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Rapid Reaction: Bills 24, Buccaneers 18

The Buccaneers fell to the Bills, 24-18 in Week Eight on the road


In Week Eight, the Buffalo Bills outlasted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-18. The Bucs fall to 3-4 on the season after third-down deficiencies on both sides of the football and penalties became the deciding factor against the Bills. Tampa Bay converted just four-of-15 attempts on third down and conversely, the Bills converted seven-of-13. Overall, the Bucs tallied 11 penalties for 74 yards and consistently put themselves behind the chains.

The Bucs punted on their opening offensive possession following an incompletion from Baker Mayfield to Cade Otton on third-and-15. On the following drive, the Bucs got a red zone stop. The unit came into the matchup with the best red-zone defense in the NFL, giving up touchdowns just 22% of the time and they continued the trend in Week Eight. Christian Izien tackled Stefon Diggs for no gain on third down, forcing a Tyler Bass 37-yard field goal. Chase McLaughlin attempted a 50-yard attempt on Tampa Bay's following drive, but Shaq Lawson blocked the kick.

The Bills moved down the field and early in the second quarter, the Bucs prevented another score. On fourth down, Jamel Dean broke up a pass from Josh Allen to Dalton Kincaid, forcing a turnover on downs. Tampa Bay followed suit with a quick three-and-out, putting the defense right back on the field and positive field position for Buffalo following a 44-yard punt to the Tampa Bay 47-yard line. The home team capitalized with a 13-yard touchdown rush by Josh Allen, capping off a five-play, 23-yard drive. The Bills converted on their third try in the red zone, extending their lead 10-0. On their fourth possession, the Bucs put points on the board. A 31-yard gain down the left sideline by Chris Godwin set up a McLaughlin 57-yard field goal.

The momentum shifted in the Bucs' favor on the following drive. Allen's pass intended for Kincaid was intercepted by defensive lineman William Gholston after safety Antoine Winfield Jr. blitzed and forced an errant pass. Two plays later, Godwin caught a three-yard pass and was in the end zone, tying it at 10 inside Highmark Stadium. The Bills, however, answered with a score of their own. Allen connected with Kincaid on a 22-yard score, putting the home team back in the lead. Before halftime, the Bucs tried to force the Bills offsides and instead took a delay of game penalty, voiding the field goal attempt. Buffalo held a 243-163-yard advantage heading into halftime.

Following the half, the Bills scored again. Gabe Davis became the catalyst on the drive for Buffalo and caught a pass from Allen in the back of the end zone to extend the Bills' lead, 24-10. Both teams then traded two back-to-back punts, respectively. Early in the fourth quarter on the Bills' ninth possession, Anthony Nelson helped stall the drive with a 10-yard sack on Allen. Todd Bowles loaded up the left side of the formation by initially putting Devin White alongside Nelson at the line to disguise. White dropped back and Nelson flew downhill, knocking down Allen to set up third-and-11.

Despite multiple penalties and back-to-back sacks on Mayfield, a facemask penalty bailed out the Bucs and kept their tenth drive alive. Mayfield connected with Mike Evans on a 24-yard score. Tampa Bay went for the two-point attempt and the ball was initially deflected, then bounced into Cade Otton's awaiting hands, making it a 24-18 ballgame. Despite the Bucs' late-game heroics, too many miscues and self-inflicted wounds sealed the visiting's team fate.

View the top photos of Tampa Bay's Week 8 matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills.

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