5 things to know after Bucs beat Bills 27-6

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills spent much of the

afternoon showing why they’re likely to miss the playoffs

again.

The Bucs (4-9) continued a strong second-half turnaround by

beating the Bills 27-6 Sunday, however it hardly was the crisp

all-around performance you’d expect from a team that won by three

touchdowns.

While the defense forced five turnovers and sacked EJ Manuel

seven times, Tampa Bay’s offense sputtered after taking an early

lead on Bobby Rainey’s 80-yard touchdown run on the second play of

the game. The Bucs gained 169 yards in the opening quarter, then

were limited to 77 the rest of the way.

”We had opportunities, maybe, that could’ve really played

super, but I thought we played well,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said

after his team rebounded from a lopsided loss at Carolina.

”We just don’t quit, and that all starts with our head coach.

That’s how he is,” defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. ”He’s very

consistent with his effort, and nothing really changes with how he

prepares and how he comes to work every day that makes you want to

work harder for that guy.”

The Bills (4-9), losers of five of their past six, held a team

meeting afterward.

Coach Doug Marrone was disappointed in his team’s performance

coming off an overtime loss to Atlanta. Buffalo is already assured

of finishing without a winning record for the ninth straight year,

and the Bills also are extending their playoff drought to 14

seasons.

”I learned that we have to work harder. I learned that we have

a long way to go. I learned that we have to take more

accountability,” Marrone said. ”I can’t stand up here and make

excuses. I can only promise you that we’re going to work harder.

We’re going to get this thing fixed. I’m not going to lie. We let

down ownership … let down the fans.”

Five reasons the Bucs won for the fourth time in five games

following an 0-8 start, while the Bills continue to struggle:

BAD DAY FOR EJ: Buffalo’s rookie quarterback was intercepted

four times, doubling his season total. He completed 18 of 33 passes

for 184 yards, but the closest the Bills came to getting in the end

zone came when C.J. Spiller turned a short throw into what would

have been an 83-yard scoring play if it hadn’t been nullified by a

holding penalty. ”A disappointing day,” Manuel said. ”It starts

with me, especially on offense. I’m the quarterback. I’m a leader.

These guys feed off of me. I didn’t do a good job today. Plain and

simple.”

BIG PASS RUSH: The Bills lead the NFL with 44 sacks, but they

only had one Sunday. The Bucs, meanwhile, pressured Manuel all day

long led by linebacker Lavonte David, who had two interceptions and

a sack. Johnthan Banks and Mason Foster also had interceptions for

the Bucs, who lead the league with 21 picks.

WE NEED TO RUN IT BETTER: The Bucs rushed for 165 yards, with

nearly half of it coming on Rainey’s TD, which came 18 seconds into

the game. That’s the fastest score in Bucs history. The Bills

defense did a better job against the run after that play, with

Rainey finishing with 127 yards on 22 attempts. Buffalo, meanwhile,

managed just 67 yards on the ground on 22 carries. Manuel was the

leading rusher with 29 yards on five attempts. Spiller gained 22

yards and Fred Jackson added 12.

GLENNON JUST GOOD ENOUGH: Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon

didn’t have a big day statistically, but his two interceptions

didn’t hurt Tampa Bay, in part because the Bills kept turning the

ball over. He was 9 of 25 for 90 yards and two touchdowns. A third

TD pass was reversed by a replay review.

ACTION JACKSON: Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson had three

receptions for 70 yards, including a 38-yard TD. He’s topped 1,000

yards receiving for the second straight year since signing with

Tampa Bay as a free agent before last season. It’s the fifth time

he’s reached the plateau in his career. He’s also the first Bucs

receiver to do in consecutive seasons since Joey Galloway had three

in a row from 2005-07.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org