LB Jamie Duncan's first career interception was one of the three picks by the Bucs' defense against the Jets
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead on Sunday against the New York Jets and took their first loss of the season. Come from behind victories against the Bucs are rare, and when they occur, they hurt.
So let's take a minute to look at some of the good things that happened on Sunday to ease the pain.
First of all, literally, the Bucs are not in much pain. Only three injuries were reported after the game from the Bucs' training room. TE Blake Spence suffered a right knee sprain early in the game and was on crutches afterwards. CB Floyd Young and WR Jacquez Green each incurred a left hamstring strain. Young's might be more significant, as he was forced to leave the game but Green remained in after the injury.
Here are a few other positive items from the game:
· FB Mike Alstott rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries. While that isn't near his career high, it was a career day for him. Why? Because with that effort, Alstott moved past both Ricky Bell (3,057 yards) and Reggie Cobb (3,061) into second place on the Bucs' all-time rushing chart. Alstott now has 3,090 and is behind only James Wilder (5,957).
· CB Ronde Barber scored his second touchdown of the season on a 37-yard interception return in the third quarter. He previously scored on a fumble return against Chicago on September 10. Barber is the first Buccaneer ever to have a touchdown on a punt return (at Chicago in 1998), an interception return and a fumble return.
· TE Dave Moore scored the Bucs' only offensive touchdown on an acrobatic play that might have been surprising if not for his reputation for stellar hands. Moore, who has 18 touchdowns in eight-year Buccaneer career, is now in sole possession of fifth place on the Bucs' all-time receiving TDs list.
· Already averaging an NFC-high 22.7 yards per catch coming into Sunday's game, WR Jacquez Green went 75 yards on his only catch against the Jets. That grab was the longest of both his and QB Shaun King's careers. Green's per-catch average is now 27.5 yards per reception in 2000, and while it is extremely early, it may be worth watching whether the third-year player can challenge the team record in that category. WR Kevin House set the mark with a 22.1-yard average in 1980.
· Though they lost the turnover battle against New York, the Bucs did manage three more interceptions, giving them seven on the season. Overall, the Bucs have forced 11 turnovers in four games and converted those takeaways into 38 points.
None of this, obviously, supercedes the game's result. That sting is likely to remain until at least next Sunday, when the Bucs travel to the nation's capital to take on the Washington Redskins.