Winning on the road in the NFL is difficult. Winning period under the leadership of a rookie head coach in the NFL is even more difficult. Add the first two factors in along with winning period in the league without two of your starting Pro-Bowl offensive guards, and any wins are remarkable. Somehow, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to dig deep during a lackluster afternoon and find a way to come out of Carolina with an exciting overtime win.
This current Buccaneers team has found a way to be very resilient this season. Adversity and injuries have not seemed to bother this current crop of Tampa Bay players. Rookie head coach Greg Schiano has this team prepared each and every game day and the next man up mentality is firmly in place. Schiano’s coaching concept was on display Sunday as the Buccaneers rallied from 11 points down against the Panthers with 6 minutes to go in order to force overtime, and then win the contest.
The Buccaneers came into this game red hot on offense. Tampa was scoring points at a franchise record pace. However, that record pace hit a speed bump as the Buccaneers took on their divisional foe, the Panthers. Despite only recording two wins this season, Carolina gave Tampa Bay everything they could muster on defense. QB Josh Freeman was called upon to rally the Buccaneers squad yet again in his short career.
With 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers scored a touchdown and then converted a 2-point conversion, sending the game into overtime. QB Josh Freeman overcame two interceptions early on and threw a perfect strike to Vincent Jackson for the two-point conversion after tossing a touchdown to Jackson. Freeman marched Tampa Bay down the field 80 yards in 50 seconds with no timeouts, despite being stuffed by the Panthers defense all afternoon.
This Buccaneers team shows some incredible resiliency. They now have recorded a 6-4 overall record and the major media outlets are talking all about the 5-5 New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys playoff hopes. In case no one noticed, the Atlanta Falcons barely escaped with another win at home against a very inferior opponent, the Arizona Cardinals. Tampa hosts Atlanta next Sunday in Tampa.
Could a 7-4 Buccaneers team garner some attention?