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
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
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
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
”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
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.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org