RB Michael Pittman denies a tackle attempt by Miami's Lance Schulters
Last week, in introducing the second set of images in our Buccaneers.com Photo of the Year competition, we deviated from our original plans just a bit.
On a whim, we revealed that the shot of fullback Mike Alstott diving through a cauldron of Washington Redskin players for a touchdown was the leading vote-getter from the first set of photos in the contest. Originally, we had intended to reveal all of the finalists at the end, after you had chosen the 10 best shots from an original group of 50.
There will be no such deviation this week, but we will offer a clue. While Alstott's dive, captured dramatically by team photographers during that thrilling November afternoon, blew away the competition from the first group of 10 photos, the second group instigated a neck-and-neck finish between two preferred shots. What was so entertaining about the competition for your votes is that one of your favorites captured a critical moment of the season on the field while the other was a far more quiet, introspective shot.
Together, they represented two aspects of NFL football that we cherish as fans: The thrilling action and the undeniable emotion. Buccaneer photographers were there to catch them both. If that hint is strong enough to tell you which two photos from group two will be moving on to the finals, then so be it. (Click here to take another look at Group Two).
Now it's time to move on to Group Three. If you loved Alstott's dive from the first week and the clash of styles from the second week, we think you're going to be blown away by the 10 shots that constitute our third set in the competition. As usual, you will be choosing the two finalists from that set by participating in the fan poll to the right. After the five photo groups have been put to a vote and the 10 finalists have been determined, your votes will also decide the Buccaneers.com 2005 Photo of the Year.
Click here to launch the slideshow for this week's images.
If you've been waiting for the now-famous shot of Edell Shepherd's game-winning touchdown catch in that same November Redskins game, wait no longer. It's in there.
But that's not all. You'll see Shelton Quarles pop his lid and Simeon Rice pop Mark Brunell. You'll see Caddy and Pitt breaking away, and Ronde Barber swooping in at just the right moment.
As with each group of photos, you'll also see another side of the game, moments from the sidelines or the locker room or the stands to which Buccaneer photographers have often exclusive access. This week, you'll go inside a huddle, and run up close to a game-ending celebration.
Once again, it's your choice. As the Photo of the Year competition moves along, we find ourselves closer to identifying the best shot of the season. Please help us make that choice.