total from his first eight games.
"If that defense plays like this, I don't see us losing a game in a very long time," Bucs veteran guard Davin Joseph said. "Sometimes it's just amazing to watch them really work."
Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon also had a rough game, going 9-for-25 for a career-low 90 yards with two red-zone interceptions. But Glennon also threw two touchdown passes, lifting Tampa Bay (4-9) to its fourth win its last five games after an 0-8 start.
The Bills (4-9), meanwhile, have lost five of their last six. Jackson said coach Doug Marrone allowed players a chance to speak in the locker room post-game and "clear the air."
"I think guys here have every right to be frustrated after a game like that," Jackson said. "Bottom line, we didn't play well. You go back and look at film, and I can't think of anything we did right."
The Bucs struck first, with running back Bobby Rainey breaking free for an 80-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game -- the fastest score (17 seconds) and longest run in franchise history. McCoy said Rainey's run sparked the entire team and set the tone. Rainey, who finished with 127 yards on 22 carries, broke free down the left sideline, making a couple of Bills defenders miss.
"It was a great feeling," Rainey said. "Everybody played a part."
The Bills cut the Tampa Bay lead to 7-3 midway through the first quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter, set up by a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Glennon had a couple of nice throws on Tampa Bay's scoring drive late in the first quarter, including eluding the rush and throwing on the run for a 38-yard touchdown to wide receiver Vincent Jackson, making it 14-3. Jackson, who was limited with a hamstring injury in practice, came though with three catches for 70 yards, though had one touchdown taken away after an official review.
"You can't ask for more from a guy that's out there playing hurt and have that type of game," Bucs left tackle Donald Penn said. "He's having a Pro Bowl season."
What the Buccaneers said
"He's everywhere. You all thought I was joking when I called him, 'The Flash,' last year. But you saw it firsthand. He can get from one spot to the other out of nowhere, it's ridiculous." -- Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on linebacker Lavonte David, who had two interceptions, a sack and nine tackles.
What the Bills said
"They played with more passion, more energy, and they just beat us." -- Running back C.J. Spiller
What we learned about the Buccaneers
1. Linebacker Lavonte David is making his case for a Pro Bowl. David, the Bucs' second-year linebacker, continued his monster season Sunday with two interceptions and a sack. David has been Tampa Bay's most productive defensive player all season, with five interceptions and six sacks, becoming the first player since the Bears' Brian Urlacher in 2007 to have five sacks and five interceptions.
2. Quarterback Mike Glennon takes a step back. Though the rookie has typically made steady progress this season, he's fallen off the last couple of weeks in one key category: turnovers. After throwing just one interception in a span of six games, Glennon threw three in a six-quarter span, ending with Sunday's first half. "Some of those balls I would like to have back, but we'll see what happened (on film review)," Glennon said. "
What we learned about the Bills
1. Quarterback EJ Manuel is still a work in progress. Manual has shown some flashes in his rookie season, but Sunday was arguably the worst game of his young career. Manuel was pressured for most of the game, getting sacked seven times, but he made his share of mistakes, including four interceptions, matching the total from his previous eight games.
2. The Bills are beating themselves. Buffalo nearly matched the Bucs in total yards on Sunday, but between their five turnovers and costly penalties, they paid the price. One holding penalty negated an 83-yard touchdown reception in the second half. Another unnecessary roughness penalty late in the second quarter gave Tampa Bay a first down on a third-and-15, setting up a touchdown drive.
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