for this game

Bucs rally, catch a break and beat Chiefs

Nov 3, 2008 - 1:22 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers overcame four turnovers to come from behind and beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-27, in overtime on Sunday.

Matt Bryant's 33-yard field goal capped the largest comeback in Buccaneers history with 10:24 left in the extra period as Tampa Bay (6-3) scored 27 of the final 30 points after trailing 24-3 late in the second quarter.

Jeff Garcia's 24-yard pass to Antonio Bryant with 19 seconds left in regulation - followed by a 2-point conversion from Garcia to Alex Smith - sent the game into overtime.

"Antonio made a great catch for the score," Garcia said. "We got a sense for how they were playing us and the

protection up front gave me time to throw the ball. I can't say enough about how the O-line, the front five guys played.

They gave me the protection and, fortunately for us, I got it over the cornerback's reach."

"What a great throw and catch," Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said. "That's the difference in this league.

Sometimes guys make great plays and sometimes the other team makes them. We had a dramatic victory in Chicago, very much like this and it was a dramatic victory today for us. Boy, did our guys play extremely well when we got into that phase of the offense."

Garcia completed 31-of-43 passes for 339 yards and one interception while Antonio Bryant caught eight balls for 115 yards.

"I was able to squeeze behind the defender," Bryant said of the touchdown reception. "And the safety was too far away to even try to help him or assist him. They really hadn't stopped us. It was us not securing the ball. You can't give up the ball and expect to win in this league."

"It was a sense of perseverance for us," Garcia said. "We had the opportunities early, but we turned the ball over. The interception was a forced error by myself. Kansas City will force you to be patient. They made a good defensive effort, especially in the red zone. We just had to grind it out mentally and stay with what we know.

Fortunately, we got one last stop to get a chance to tie the game."

Tampa Bay lost three fumbles, including one by Earnest Graham in the Chiefs end zone late in the fourth quarter which seemed to give Kansas City an opportunity to run out the clock.

"We shouldn't do that," Gruden said of the Buccaneers fumbling twice inside the five-yard line. "Those are terrible plays by us. We did it and we don't want to make a habit of doing that. It's been a problem in the red zone. We did it against Seattle and turned it over against Green Bay, and we turned it over twice today. We've got to do a much better job."

However, the Buccaneers held the Chiefs to three-and-out, forcing a punt with 1:50 to play before driving 50 yards to

tie the game.

"At the end of the game they got going and we didn't slow them down," Kansas City head coach Herm Edwards said. "Had we scored a touchdown the game might have been different, but we didn't. You have to knock them out and we didn't. They got the momentum at the half, I thought. They made the plays at the end with about five minutes when the game could go either way."

With much of their offense decimated by injury and suspension, the Chiefs turned to unorthodox play calling to

surprise the Buccaneers, including direct snaps to running backs, reverses, and a touchdown pass from wide receiver Mark Bradley to quarterback Tyler Thigpen, as Kansas City (1-7) jumped out to a 21-3 advantage midway through the second quarter.

"We moved the ball and we need to be able to build on that and put points on the board," Thigpen said. "It just shows what our offense can do. It feels good going up against a tough defense and moving the ball. But, we didn't win, so it doesn't matter."

After a 25-yard field goal by Bryant, the Chiefs used a couple of trick plays to good advantage, both involving Thigpen lining up as a wideout. Rookie Jamaal Charles took a direct snap for a 16-yard run on third-and-1. Two plays later, the direct snap to Charles was lateraled to Bradley, who bobbled it before lofting a 37-yard touchdown pass to Thigpen.

"That's a play we put in this week," Thigpen said. "On the first play, I split out and the guy didn't respect me (as a

receiver). Then the coach came right back and called (the pass play). It was a good call by him. The coach has seen me catch the ball. I don't drop that."

"We practiced it this week," Edwards said. "Actually, he dropped it in practice and then we came back the next day to make sure he wasn't going to drop it. We moved it back a little further. The one we did practice, he was standing in the end zone. Mark threw a good ball. He's a pro."

The pair later hooked up again - this time with Thigpen throwing the ball to Bradley - for a 56-yard gain which set

up a 39-yard field goal by Connor Barth and a 24-3 lead for Kansas City with 2:13 left in the half.

"They really had us on the ropes," Gruden said. "We expected some of that from Coach (Chan) Gailey. He's had a history of being very creative. They mixed it up quite well. They've got a unique package and maybe we'll steal a few of those ideas next week."

Rookie Clifton Smith began the Buccaneers comeback with a 97-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff, cutting the Chiefs lead to 24-10. Matt Bryant then added a 43-yard field goal as time expired in the first half and Kansas City took a 24-13 lead into the lockerroom.

"I knew it was going to take somebody making a big play to get the team started," Smith said. "I was fortunate I was the one in the spotlight at the time and made it happen. It was a big game we needed to win. I saw my teammates knocking everybody out and that just made it easy for me. I think the momentum shifted at that point and time. When we came into the locker room we knew we were still in the game."

"That created a spark in a first half that didn't have much of a spark for us," Garcia said. "We hadn't done anything

offensively to that point. That was a huge play. We have players who are capable of making big plays. For us it's just about trying to give them an opportunity to make them. Today we were forced into that situation and we made the big plays."

Tampa Bay engaged in some trickery of their own when Graham threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Alex Smith to make it a 24-19 game early in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs grabbed a 14-0 lead by scoring on their first two possessions, first on a seven-yard touchdown strike from Thigpen to Dwayne Bowe, then on a one-yard plunge by Kolby Smith after Graham fumbled on the Buccaneers first play from scrimmage.

"That's just what you want to do," Thigpen said of scoring on the opening drive. "In the perfect world you'd want to be

able to run the ball. That way you don't have to pass it. But we were able to do both in that drive. We had two nice

drives there to start off and we put 14 points on the board."

After Smith left with a knee injury midway through the second quarter, Charles came on to lead Kansas City with 106 yards on 18 carries - the first 100-yard rushing game of his career - but he also fumbled in the fourth quarter, setting up Graham's touchdown pass to Smith.

"I tried to do too much instead of trying to just run the ball," Charles said. "I tried to stiff-arm him and I had my

left arm loose. (Tanard Jackson) tried to make a tackle, but he got his hand on the ball and it just broke loose."






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    Buccaneers 30, Chiefs 27  FinalNov 5 3:48 PM
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    Buccaneers 30, Chiefs 27  FinalNov 2 9:07 PM
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    Buccaneers 27, Chiefs 27  OT - 11:37Nov 2 4:30 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH
    --- --- --- ---
    TAMPA BAY 0 13 0 14
    KANSAS CITY 14 10 0 3
    OT TOTAL
    --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 30
    KANSAS CITY 0 27 FINAL IN OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 7 YD PASS FROM TYLER
    THIGPEN (CONNOR

    Nov 2 4:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 34 YD
    TAMPA BAY 30
    KANSAS CITY 27 10:24 LEFT, 1ST OT

    Buccaneers 30, Chiefs 27  OT - 10:24Nov 2 4:30 PM
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    END, 4TH QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 13 0 14 27
    KANSAS CITY 14 10 0 3 27 GOING INTO OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 7 YD PASS FROM TYLER
    THIGPEN (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 6:41.
    Drive: 12 plays, 69 yards in 6:41.
    Key plays: Thigpen 11-yard pass to
    Gonzalez to Kansas City 42;

    Nov 2 4:21 PM


  • NFL
    END, 4TH QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 13 0 14 27
    KANSAS CITY 14 10 0 3 27 GOING INTO OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 7 YD PASS FROM TYLER
    THIGPEN (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 6:41.
    Drive: 12 plays, 69 yards in 6:41.
    Key plays: Thigpen 11-yard pass to
    Gonzalez to Kansas City 42;

    Nov 2 4:16 PM
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    Buccaneers 27, Chiefs 27  End of Reg.Nov 2 4:16 PM


  • NFL
    TAMPA BAY 27
    KANSAS CITY 27 0:14 LEFT, 4TH QTR
    KAN BALL ON KAN 33 YD LINE
    1ST AND 10

    Buccaneers 27, Chiefs 27  4th - 0:14Nov 2 4:14 PM
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    FG KAN
    CONNOR BARTH 28 YD
    TAMPA BAY 19
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    Buccaneers 19, Chiefs 27  4th - 7:38Nov 2 3:45 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    ALEX SMITH 3 YD PASS FROM EARNEST GRAHAM
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    TAMPA BAY 19
    KANSAS CITY 24 13:36 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers 19, Chiefs 24  4th - 13:36Nov 2 3:32 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 13 0 13
    KANSAS CITY 14 10 0 24 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 7 YD PASS FROM TYLER
    THIGPEN (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 6:41.
    Drive: 12 plays, 69 yards in 6:41.
    Key plays: Thigpen 11-yard pass to
    Gonzalez to Kansas City 42; K Smith

    Nov 2 3:23 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 43 YD
    TAMPA BAY 13
    KANSAS CITY 24 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 13, Chiefs 24  HalfNov 2 2:37 PM
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  • NFL
    TD TAM
    CLIFTON SMITH 97 YD KICKOFF RETURN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 10
    KANSAS CITY 24 2:01 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 10, Chiefs 24  2nd - 2:01Nov 2 2:21 PM


  • NFL
    FG KAN
    CONNOR BARTH 39 YD
    TAMPA BAY 3
    KANSAS CITY 24 2:13 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 3, Chiefs 24  2nd - 2:13Nov 2 2:18 PM
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    TD KAN
    TYLER THIGPEN 37 YD PASS FROM MARK BRADLEY
    (CONNOR BARTH KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 3
    KANSAS CITY 21 10:12 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 3, Chiefs 21  2nd - 10:12Nov 2 1:51 PM


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    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 25 YD
    TAMPA BAY 3
    KANSAS CITY 14 13:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 3, Chiefs 14  2nd - 13:04Nov 2 1:40 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    KANSAS CITY 14 14 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 7 YD PASS FROM TYLER
    THIGPEN (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 6:41.
    Drive: 12 plays, 69 yards in 6:41.
    Key plays: Thigpen 11-yard pass to
    Gonzalez to Kansas City 42; K Smith

    Nov 2 1:35 PM


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    TD KAN
    KOLBY SMITH 1 YD RUN
    (CONNOR BARTH KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 0
    KANSAS CITY 14 4:47 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers 0, Chiefs 14  1st - 4:47Nov 2 1:24 PM


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    TD KAN
    DWAYNE BOWE 7 YD PASS FROM TYLER THIGPEN
    (CONNOR BARTH KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 0
    KANSAS CITY 7 8:19 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers 0, Chiefs 7  1st - 8:19Nov 2 1:12 PM
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