Bucs fumble on first play of OT, fall at home to Vikings
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw victory turn into defeat in the final three plays.
Anthony Barr forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage in overtime, picked up the loose ball off a bounce and returned it 27 yards to give the Vikings a 19-13 victory over the Buccaneers on Sunday.
The stunning end came just 17 seconds after the Vikings (3-5) extended the game on Blair Walsh’s 38-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
"We let one slip away," Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith said. "Late in the game we needed someone to step up."
Mike Glennon threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins to give Tampa Bay a 13-10 lead with just over two minutes left in regulation. But the Bucs’ porous defense couldn’t stop Teddy Bridgewater from putting together a nine-play, 61-yard march to get the game into OT.
Glennon completed a pass to Seferian-Jenkins on the first play of the extra period. The rookie tight end gained 10 yards before Barr stripped the ball, picked it up and ran up the left sideline to the end zone, where teammates joined him in celebration.
"A lot of ups and downs," Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "A roller coaster. A lot of highs and lows. It’s not how you want to see a game end. Freak stuff, ways to lose games."
Many of the Bucs walked to the sideline with heads bowed, waiting for an official’s replay review to confirm the game was over.
"It just ain’t this one play, man, that lost the game," Tampa Bay tackle Anthony Collins said,
Tampa Bay (1-6) fell to 0-4 at home and has now lost 16 straight games in which the opponent scored first.
Patrick Murray kicked fourth-quarter field goals of 54 and 45 yards for Tampa Bay, which was held to just 97 yards total offense through three quarters.
Bridgewater threw for 241 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in his fourth NFL start. The Vikings improved to 2-2 in those games, with both wins coming on the road.
Greg Jennings had a 17-yard TD catch that gave the Vikings a 10-0 lead midway through the third quarter. Jerick McKinnon rushed for 83 yards on 16 carries, and Cordarrelle Patterson had six receptions for 86 yards, including a couple of nice sideline grabs that helped Bridgewater out of tight situations.
Predictably, the matchup of the two of the league’s least-productive offenses was low-scoring, even though Tampa Bay’s struggling defense entered ranked 32nd in yards allowed and yielding a league-high 34 points per game.
Minnesota scored 10, 3 and 16 points in the first three games of their losing streak, with Bridgewater throwing for one touchdown and five interceptions and being sacked 13 times in starts against Detroit and Buffalo.
The 32nd pick in the draft completed passes of 19 and 11 yards to Chase Ford and 8 yards to Paterson in the final minute of the second quarter, setting up Walsh’s 46-yard field goal for a 3-0 halftime lead.
A day after signing a seven-year contract extension worth $98 million that makes him the league’s highest-paid defensive tackle, McCoy had a half-sack, joining Clinton McDonald in bringing down Bridgewater for a 6-yard loss in the second quarter. The two-time Pro Bowl selection challenged teammates to come out tougher physically and mentally against the Vikings, but there was little evidence of that for nearly three quarters.
The Bucs finished with 225 yards total offense, 66 of it on the ground. Glennon was sacked five times, while Tampa Bay only got to Bridgewater once.
"We’re still searching for the answers," Glennon said.
NOTES: Tampa Bay QB Josh McCown was active, but didn’t start for the fourth straight game. The 35-year-old has not played since injuring his right thumb at Atlanta on Sept. 18. … The Bucs were 1 for 12 on third-down conversions. They converted on both fourth-down tries.