for this game

Barber brothers face off Sunday

Oct 24, 2006 - 9:36 PM Tampa Bay (2-4) at NY Giants (4-2) Sunday 1:00 pm EST

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The Manning Bowl was staged at Giants Stadium on September 10. Now it's time for the Barber Bowl.

Twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber will face off on Sunday when the New York Giants host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tiki, a two-time Pro Bowl running back who has spent his entire 10-year career with the Giants, leads the NFL in rushing with 647 yards this season.

But Ronde, a three-time Pro Bowl cornerback who has spent his entire 10-year career with the Buccaneers, actually has two more touchdowns than Tiki this season. Both came on interception returns last week in a 23-21 victory over Philadelphia.

Along with the Pro Bowl trips to Honolulu, both have appeared in a Super Bowl. But only Ronde has a Super Bowl ring, earning it in 2002 when Tampa Bay beat Oakland.

Tiki would like to get a ring before he retires. This season will be his last chance. The Giants' all-time leading rusher announced last week that he would retire after the 2006 campaign to pursue other opportunities.

Major networks have expressed interest in Tiki's broadcasting talents. He already spends Tuesday mornings as a co-host of "Fox and Friends," a general news program on Fox News.

In 2005, Barber rushed for a career-high 1,860 yards and caught 54 passes for 530 yards. The combined 2,390 yards was the second-highest single-season total in league history. His 9,029 yards from scrimmage since 2002 is the most in the NFL.

Tiki has rushed for 9,447 yards and is second in franchise history with 554 receptions for 4,930 yards.

Ronde is not contemplating retirement. He signed a five-year contract worth $24 million last August.

Ronde is best known for being the only cornerback in NFL history with 20 career interceptions and 20 sacks. In 135 games, Ronde has 30 interceptions, including 10 in 2001, and 20 sacks to go with five touchdowns.

Last week, Ronde picked off Donovan McNabb twice and scored on returns of 37 and 66 yards.

Since being drafted out of Virginia in 1997, the brothers have met four times with the Bucs winning three of them. The last meeting was held in November 2003 at Tampa Bay - a 19-13 victory for the Bucs.

The last matchup between the Barber brothers will not get the same attention as the first meeting between quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning. The Giants lost that sibling battle, falling to the Indianapolis Colts, 26-21.

New York has won three in a row to take over first place in the NFC East and has its next three contests at home.

Last Monday, Tiki rushed for 114 yards on 27 carries and Eli Manning threw for a pair of touchdowns to lead the Giants to a 36-22 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

But it was the defense that put on a prime time performance, recording six sacks, four interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and a safety as they flustered quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo.

Perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan recorded two of the sacks, linebacker LaVar Arrington tackled Bledsoe in the end zone for a safety and rookie Kevin Dockery sealed the win when he returned an interception of a pass by Romo 96 yards for a touchdown with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter.

Strahan tied Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor's club record with 132 1/2 career sacks.

However, Arrington tore his left Achilles tendon while fighting off a block in the second quarter and will miss the rest of the season.

After losing their first four games of the season, the Bucs posted home wins over Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

Last week's victory bordered on the miraculous. Matt Bryant, who had never made longer than a 50-yard field goal, boomed a 62-yarder as time expired to give the Buccaneers the victory.

Bryant's kick that sailed over the crossbar with room to spare only has been bested by 63-yard field goals by Tom Dempsey on November 8, 1970 and Jason Elam on October 25, 1998.

Bryant actually started his NFL career with the Giants in 2002. In two years with New York, he never converted a field goal more than 47 yards.

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