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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers 28, Broncos 10

The Buccaneers topped the Broncos in their Week Three contest, giving them just their second win at Mile High

Denver would start with the ball in their house as fans and cardboard cutouts from South Park looked on. The offense led by quarterback Jeff Driskel mustered one first down before they were eventually forced to punt behind a big third-down stop of tight end Noah Fant by inside linebacker Lavonte David.

The Bucs lined up for the punt as usual but it was defensive lineman Patrick O'Connor who broke through and not only blocked the kick but picked it up and advanced it. The Bucs took over at the Broncos' 10-yard line with a first and goal and after a couple of tries, quarterback Tom Brady hit wide receiver Chris Godwin, who fought his way across the goal line. The successful point after meant an early 7-0 lead for the Bucs with 9:58 remaining in the first quarter.

The Tampa Bay defense held up their end of the deal, serving the Broncos a three-and-out on their next drive. They took back over on offense just over a minute later, this time from their own 28-yard line.

This time the Denver defense would give it right back, forcing the Buccaneer punt. And Tampa Bay would trade it back again. After less than a minute, the Broncos were punting again.

The Buccaneers got into Denver territory on their next drive but were stopped at the Broncos' 30-yard line. Kicker Ryan Succop came on to attempt the 43-yard field goal and was good to put the Bucs up 10-0 as the first quarter expired.

Tampa Bay was able to slow up the Broncos right past midfield but kicker Brandon McManus was then able to connect on a 56-yard field goal to put Denver on the board, 10-3, with 11:33 left in the second quarter.

The Bucs answered in a big way, taking the ball the length of the field with the help of a 47-yard pass from Brady to wide receiver Scotty Miller. A big third-down catch from blocking tight end Rob Gronkowski extended the drive that eventually resulted in a touchdown for wide receiver Mike Evans on a dart on third-and-one at the one. It extended the Bucs's lead to 17-3 with 6:35 left in the half.

The Broncos offense once again came up empty at the hands of the Bucs defense and surrendered the ball back to Tampa Bay. The Bucs again drove down the field and again got into the end zone on a pass from Brady to Evans. The point after was blocked, leaving the score 23-3 just before the two-minute warning.

Safety Jordan Whitehead came up with a sack of Driskel for the second sack by a safety on the day. He dropped Driskel for a loss of 10, making it 2nd and 20 for the Broncos with exactly two minutes to work with before halftime. Driskel then connected with wide receiver Tim Patrick for 27 yards and the first down. He followed it up two plays later with another big pass to rookie KJ Hamler and the Broncos were knocking on the door with 40 seconds. Sure enough, they'd be able to convert on a seven-yard pass from Driskel to Patrick, making the score 23-10 with 14 seconds left before the half.

The Buccaneers came out of halftime trying to swing and would make it to midfield before a pass sailed through Evans' hands on third and two. Tampa Bay would be forced to punt the ball away and turn it back over to Denver.

The Broncos wouldn't get anything done after a huge third-down sack in the end zone by none other than Barrett, resulting in the Bucs' first safety since 2016. It made the score 25-10 and put the Bucs offense back on the field.

The Bucs got hit with two penalties on the ensuing drive that backed them up to as far as 2nd and 21. Third down and 10, Brady went to Gronkowski but he was only able to get seven and Tampa Bay would punt it away.

But they'd get it right back after a three-and-out forced by the Bucs' defense. Winfield Jr. came up big during the series again, coming in on a blitz from the slot and getting a hand on the pass to force an incompletion that was almost intercepted by the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay's next drive didn't start out so well with left tackle Donovan Smith getting hit was a 10-yard holding penalty. It ended up meaning another punt for the Buccaneer offense and Denver took back over with 5:57 left in the third quarter.

View photos of Tampa Bay's Week 3 matchup against Denver.

Their drive was cut short when outside linebacker Anthony Nelson forced an errant throw by Driskel which was then picked off by inside linebacker Lavonte David. The Buccaneer offense went right to work, taking over at their own 45 but getting inside the red zone in a hurry on a 30-yard completion to Godwin from Brady.

Two sacks for the Denver defense would force the Bucs to attempt a field goal instead. Denver was hit with an offsides penalty that was declined because Succop's 35-yard field goal was good, increasing the Bucs' lead to 28-10 right at the start of the fourth quarter.

Denver again came up empty behind a big sack from defensive lineman Vita Vea and a forced third-down incompletion after Driskel was hit after the throw. Tampa Bay's offense took back over and went to the ground immediately, trying to shed some clock.

The Broncos came up with their third sack of the day as Shelby Harris took down Brady for the second time. It backed the Bucs up to beyond where they could recover, even with a 26-yard completion to Miller, and Tampa Bay was forced to punt.

Denver replaced Driskel with rookie quarterback Brett Rypien for their next drive. The Bucs were hit with a neutral zone infraction before the Broncos were then hit with a false start. Rypien would get something going and start to move down the field on a couple good passes and an offsides penalty on third down to help extend the drive. It was cut short as safety Mike Edwards read the throw to rookie Jerry Jeudy in the end zone and picked off Rypien to hand the ball back over to the Bucs' offense with under four minutes to play.

They'd run the clock out from there and leave the score 28-10, improving to 2-1 on the season.

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