The Miami Dolphins were down 17 points and able to rally to win against the Atlanta Falcons. The Buccaneers were down 31-0 in the third quarter to the Cardinals and lost their starting quarterback Jameis Winston for the game with a shoulder injury. The Bucs still rallied to lose only 38-33.
Week Six Tampa Bay Buccaneers Takeaways
Ryan Fitzpatrick Rescues Game From Disaster
Even though the Buccaneers lost Winston, the offense actually played better once Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game. Fitzpatrick threw his patented two interceptions in the second half, but the Buccaneers still retained momentum by outscoring Arizona 27-7 in the fourth quarter. Fitzpatrick really established a rhythm with Adam Humphries for six catches and 51 receiving yards. He also got Doug Martin off for a 27-yard run. He threw a touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, one touchdown to Cameron Brate and a 37-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans. That was the last touchdown, which made the score 38-33. The Buccaneers couldn’t recover the onside kick and couldn’t stop the clock with no timeouts and two minutes remaining. Fitzpatrick finished with 290 passing yards.
Play of the Game Came From a Punter
Many stars showed up for this game and performed as expected, but the play that decided the outcome of the game was executed by Arizona’s punter Andy Lee. Lee dropped a 40-yard punt at the Tampa Bay one-yard line. With the offense backed up, Fitzpatrick threw an interception to Tramon Williams, which was Fitzpatrick’s second of the game. The Cardinals had the ball on the one-yard line of the Buccaneers and capitalized on the fatality with ease as newly acquired running back Adrian Peterson ran it in for a touchdown. The Buccaneers had scored 20 unanswered points prior to allowing that touchdown. The Cardinals went up 38-20.
Team of Young Stars No Match For Vets
The reason that the Buccaneers had little chance to win this game was because they couldn’t stop Carson Palmer, Peterson or especially Larry Fitzgerald. Palmer had maybe his best game of the season as he completed 18 of 22 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Palmer completed his first 13 passes before his first incompletion came on his only interception to Brent Grimes in the third quarter.
Peterson (and the rest of the Cardinals) seemed rejuvenated with a second breath of life with the Cardinals. Confident that he was the starter without having to split his carries between two other running backs, Peterson ran with the fury that’s made him a future Hall of Famer for 11 seasons. The style translated to 134 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on 26 carries.
The Buccaneers had even more trouble with another future Hall of Famer in Fitzgerald. The Buccaneers tried every trick and matchup they could think of to stop him. At one point, the only thing Vernon Hargreaves, who’s 5’10”, could do was draw a pass interference call on Fitzgerald, who stands at 6’3″. Fitzgerald had ten catches for 138 yards and one touchdown.