Buccaneers
Lions
38 - 20 Final
  for this game

Buccaneers rally to rout winless Lions

Nov 24, 2008 - 12:13 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Even after spotting the NFL's worst team a big lead, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers once again found a way to win.

Jeff Garcia threw two touchdowns, Warrick Dunn gained 127 yards from scrimmage and the resilient Buccaneers erased a 17-point deficit Sunday to crush the winless Detroit Lions, 38-20.

It was the fifth victory in the last six games for Tampa Bay (8-3), which has made a habit of falling behind in recent weeks.

"This team is very resilient," Dunn said. "I think we've proved to ourselves that we can come from behind and win games, but I think people are going to take notice that this team is always going to fight."

One week after rallying from a 24-3 deficit to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buccaneers overcame a 13-6 halftime hole to beat the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.

Seven days later, the Bucs faced a 17-0 first-quarter deficit against the dismal Lions (0-11), the NFL's only remaining winless team.

"We can't fall behind 24-3 or 17-0 and expect to beat an NFL football team, and that is something that we got to take a look at," Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said. "But what a real credit to our team and their ability to block that out and keep playing."

The veteran combination of the 38-year-old Garcia and the 33-year-old Dunn, coupled with Tampa Bay's opportunistic defense, helped the Buccaneers scored 35 consecutive points to turn this contest into a laugher.

Garcia completed 13-of-18 passes for 165 yards while Dunn, starting in place of the injured Earnest Graham, rushed for 90 yards and hauled in five receptions for 37 yards.

"I feel like we do a pretty good job, especially on the offensive line," Garcia said. "They have done a great job throughout the season of keeping guys off of my back, and I have been doing good about getting the ball out of my hands."

Dunn got Tampa Bay on the board with his second TD of the season, a 13-yard run with 11:19 remaining in the second quarter.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Bucs drew within 17-14 when Garcia capped a nine-play drive with a 36-yard scoring strike to Ike Hilliard with 4:40 left in the first half.

"(Hilliard) was in the right place at the right time and created a big play for us to allow us to somewhat climb back into the ballgame," Garcia said.

Tampa Bay got the ball back less than two minutes later when cornerback Ronde Barber intercepted Daunte Culpepper at the Detroit 24-yard line.

Garcia gave the Bucs the lead for good on the following play, finding tight end Jerramy Stevens for a 24-yard TD to make it 21-17.

The Buccaneers tacked on two more touchdowns early in the third quarter. The first came courtesy of rookie Clifton Smith, who scored on a 70-yard punt return 3 1/2 minutes into the second half to make it 28-17.

Just 2 1/2 minutes later, Barber intercepted Culpepper again and scored on a 65-yard return.

"We've proved to be a gritty team," Barber said. "We've proved that we can show a lot of character and come back when we're down, especially on the road."

The contest also marked the return of Tampa Bay running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, who had not played since suffering a season-ending knee injury 14 months ago.

Williams ran for 27 yards on 16 carries.

"I was happy for (Williams)," Dunn said. "He's a guy who has come a long way, and to have an opportunity to watch him run and just get a feel. I think it's great - it's positive."

Calvin Johnson had three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Lions, who moved a step closer to completing the NFL's first winless season since the 1976 Buccaneers.

Detroit got off to a surprisingly good start in this one, taking a 7-0 lead on Culpepper's 15-yard TD to Johnson and doubling the advantage when Daniel Bullocks recovered Garcia's fumble and scored on a 44-yard return.

The Lions went ahead, 17-0, on Jason Hanson's 38-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.

"We had a lead and then we had some very basic breakdowns," Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. "We gave up two big plays and you just can't do that. It is just some basic things."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 21 14 3 38
    DETROIT 17 0 3 0 20 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DET - TD, CALVIN JOHNSON 15 YD PASS FROM
    DAUNTE CULPEPPER (JASON HANSON
    KICK), 8:53. Drive: 7 plays, 71
    yards in 3:23. Key plays: Culpepper
    8-yard pass to Fitzsimmons on
    3rd-and-5 to Detroit

    Nov 23 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 48 YD
    TAMPA BAY 38
    DETROIT 20 12:48 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers 38, Lions 20  4th - 12:48Nov 23 3:43 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 21 14 35
    DETROIT 17 0 3 20 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DET - TD, CALVIN JOHNSON 15 YD PASS FROM
    DAUNTE CULPEPPER (JASON HANSON
    KICK), 8:53. Drive: 7 plays, 71
    yards in 3:23. Key plays: Culpepper
    8-yard pass to Fitzsimmons on
    3rd-and-5 to

    Nov 23 3:34 PM


  • NFL
    FG DET
    JASON HANSON 40 YD
    TAMPA BAY 35
    DETROIT 20 2:43 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers 35, Lions 20  3rd - 2:43Nov 23 3:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    RONDE BARBER 65 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 35
    DETROIT 17 9:01 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers 35, Lions 17  3rd - 9:01Nov 23 3:12 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    CLIFTON SMITH 70 YD PUNT RETURN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 28
    DETROIT 17 11:31 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers 28, Lions 17  3rd - 11:31Nov 23 2:52 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 21 21
    DETROIT 17 0 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DET - TD, CALVIN JOHNSON 15 YD PASS FROM
    DAUNTE CULPEPPER (JASON HANSON
    KICK), 8:53. Drive: 7 plays, 71
    yards in 3:23. Key plays: Culpepper
    8-yard pass to Fitzsimmons on
    3rd-and-5 to Detr

    Nov 23 2:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    JERRAMY STEVENS 24 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 21
    DETROIT 17 3:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 21, Lions 17  2nd - 3:00Nov 23 2:09 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    IKE HILLIARD 36 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 14
    DETROIT 17 4:40 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 14, Lions 17  2nd - 4:40Nov 23 2:02 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Buccaneers 7, Lions 17  2nd - 11:19Nov 23 1:49 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    WARRICK DUNN 13 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 7
    DETROIT 17 11:19 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 7, Lions 17  2nd - 11:19Nov 23 1:46 PM
  • 10
    roots
    Shaggy Added 5 roots

    Buccaneers 0, Lions 17  End of 1stNov 23 1:41 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    DETROIT 17 17 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DET - TD, CALVIN JOHNSON 15 YD PASS FROM
    DAUNTE CULPEPPER (JASON HANSON
    KICK), 8:53. Drive: 7 plays, 71
    yards in 3:23. Key plays: Culpepper
    8-yard pass to Fitzsimmons on
    3rd-and-5 to

    Nov 23 1:39 PM


  • NFL
    FG DET
    JASON HANSON 38 YD
    TAMPA BAY 0
    DETROIT 17 0:11 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers 0, Lions 17  1st - 0:11Nov 23 1:37 PM


  • NFL
    TD DET
    DANIEL BULLOCKS 44 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (JASON HANSON KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 0
    DETROIT 14 4:40 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers 0, Lions 14  1st - 4:40Nov 23 1:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD DET
    CALVIN JOHNSON 15 YD PASS FROM DAUNTE CULPEPPER
    (JASON HANSON KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 0
    DETROIT 7 6:07 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers 0, Lions 7  1st - 6:07Nov 23 1:20 PM
  • 5
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Buccaneers vs. LionsNov 23 7:43 AM