It was QB Josh Freeman’s third touchdown pass that sealed the win in overtime for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Carolina Panthers. Final score: 27-21. To celebrate the win, this game recap will be full of really bad pirate puns.
Even with an offense that wasn’t as sharp as usual, the Bucs managed to stay in the playoff race. Captain Freeman was 25 of 46 for 248 yards, and had five carries; he also had two interceptions. Luckily, his killer first mate, rookie Doug Martin had another banner day. Martin had 138 rushing yards and four receptions for 23 yards. Some of the guys over at ESPN suggest Martin would make an excellent choice for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Aye!
It looked to be the Panthers game late in the fourth quarter. But then Tampa Bay brought out the big guns. Bucs kicker Connor Barth hit a 40-yard field goal and then Freeman led Tampa Bay 80 yards on seven plays in just 50 seconds without any timeouts. Now that’s sailing through a storm! Captain finished the drive with a 24-yard throw to skipper Vincent Jones with 12 seconds left in the game. It took another throw to Jackson for the two point conversion to send the game into overtime.
A 15-yard touchdown throw from Freeman to Dallas Clark in OT gave the Bucs the “Land Ho!” call for the win.
Will it be smooth sailing when the (6-4) Buccaneers meet the division-leading Atlanta Falcons next Sunday? We shall see, matey.