for this game

Bucs defense returns to old form

Dec 24, 2006 - 11:23 PM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought back memories of seasons past with a superb defensive performance.

Linebacker Derrick Brooks returned one of four interceptions by the Buccaneers for a touchdown in a 22-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

With the Bucs leading, 12-0, the nine-time Pro Bowl linebacker intercepted a pass by Derek Anderson, who was hit as he threw, and returned it 21 yards. It was Brooks' eighth career interception return for a touchdown.

"Anytime you play a rookie quarterback and shut down the run, it puts pressure on them to throw the ball," Brooks said. "I just read the offense, got the pick, and took it home."

Tampa Bay's defensive showing was reminiscent of the 2002 Super Bowl champion team which allowed 196 total points (12.3 per game).

Making his first start of the season, Tim Rattay completed 16-of-26 passes for 212 yards with one interception for the Bucs (4-11).

"I thought he (Rattay) did a good job," Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said. "He converted some key third downs. He made some throws, and directed our offense quite well. I thought we moved the ball on every possession with authority."

Gruden named Rattay as the starter after he threw three touchdown passes coming off the bench last week in an overtime loss at Chicago.

Rookie Bruce Gradkowski had started the previous 11 games for the Bucs.

Michael Pittman rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Matt Bryant kicked three field goals for Tampa Bay, which outgained the Browns, 355-187.

"I felt great today," Pittman said. "It was a long time coming. We did not have many wins this year and winning on Christmas Eve was big for the team."

Anderson completed 10-of-27 passes for 123 yards and left the game late in the fourth quarter with a separated right shoulder after being driven into the turf by defensive tackle Chris Hovan. Ken Dorsey finished the game for Cleveland (4-11).

"We had a few drops, missed some throws, and threw some picks," Anderson said. "Overall, it was just a bad game."

Daven Holly recovered a fumble by Rattay and returned it 40 yards for the Browns' lone score in the fourth quarter.

"We had four interceptions and we dropped a touchdown pass early," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. "All of those put together with our defense, we just couldn't stop them. Even though we prevented some touchdowns early, they were able to get touchdowns late."

It was the first road win of the season for the Buccaneers, who earned their last road victory on December 11, 2005 at Carolina.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 3 6 10 22
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 7 7 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 23 YD, 7:55. Drive: 12
    plays, 75 yards in 6:01. Key plays:
    Rattay 18-yard pass to Stovall on
    3rd-and-7 to Tampa Bay 41; 15-yard
    roughing the passer penalty on
    Browns' W

    Dec 24 3:54 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 37 YD
    TAMPA BAY 22
    CLEVELAND 7 5:47 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. BrownsDec 24 3:34 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    DAVEN HOLLY 40 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 19
    CLEVELAND 7 11:33 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. BrownsDec 24 3:23 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    DERRICK BROOKS 21 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 19
    CLEVELAND 0 14:12 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. BrownsDec 24 3:11 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 3 6 12
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 0 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 23 YD, 7:55. Drive: 12
    plays, 75 yards in 6:01. Key plays:
    Rattay 18-yard pass to Stovall on
    3rd-and-7 to Tampa Bay 41; 15-yard
    roughing the passer penalty on
    Br

    Dec 24 3:08 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    MICHAEL PITTMAN 11 YD RUN
    (PAT BLOCKED)
    TAMPA BAY 12
    CLEVELAND 0 9:20 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers vs. BrownsDec 24 2:47 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 3 6
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 23 YD, 7:55. Drive: 12
    plays, 75 yards in 6:01. Key plays:
    Rattay 18-yard pass to Stovall on
    3rd-and-7 to Tampa Bay 41; 15-yard
    roughing the passer penalty on
    Browns

    Dec 24 2:25 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 24 YD
    TAMPA BAY 6
    CLEVELAND 0 6:18 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. BrownsDec 24 2:06 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 3
    CLEVELAND 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 23 YD, 7:55. Drive: 12
    plays, 75 yards in 6:01. Key plays:
    Rattay 18-yard pass to Stovall on
    3rd-and-7 to Tampa Bay 41; 15-yard
    roughing the passer penalty on
    Br

    Dec 24 1:43 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 23 YD
    TAMPA BAY 3
    CLEVELAND 0 7:05 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. BrownsDec 24 1:24 PM