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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When Bucs turned “kneel down” into controversy with Giants

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Jim O'Connor-USA Today
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Back again is the premier historian of Tampa Bay Buccaneers football, Paul Stewart of BucPower.com in London. And, this week, he looks back on a controversial moment at the end of the Bucs 2012 game at the Giants.

The Bucs and Giants meet for the 22nd team in regular season play on Sunday with the team from the Big Apple holding a 14-7 advantage. They also met in January 2008, when the wild-card Giants upset the Bucs on their way to a Super Bowl success over New England. The Buccaneers have not been back to the post-season since that day.

But in 2012, the two teams met at Met Life Stadium in a game that would have far-reaching implications across the NFL because of one meaningless play at the end of the 60 minutes.

This was the day when Eli Manning, already announced as being the No.2 QB to rookie Daniel Jones this Sunday, passed for over 500 yards and racked up 604 yards of total offense to set an all-time record against the Buccaneers. He had three touchdown passes as the hometown Giants rallied from a 27-13 third quarter deficit.

WRs Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks both had over 175 yards receiving and Buccaneer defensive backs including this weekend’s Ring of Honor nominee Ronde Barber, were left scorched across the Met Life field as Manning picked them apart after half-time. “He’s good. What can I say?” Barber said. “Numbers don’t lie. I’ve watched and seen too many Giants games to feel like you’re comfortable with this guy. He’s made a career of it.”

But the controversy in the game came in the final seconds as the Giants attempted to run the clock out by having Manning kneel on the ball. Instead of accepting the snap in the traditional way, Coach Greg Schiano ordered his players to charge the snap in an attempt to force a fumble. Players squared up to each other in the ensuing melee and Giants’ coach Tom Couglin was incandescent with rage over the incident.

Coughlin approached Schiano (above) after the game with his finger pointed, walked away then returned to yell at him for about 15 seconds before shaking his hand. “I don’t think you do that at this level,” Coughlin said. “I don’t think you do that in this league.”

“I don’t know if that’s not something that’s done in the National Football League,” Schiano said. “What I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us game over. And there’s nothing dirty about it. There’s nothing illegal about it. If people watched Rutgers, they would know that’s what we do at the end of a game.”

Manning called it a “cheap shot.” “We do what we’re coached,” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “Leave it at that.”

At least this weekend many of the protagonists will not be on the field. Coughlin and Schiano are out of coaching, Manning will be on the sidelines whilst Barber will see his name unveiled amongst other Buccaneer greats at Raymond James Stadium.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs-Winston overcome miscues to win third straight

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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It wasn’t easy and there were plenty of self-inflicted mistakes, but the Bucs found a way to come from behind, and defeat the Colts for a third consecutive victory Sunday.

Tampa Bay turned the ball over four times and found themselves trailing by double-figure twice, but QB Jameis Winston threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman with under four minutes to play and the Buccaneers defense held up to improve their record to 6 – 7.

On a day in which Winston threw for a career-high 456 yards, it actually started horribly This as, he threw an interception, once again, on the opening possession of the game. Darius Leonard’s pick  led to a Jacoby Brissett 48 yard touchdown to Marcus Williams and a quick 7-0 lead. It was the third time in five games that Winston has thrown an int on the first Bucs drive.

Winston threw another interception later in the second quarter that was returned by Leonard 80 yards for a score and the Colts led 24-14.

Undaunted, Winston continued to gun-sling finishing 456 yards passing for a career-high yardage and four touchdowns, including a second half score to reserve receiver Justin Watson. And then, he threw the eventual  game-winning 12 yarder to Perriman.

The Colts gave away two opportunities to potentially put the game away. First, when backup running back Nyheim Hines fumbled inside the Tampa Bay 20 with 10 minutes remaining, and then, later new rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin ,who replaced Adam Vinatieri who’s dealing with an injured knee, hit the right upright on 47 yard field goal that would have put in the Colts up by 7 late in the game.

Winston led the go-ahead drive from there, going 63 yards in eight plays and including converting a fourth down with a pass of 4 yards to Dare Ogunbawale. The touchdown to Perriman came on the very next play.

Tampa Bay stopped Brissett and the Colts on fourth down at midfiled with 1:45 remaining, when DE Jason Pierre Paul hit the QB’s arm. The ball fluttered in the air, Brissett caught it and then desperately and illegally tried to throw it a second time forward to another teammate. That pass was incomplete.

The Bucs ran out the clock for their second win at home this season.

The Buccaneers playoff hopes were dashed even in victory, though, as the Minnesota Vikings won their 10th game on Sunday. That means that even if the Buccaneers win out, they can no longer catch the Vikes in the NFC race.

Still, first year Bruce Arians team is certainly playing hard, and at the right times with three games to go

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs looking for three in row leads our primer

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Week 14 of the NFL sees two Florida teams at home and the other one facing a familiar foe in New York. The Bucs try to make it three wins in a row hosting the Colts, the Dolphins travel to play the Jets and the Jaguars have gone back to their rookie QB, while hosting the Chargers.

First in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers come off of back-to-back road wins, where they accumulated 11 sacks and six turnovers defeating Atlanta and Jacksonville. They will take on another AFC South opponent in the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are stumbling with three losses in their last four games and have fallen out of the AFC Wildcard picture for the moment.

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has played better over the course of the last two games, but returns to Raymond James Stadium, where he threw four interceptions it a loss to the Saints three weeks ago. Winston is working with two of the premier receivers in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (above) who both have over a thousand yards this season and look to have a big day today.

The Colts have had success this season with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and want to run the ball against what is the best run defense in the NFL, the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay must win to keep slim playoff hopes alive trying to get into a 9 – 7 tiebreaker in the NFC Playoff Picture.

Next, the Dolphins come off a euphoric 37 – 31 win over the Eagles at home for their third win of the season. DeVante Parker had his best game as a Dolphin catching three touchdown passes. And, Miami scored on a trick play that saw punter Matt Haack throw a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders. They now rematch AFC East rival the Jets who were humbled a week ago, as Cincinnati earned their first win of the season at their expense.

The Dolphins also defeated the Jets, and former coach Adam Gase, at home earlier this year

Finally in Jacksonville, the Jaguars have turned back to rookie QB Gardner Minshew. After three dismal offensive showings in a row under free agent Nick Foles, Minshew replaced him in the second half of last week. And, he sparked the Jaguars to a field goal and a touchdown in their 28 – 11 beat down by the Buccaneers.

The rookie did win four games in Foles’ absence due to his broken collarbone earlier this year. Fortunately for Jacksonville, the Chargers come in reeling having lost dramatically in Denver a week ago and questions are swirling whether it is the end of the tenure of Philip Rivers at quarterback.

Jacksonville’s defense is beaten up, including putting Myles Jack on injured reserve earlier this week with an injured kneed.

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