The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played two overtime games in 2014 and possessed the football for exactly one snap.
On Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 19-13, in overtime after rookie linebacker Anthony Barr returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the extra period. In Week Five, Tampa Bay lost in overtime at New Orleans, 37-31, when the Saints took the opening possession down the field for a touchdown. Both games have contributed to a 1-6 start for the Buccaneers in 2014.
Rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins experienced the highs and lows of NFL football within a few minutes of each other. It was his touchdown catch – the first of his professional career – that put Tampa Bay ahead, 13-10, with two minutes to play. And it was his fumble on a 10-yard catch to start overtime that led to the final six points.
Seferian-Jenkins was stoic about the turn of events as he took the blame for the game's decisive play.
"I fumbled the ball," he said. "[Barr] made a great play, took it to the house, I should have secured the ball better. No excuse; I've got to hold onto the ball better than that. We lost the game and you were the last person to touch the ball on the team, so obviously it's upsetting when you know you can have control of it. It's really unfortunate because we were playing really hard and we were doing a great job. It's unfortunate I fumbled the ball. I have to have better ball security."
The extra period was necessitate by a nine-play, 61-yard field goal drive directed by rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater in the last 122 seconds of regulation. Tampa Bay's defense had held Bridgewater and the visiting team to 271 yards and 10 points through the first 58 minutes but couldn't finish out the game.
"We let another one go," said cornerback Alterraun Verner, who broke up two passes and also had eight tackles and one of the Bucs' six tackles for loss. "Overall the team played so much better this week than we had in the previous weeks, but at the end of the day we didn't get the 'W.' It hurts, especially being a home game. We had an opportunity where had the lead and a chance to win the game, so it's frustrating."
The Vikings' rally and overtime win negated an impressive 13-point comeback by the Buccaneers in the fourth quarter. Rookie kicker Patrick Murray hit field goals of 54 and 45 yards, putting the home team in position to take the late lead on Seferian-Jenkins' seven-yard touchdown catch. What looked like it might be the winning drive covered 71 yards on nine plays and included a tough one-yard run by RB Mike James on fourth-and-one from the Vikings' eight.
The longest play on that drive was an acrobatic 23-yard catch by rookie WR Mike Evans on the left sideline. Evans also started the second field goal drive with a 40-yard catch on the first play of the possession, and he finished with a team-high 78 yards on four grabs.
QB Mike Glennon, starting for the first time in a game in which opening-day starter Josh McCown was healthy and among the active-player list, completed 19 of 28 passes for 171 yards, one TD and one interception. He was sacked five times for the second game in a row and also threw an interception in the first quarter on a deep attempt to Evans.
As has become something of a trademark, Glennon was calmly efficient late in the game with the outcome on the line. He was helped by a defense that got two big fourth-quarter three-and-outs but did not produce a single turnover.
"We stuck together, unlike some other games were things started turning bad and seemed to snowball," said Verner. "They got up 10-0 but we told each other on defense that we had to keep on getting three-and-outs and give our offense a chance. At that point, that was all we could do: Give the offensive a chance, and the offense responded. They made plays and got us the lead. We took it on our backs as a defense to try to get them the ball as much as we could."
Overall, however, the offense struggled for much of the day, producing just 225 total yards and 15 first downs. The rushing attack was good for just 66 yards and played much of the second half without starter Doug Martin after he suffered an ankle injury. Backup Bobby Rainey gained 25 yards on eight carries but was more effective in the passing game with six catches for 41 yards. Most notably, Tampa Bay's offense converted on only one of 12 third down attempts, none in the second half.
Photos from the first half of Buccaneers vs. Vikings at Raymond James Stadium.
LB Lavonte David was all over the field for the Buccaneers' defense, recording his third straight 14-tackle game and adding three tackles for loss. It was his stop in the backfield at the Vikings' two-yard line late in the third quarter that forced a punt and set up a 15-yard field goal drive for the Bucs' first points. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who signed a seven-year contract extension with the team on Saturday, split the Bucs' lone sack with DT Clinton McDonald.
Neither team scored in the opening quarter, though the Vikings did get off a 56-yard field goal attempt. K Blair Walsh who had made 15 of his first 18 tries from 50 yards or farther in his career gave his kick enough distance but hooked it left. The first score of the game didn't come until the final seconds of the half, in fact, as Walsh hit a 46-yard field goal for a 3-0 Vikings lead. Each team had six drives in the first half but none of them reached the opposing end zone and much of the action took place around midfield.
The Bucs' defense prevented the Vikings from taking a bigger lead by consistently getting off the field on third down. Minnesota was just one of six on third-down tries in the first half, despite the fact that five of those six attempts were from five yards away or less. Unfortunately, the Vikings' defense was just as strong, allowing only one of seven third-down tries and holding the Bucs' offense to 72 first-half yards. Tampa Bay's running game was serviceable, with 47 yards, but the passing attack generated just 25 net yards and Glennon was sacked twice. Minnesota also had the only takeaway of the opening half, a Captain Munnerlyn interception on an attempted deep ball to Evans.
The first touchdown of the game also belonged to the Vikings, as Bridgewater lofted a perfect pass over several Buc defenders to WR Greg Jennings for a 17-yard score midway through the third quarter. Tampa Bay's first points came in the first minute of the fourth quarter on a 54-yard field goal by rookie K Patrick Murray. The scoring drive was only 15 yards but it was set up by a punt that trapped the Vikings at their seven and a brilliant defensive series led by LB Lavonte David's tackle-for-loss at the two.
A 40-yard completion by Glennon to Evans started the next drive and got the Bucs into Minnesota territory, but the drive stalled and the Bucs had to settle for Murray's 46-yard shot and a 10-6 deficit with seven minutes to play.
Below is a more detailed look at how the game unfolded, drive by drive.
The Bucs got the ball first and got a good start when Martin ran threw a big hole to get seven yards on first down. Martin had to do most of it by himself on second down, but he eluded a potential tackle in the backfield and leaped past the line for a first down. Glennon's first pass of the game was a well-timed curl on the right sideline to Evans. A third-down screen pass to Bobby Rainey worked perfectly but DT Sharrif Floyd just clipped Rainey's heel from behind to leave him a few inches short near midfield. The Bucs went for it and got a new set of downs on Glennon's sneak, but two plays later the Bucs committed the game's first turnover. Glennon bought time with a good play-action rollout, but his deep pass to Evans came up short and was intercepted by Munnerlyn at the Vikings' 15.
Minnesota's first play was also a successful run, a 14-yard sweep right by McKinnon. Bridgewater's first pass zipped between several Buc defenders to Patterson for a 15-yard gain to the Vikings' 44. The Bucs' front line brought good pressure on a third-and-two near midfield but Bridgewater escaped and just got past the sticks for a first down. The Bucs stopped Minnesota's next third-and-two, however, forcing the Vikings to send strong-legged kicker Blair Walsh out for a 56-yard field goal try. Walsh had the distance but hooked it left.
The Bucs thus took over at their own 46 and got over midfield on a two-yard pass to Martin and his three-yard run on second down. Glennon looked to Evans over the middle on third-and-three and hit him with a short, hard pass for enough to move the chains. A false start and a pass disrupted by Everson Griffen's near-sack left the Bucs in a third-and-12 at the Vikings' 45.
Marcus Sherels fair caught Michael Koenen's 22-yard punt at the Vikings' 23 and two penalties on the Bucs' defense helped them get out to the 33. The first quarter came to an end during this possession, and a minute into the second quarter the Vikings faced a third-and-two just over the midfield stripe. Good pressure off the right edge forced Bridgewater into a hurried incompletion. The Vikings lined up to go for it on fourth down but the Bucs called a timeout. It's likely Minnesota was simply trying to draw an offside penalty, because the Vikings then sent out their punting unit. Jeff Locke blasted his first punt of the day well into the end zone for a touchback.
Glennon hit Evans with a play-action pass to start the next drive but Evans couldn't hold on. A holding penalty erased an impromptu screen that Rainey took to the 40-yard line and made it third-and-17. A delay to Rainey fell short and the Bucs punted. Koenen's kick was downed at the Minnesota 39.
A quick pass out to Jennings on first down was a good call against a Buc blitz from that side and it was good for 11 yards. A great tackle by CB Alterraun Verner on a similar play to the other side resulted in a four-yard loss and helped lead to a third-and-four. McCoy blew that play up with a quick sack back at midfield. Locke's second punt also bounded into the end zone for a touchback.
The Bucs tried an end-around to rookie WR Robert Herron to start the next drive but a neck tackle by Griffen stopped it for no gain. A third-and-seven pass attempt to TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins was well-defended by rookie LB Anthony Barr and broken up. Minnesota got the ball back at its own 40.
LB Danny Lansanah trapped McKinnon for a loss of three on a first-down sweep. The Vikings faced a third-five two plays later but David closed quickly on RB Matt Asiata on a short pass to force another punt. This one was fair caught by Holliday at the Bucs' 13 with five minutes left in the half.
Photos from the second half of Buccaneers vs. Vikings at Raymond James Stadium.
The Bucs' offense went three-and-out, as Glennon's scramble to the sideline on third-and-six came up a yard short. A false start before the punt cost them five yards but the Vikings also held on the return and that erased a long run-back by Sherels. From the Viking 35, Bridgewater had his first-down pass tipped at the line. His third-and-nine pass was incomplete, too, but the Vikings' drive was prolonged by a defensive-holding call on the other side of the field. Bridgewater went deep for the first time on the next play but his pass was well short of WR Charles Johnson. Verner nearly intercepted it but Johnson did a good job of breaking it up. A short pass over the middle to Asiata gained nine on third-and-10 as the two-minute warning arrived. The Vikings appeared to be lining up to go for it but sent out the punt team after the break. The Bucs barely averted disaster when Holliday muffed the punt but was able to fall on the loose ball just before a swarm of Vikings arrived.
Glennon was sacked twice on that drive and the Bucs had to punt again. Koenen got off a fine 50-yard kick that was fair caught at the Minnesota 34, but two completions over the middle to TE Chase Ford got the Vikings into scoring territory. Bridgewater threw one more short pass to Patterson, then spiked the ball with five seconds left. Walsh came on to try a 46-yarder and easily banged it home as time expired.
The Vikings got the ball to start the second half after a touchback and ran twice, but another tackle-for-loss by David left them in a third-and-seven hole. A quick slant to Johnson did the trick, picking up 12 yards. Johnson got open down the middle on the next play but Bridgewater's throw was too long. McKinnon found a hole up the middle on the next play and zipped through it for 14 yard to the Vikings' 49. Three incompletions followed, as DE Jacquies Smith blew one up with a speed rush around the left edge and Verner broke up the third-down throw to Adam Thielen.
A run and a screen to Martin canceled each other out and left the Bucs in a third-and-11 at their own seven on the ensuing drive. Glennon didn't have much time to throw but did get off a deep out in Jackson's direction that fell incomplete. A 51-yard punt by Koenen, a good tackle by LB Orie Lemon and a holding penalty on the Vikings at least flipped the field position, pushing it back to the Minnesota 37.
Two McKinnon runs got the ball across midfield, and then McKinnon got free on a tackle-breaking 28-yard run down to the Bucs' 21. Two plays later, the Vikings faced a third-and-six at the Bucs' 17 and this one Bridgewater converted, throwing a beautiful touch pass to Jennings in the back of the end zone for a 10-0 Minnesota lead.
A fantastic second-effort by Seferian-Jenkins on a sideline pass got one first down, and consecutive illegal contact and facemask penalties moved the ball one yard into Viking territory. The Bucs appeared to get into the red zone on a deep completion over the middle to Evans, but the play was erased by a holding call on T Anthony Collins. That led to a third-and-13 and Glennon was sacked before he could get off a pass. Though the drive stalled, the ensuing punt pinned Minnesota at its own seven.
After DT Akeem Spence stopped Asiata for no gain, David swept through on second down for a five-yard TFL back at the two-yard line. The Vikings played it safe with a draw play and David dropped Asiata back at the original line of scrimmage. Locke's punt rolled out of bounds one yard past midfield.
A dumpoff over the middle to Rainey was good for a quick 11 yards, but a sweep just got one yard as the third quarter came to an end. The drive stalled at the Vikings 36 but the Bucs still got three points on Murray's 54-yard blast.
The Vikings faced a quick third-and-five on the next drive and had a long play to Asiata erased by an offensive pass-interference call. Bridgewater then found Patterson on a 28-yarder on third-and-15 but the Bucs challenged the ruling as Patterson appeared to double-clutch the ball as he stepped out of bounds. The challenge failed and the Vikings had a first down at their own 43. Two incompletions later it was third-and-10 and Bridgewater did it again, dropping a pass just over Johnthan Banks to Patterson on the other sideline for 15 yards. The Bucs finally got the third-down stop they needed three plays later when Jacquies Smith hit Bridgewater's arm as he threw.
After a touchback, the Bucs struck with their first big play of the game, as Glennon hit Evans down the right sideline for a 40-yard gain to the Vikings' 40. Two plays later, a crossing route to Rainey was good for 11 more and a first down at the 29. Unfortunately, it was third-and-nine two plays later and a screen to Rainey didn't work, leading to a 46-yard field goal by Murray.
The Bucs' defense got the quick stop it needed on the next drive, with a third-down pass deflection by DE Will Gholston getting them off the field. Holliday's 17-yard return of a booming 59-yard punt put the ball at the 29 with 5:40 to play.
A sharp pass between defenders on a second-down slant to Jackson moved the chains to the Bucs' 42. A great catch over two defenders by Evans gained 23 yards to the Vikings' 26. A pass interference penalty made it first down at the 17. It was third-and-three at the 10 when the Bucs ran Rainey up the middle and he came up a yard short. After a Vikings' timeout, the Bucs went for it on fourth down and Mike James gained just enough to move the sticks. On the next play, Glennon found Seferian-Jenkins for the go-ahead touchdown.
Bridgewater's most important drive as a pro to this point began with a pass interference call against Verner. He got the ball to midfield with two short passes over the middle to Patterson and then found Jarius Wright for 17 yards to get the ball into field goal territory. A 12-yard completion to Ford made the field goal attempt much shorter for Walsh, who knocked it home from 38 yards to tie the game and set up the defensive score in overtime.Game Notes:**
- The Buccaneers declared the following seven players inactive before Sunday's game: QB Mike Kafka, S Keith Tandy, CB Brandon Dixon, LB Brandon Magee, LB Jonathan Casillas, G Kadeem Edwards and T Kevin Pamphile. Magee and Casillas were out due to injury.
- The Vikings declared the following seven players inactive: FB Zach Line, LB Gerald Hodges, LB Brandon Watts, G Vladimir Ducasse, G David Yankey, TE Kyle Rudolph and De Scott Crichton. Hodges, Ducasse and Rudolph were out due to injury.
- Buccaneers rookie K Patrick Murray blasted a 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the Bucs' first points of the game. With 50 and 55-yarders already on his ledger this year, that made Murray three-for-three on tries of 50 or more. Murray is the only kicker in the NFL who has made at least three 50 -yard field goals without a miss this season.