The defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers came into Tampa Bay to take on the Bucs in their final home stand of the season. The Bucs game also celebrate the Day of Giving and Faith & Football concert event. Fans rolling into the stadium saw the Day of Giving efforts early as Raymond James Stadium was full of battle flags at every seat.
It's Gameday! Check out our preview, including injury reports, key matchups, and more: http://t.co/cUxagKqmCg #SFvsTB pic.twitter.com/YiNph7aQnm — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) December 15, 2013
Tampa Bay would have possession first on a drive that would stall early. The third down play did see a red flag on the field as the 49ers opted to challenge an incomplete pass. Pewter Report and former VP of Officiating Mike Pereira begin our commentary:
49ers are challenging the ruling on the field of an incomplete pass. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) December 15, 2013
In TB, in real-time it's a bang-bang play. They're NOT going to reverse that. — Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) December 15, 2013
The play stands and the Bucs punt. 49ers have it at the 38-yard-line to start. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) December 15, 2013
QB Colin Kaepernick made his presence felt on the first 49ers' drive, converting the first first-down on a nine-yard scramble before evading tackles for another big first-down run of 17 yards. Buccaneers.com Senior Writer Scott Smith joins in the conversation:
Colin Kaepernick's mobility on third down is a problem the Buccaneers will have to solve today. It's the difference on this drive, obviously — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) December 15, 2013
The first San Francisco drive of the game would result in the first points as Kaepernick found WR Michael Crabtree on second down from the four-yard line for his first receiving TD of the season. WFLA News updates the first quarter stats:
San Francisco scores first, lead Buccaneers 7-0 with 7:05 to play in 1st quarter. — WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) December 15, 2013
The Bucs would go three-and-out the next time they took the ball, but the defense stood up, putting together a huge series, called by multiple Twitter sources: First Down:
Adrian Clayborn with the sack - and that's saying something because Kaepernick saw him and was trying to sprint away. — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) December 15, 2013
Lavonte David stripped the ball but the ball sailed out of bounds. 49ers retain possession. — JoeBucsFan (@JoeBucsFan) December 15, 2013
Nice tackle by Mark Barron to bring Vernon Davis down two yards short of first down on third-and-7 grab. — Greg Auman (@gregauman) December 15, 2013
The Bucs took over at the 30-yard line. The drive would have one first down, but ultimately lead to a punt. As the first quarter wound to a close, the Bucs defense again held their ground against San Francisco with a big third-and-short tackle.
As was the case in the first 15-minute period, the Tampa Bay offense struggled to get thing started. The next drive would end with another punt.
San Francisco started from their own 44 on the next possession. They would travel into the Bucs' red zone and face third down. The defense again would stand with a huge play by Pro Bowl contender Gerald McCoy, forcing fourth down. Bucs Nation and Lakeland Ledger's Rick Brown give the updates:
Gerald McCoy with the sack to stop the 49ers in the red zone! His eighth on the year! — Sander Philipse (@Bucs_Nation) December 15, 2013
Lavonte David flushed Kap right into a waiting McCoy. Niners still get three after a 47-yard FG. 10-0 Niners. — Rick Brown (@LedgeronBucs) December 15, 2013
As the second quarter clock fell to two minutes, San Francisco held the ball, facing a first-and-10 from their 48-yard line.
On the first play out of the break, the 49ers would strike again. This time on a 52-yard bomb from Kaepernick to TE Vernon Davis. Users call the catch and a momentarily scary scene at the end of it all.
Colin Kaepernick's 52 yards strike to Vernon Davis couldn't gave been thrown better. Hit him in stride. 17-0 SF — Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) December 15, 2013
Vernon Davis 52-yard TD pass from Kaepernick...crashed into the end zone wall. Little slow to get up... — JennaLaineBucs (@JennaLaineBucs) December 15, 2013
Trailing 17-0 with time winding down, the Bucs offense marched onto the field again, this time stringing together their first sustained drive of the game.
A draw and two completions. Bucs are at 47 yard line. 59 seconds left. — Rick Brown (@LedgeronBucs) December 15, 2013
Bucs moving the ball well in two-minute offense -- out to their 47 with 0:59 left on three quick passes. — Greg Auman (@gregauman) December 15, 2013
TE Tim Wright would haul in a catch from QB Mike Glennon and a personal foul penalty on Donte Whitner would put the ball at the 11-yard line. Glennon and the offense would capitalize.
Solid 2:00 for Glennon. Throws a dart to Vincent Jackson for an 11-yard touchdown pass, capping off an 80-yard drive. 49ers still lead 17-7. — JennaLaineBucs (@JennaLaineBucs) December 15, 2013
Very good work by Bucs QB Mike Glennon in two-minute drill. Took what defense gave him, very accurate throws — Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) December 15, 2013
@TBBuccaneers, the official Twitter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shares the outlook at the half.
HALFTIME SF 17, TB 7 Wright: 4 catches, 43 yards Jackson: 1 TD David: 7 tackles McCoy & Clayborn: 1 sack each #SFvsTB pic.twitter.com/rKIF3VVQDU — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) December 15, 2013
The second half would start with a head-scratching series of events. LB Lavonte David would make a big hit on the ball-catcher and pop the ball into the air, catch it, run, celebrate, run again, then eventually find his way into the end zone for an apparent score. The play was negated because of offsides. This is what it looked like:
Bucs LB Lavonte David has a wild bobbling INT (eventually returned for a TD), but it's coming back on an offsides penalty. — Greg Auman (@gregauman) December 15, 2013
Lavonte David interception is negated due to an offsides call on McCoy. David was shaken up on the play. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) December 15, 2013
That one won't show up in Lavonte David's season stats, but it might have been his most ridiculous play of the season yet. — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) December 15, 2013
The Buccaneers would get the ball back via punt, before having to punt it back themselves. After a few plays with David still on the sidelines, Buccaneers fans collectively breathed a sigh of relief as the linebacker put his helmet one. Jenna Laine shares:
The 49ers would string together a drive, but more big plays and solid hits by the Buccaneers defense would force a Phil Dawson field goal attempt.
The teams would trade punts once again. Tom Krasniqi of WDAE shares the time and yard-line of the upcoming Buccaneers drive.
Down by two scores, the Bucs offense would again find success in the short passing game, cutting through the 49ers defense. The drive featured a 16-yard reception by Jackson. 7-yard by Wright, 6-yard by Underwood, 8-yard by Wright, 11-yard by Jackson. Scott Smith fills his audience in on the stats:
Mike Glennon is 7-for-8 for 65 yards on this critical drive. Ball at the Niners' 24 as the 4th quarter begins. — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) December 15, 2013
And is immediately forced to update himself as Glennon finds a wide-open Tim Wright in the end zone.
And now he's 8-9 for 89 yards after that 24-yard TD pass to Tim Wright. We've got a ball-game here folks! — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) December 15, 2013
Bucs make very good use of quick short passes before throwing down field for 24-yard TD pass to TE Tim Wright. SF 20-14 with 14:54 left — Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) December 15, 2013
The Bucs defense would face some bad news on the next series. ESPN's John Clayton updates:
Mark Barron of Bucs has a hamstring injury. return is questionable. — John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) December 15, 2013
As he had previously in the game, Kaepernick led the 49ers offense making incredible plays with his legs. To begin the fourth quarter, Kaepernick sustained a long drive with multiple scrambles keeping his team on the field. Once rolling out and finding time before hitting Crabtree, and again with a 10-yard third-down run.
Kaepernick escapes a sack and runs for the first down. 49ers have it at the Bucs' 19. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) December 15, 2013
On third-and-goal from the five, Kaepernick couldn't find the magic again, hitting his tight end who was immediately tackled by LB Dekoda Watson. But the damage had been done. A field goal made it a two-score game and San Francisco had successfully complied a 17-play 10:27 drive.
Thing would get worse for the Buccaneers on the ensuing kickoff return, which resulted directly into seven more 49ers' points.
Then there's this. Touchdown 49ers, after Bucs try a lateral on kickoff return, fumble it, and Kendall Hunter lands on it. Now 30-14, 49ers. — Greg Auman (@gregauman) December 15, 2013
Trying to catch up, the Buccaneers would fall incomplete on fourth down.
The Bucs turn the ball over on downs. Niners have it at Tampa Bay's 26-yard-line. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) December 15, 2013
San Francisco added three more to their lead as the clock clicked toward zero.
A tipped pass resulting in an interception would end the next Bucs drive and the 49ers would take a knee, ending the game.