The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who brought a three-game winning streak at Raymond James Stadium into Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, fought and clawed for 60 minutes to keep that home dominance alive. In the end, the improvisational brilliance of QB Colin Kaepernick proved just a bit too much as the playoff-bound 49ers escaped with a 19 point victory.
Indeed, "escape" was the relevant word, as Kaepernick consistently scrambled away from Buccaneer pressure and either moved the chains with his feet or threw downfield on the run. Kaepernick ran for 42 yards and helped San Francisco convert six of 14 third down tries while also completing 19 of 29 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Glennon's 24-yard touchdown pass to TE Tim Wright on the first play of the fourth quarter completed a 92-yard drive that turned it into a one-score game at 20-14. However, the 49ers countered with a 77-yard field goal drive of their own that ate 10:27 off the clock and essentially put the game out of reach. An attempt to get back into it with a trick play on special teams backfired horribly when a fumbled exchange between Eric Page and Russell Shephard on the ensuing kickoff return turned into a San Francisco touchdown recovery.
Glennon also led an 80-yard touchdown drive just before halftime, culminating in an 11-yard strike to WR Vincent Jackson. However, the Buccaneers couldn't establish a running game and managed just 39 yards of offense on the day.
Tampa Bay, which will finish the season with road games in St. Louis and New Orleans, dropped to 4-10 on the season, though it has won four of its last six. The 49ers improved to 10-4.