2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season Head Coach Jon Gruden Home Field Raymond James Stadium Results Record 9-7 Place 1st NFC South Playoff Finish Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Giants) 24-14 Timeline Previous Season Next Season 2006 2008 The 2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the 32nd season for the club in the National Football League. On December 16, 2007, they cliched the NFC South division title, and returned to the playoffs after missing it in 2006. On December 16, in a game against the Atlanta Falcons, Micheal Spurlock scored the first kickoff return touchdown in franchise history, snapping a streak of 32 seasons, 497 games (at 53 stadiums in 38 cities), 139 individuals, and 1,864 unsuccessful attempts. The play earned Spurlock the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. Contents [hide] 1 Coaching staff 1.1 Staff 2 Offseason 3 Roster 4 2007 NFL Draft 5 Preseason 6 Schedule & standings 6.1 Division standings 7 Regular season game summaries 7.1 Week 1: at Seattle Seahawks 7.2 Week 2: vs New Orleans Saints 7.3 Week 3: vs St. Louis Rams 7.4 Week 4: at Carolina Panthers 7.5 Week 5: at Indianapolis Colts 7.6 Week 6: vs Tennessee Titans 7.7 Week 7: at Detroit Lions 7.8 Week 8: vs Jacksonville Jaguars 7.9 Week 9: vs Arizona Cardinals 7.10 Week 10: Bye week 7.11 Week 11: at Atlanta Falcons 7.12 Week 12: vs. Washington Redskins 7.13 Week 13: at New Orleans Saints 7.14 Week 14: at Houston Texans 7.15 Week 15: vs. Atlanta Falcons 7.16 Week 16: at San Francisco 49ers 7.17 Week 17: vs. Carolina Panthers 8 Postseason 8.1 NFC Wild Card playoff: New York Giants 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 9 Offseason 10 References
Coaching staff Head coach Jon Gruden was in his sixth year with the Buccaneers. He was joined by Offensive Coordinator Bill Muir and Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin.  Staff Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2007 coaching staff Front Office Owner/President - Malcolm Glazer Executive Vice President - Bryan Glazer Executive Vice President - Edward Glazer Executive Vice President - Joel Glazer General Manager - Bruce Allen Director of Football Operations - Mark Arteaga Director of Pro Personnel - Mark Dominik Head Coaches Head Coach - Jon Gruden Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line - Larry Coyer Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs - Art Valero Offensive Coaches Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line - Bill Muir Quarterbacks - Paul Hackett Wide Receivers - Richard Mann Tight Ends - Bob
* Press Release - 227's YouTube "Chili"-London 'NFL Pepsi Max International Series Game' - Wembley Stadium! "Chili!"
* Press Release - 227's YouTube "Chili"-London 'NFL Pepsi Max International Series Game' - Wembley Stadium! "Chili!"
* Press Release - 227's YouTube "Chili"-London 'NFL Pepsi Max International Series Game' - Wembley Stadium! "Chili!"
Casullo Senior Assistant/Offensive Line - Aaron Kromer Offensive Assistant - Jay Gruden Offensive Quality Control - Tim Berbenich Offensive Quality Control - Nathaniel Hackett Defensive Coaches Defensive Coordinator - Monte Kiffin Linebackers - Casey Bradley Defensive Backs - Raheem Morris Assistant Defensive Backs - Jimmy Lake Defensive Quality Control - Todd Wash Special Teams Coaches Special Teams Coordinator - Richard Bisaccia Strength and Conditioning Head Strength and Conditioning - Mike Morris Assistant Strength and Conditioning - Kurt Schultz Coaching Support Assistant to the Head Coach-Football Operations - Paul Kelly  Offseason The 2007 offseason proved to be productive for the Buccaneers.
General manager Bruce Allen and head coach Jon Gruden had approximately $24 million in salary cap space with which to maneuver during free agency. They made a splash on the first day of free agency by signing two quarterbacks: unrestricted free agent Jeff Garcia (Eagles) and Jake Plummer (Broncos) in a trade for a conditional pick in the 2008 draft (believed to be a 4th round selection if Plummer played). Controversy soon followed as Plummer announced his retirement on the same day, citing his health and his lack of a desire to compete for a job and learn a new system. However, he did not complete his retirement paperwork with the league. Many believed that Plummer was simply trying to retire so that he could later unretire and play for the Texans. They are led by his former coach Gary Kubiak, under whom Plummer played his best three years of football. The league reviewed the trade to make sure that Plummer had not retired before the trade (a retired player cannot be traded), but he had not and his rights officially belong to the Buccaneers. Other free agent losses and signings are as follows: Signings New York Giants OT Luke Petitgout, signed after being waived by his former team due to medical reasons. Miami Dolphins UFA DE Kevin Carter Indianapolis Colts UFA LB Cato June who was selected to the Pro Bowl two years ago New York Jets UFA FB B.J. Askew Denver Broncos UFA DE/LB Patrick Chukwurah who had 4.5 sacks last season off of the bench. He is reunited with his
former defensive coordinator, the current Buccaneers defensive line coach, Larry Coyer. San Francisco 49ers UFA CB Sammy Davis, a former first round pick by the San Diego Chargers. San Francisco 49ers UFA DT Lance Legree, who has recorded 138 tackles and seven sacks in 76 games, including 25 starts. He was released on April 10. DT Kenny Smith, who was out of football last season, but spent four seasons with the New Orleans Saints and one year with the Oakland Raiders, totaling 69 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks. New Orleans Saints UFA WR Levon Thomas who spent most of his time on the practice squad after being signed as an UFA by the Indianapolis Colts following the 2005 NFL Draft. Losses The key loss for the Buccaneers was standout DE and former second round pick, Dewayne White who left to sign with his former DL coach, the current head coach of the Detroit Lions, Rod Marinelli. Versatile Lineman Sean Mahan left to join the Pittsburgh Steelers to reunite with another former Tampa Bay coach, Mike Tomlin. The team released veteran linebacker Shelton Quarles after it was reported he failed a physical. Quarles had long been a productive player for Tampa, having spent his entire ten year NFL career with the team. Following the draft, the Buccaneers released cornerback Juran Bolden, safety Tra Boger, long snapper Adam Johnson and defensive tackle Kenny Smith. Re-signings After brief stays on the open market, the Buccaneers re-signed CBs Phillip Buchanon and Torrie Cox, the latter known as a special teams standout. They also re-signed fan favorite Mike Alstott to a one-year contract, but ultimately lost him to injured reserve after a neck injury during the preseason.  Roster Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2007 final roster Quarterbacks 7 Jeff Garcia 5 Bruce Gradkowski 12 Luke McCown Running Backs 35 B. J. Askew FB 29 Michael Bennett 33 Kenneth Darby 34 Earnest Graham 32 Michael Pittman 44 Byron Storer FB Wide Receivers 18 Brian Clark 80 Michael Clayton 84 Joey Galloway 19 Ike Hilliard 15 Chad Lucas 17 Micheal Spurlock KR/PR Tight Ends 88 Anthony Becht 81 Alex Smith 86 Jerramy Stevens Offensive Linemen 72 Dan Buenning G 69 Anthony Davis G 75 Davin Joseph G 68 Matt Lehr C/G 70 Donald Penn T 78 Arron Sears G 65 Jeremy Trueblood T 76 John Wade C Defensive Linemen 90 Gaines Adams DE 93 Kevin Carter DE 54 Patrick Chukwurah DE 71 Jovan Haye DT 95 Chris Hovan DT 98 Ryan Sims DT 94 Greg Spires DE 91 Greg White DE Linebackers 58 Quincy Black OLB 55 Derrick Brooks OLB 57 Adam Hayward OLB 59 Cato June OLB 56 Ryan Nece ILB 51 Barrett Ruud ILB 50 Jeremiah Trotter ILB Defensive Backs 26 Will Allen FS 20 Ronde Barber CB 31 Phillip Buchanon CB 22 Sammy Davis CB 28 Tanard Jackson FS 25 Brian Kelly CB 30 Donte Nicholson SS 39 Kalvin Pearson SS 23 Jermaine Phillips SS Special Teams 9 Josh Bidwell P 3 Matt Bryant K 48 Andrew Economos LS Reserve Lists 40 Mike Alstott FB (IR) 92 Charles Bennett DE (IR) 52 Antoine Cash ILB (IR) 27 Torrie Cox CB (IR) 74 Chris Denman OT (IR) 11 Mark Jones WR/KR/PR (IR) 43 Sam Olajubutu OLB (IR) 77 Luke Petitgout OT (IR) 96 Greg Peterson DT (IR) 16 Jake Plummer QB (Did Not Report) 21 Sabby Piscitelli SS (IR) 2 Chris Simms QB (IR) 85 Maurice Stovall WR (IR) 82 Paris Warren WR (IR) 24 Carnell Williams RB (IR) Practice Squad 10 Taye Biddle WR 60 Ryan Gibbons OT 79 Marquies Gunn DE 41 Marcus Hamilton CB 87 Keith Heinrich TE 64 Brian Johnson G 14 Julius McClellan WR 66 Alan Reuber G/T Rookies in italics  2007 NFL Draft The 2007 NFL Draft took place in Radio City Music Hall on April 28-29, 2007. The Buccaneers were either to pick third or fourth in the draft, to be determined by a coin flip with the Cleveland Browns because the two teams had identical records and strength of schedule. Buccaneers GM Bruce Allen called heads and the coin landed tails. For the first round, the Buccaneers picked fourth. The two teams alternated picking third and fourth in each round. In addition to their given picks, Tampa Bay also holds the Colts' second round pick, the 64th pick overall (because of a midseason trade for Anthony McFarland), but also lost a sixth round pick in a trade for tight end Doug Jolley formerly of the New York Jets. They also received two compensatory picks, awarded for losses during free agency. During the draft, the Buccaneers swapped fourth-rounders with the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for their pick in the sixth round. 2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Selections
Draft order Player name Position Height Weight College Round Choice 1 4 Gaines Adams DE 6 ft 5 in 258 lb Clemson 2 35 Arron Sears OG 6 ft 4 in 315 lb Tennessee 2 64 Sabby Piscitelli S 6 ft 3 in 224 lb Oregon State 3 69 Quincy Black LB 6 ft 2 in 240 lb New Mexico 4 106 Tanard Jackson S/CB 6 ft 0 in 192 lb Syracuse 5 141 Greg Peterson DT 6 ft 5 in 286 lb NCCU 6 182 Adam Hayward LB 6 ft 0 in 235 lb Portland State 7 214 Chris Denman OT 6 ft 6 in 315 lb Fresno State 7 245 Marcus Hamilton CB 5 ft 11 in 192 lb Virginia 7 246 Kenneth Darby RB 5 ft 10 in 215 lb Alabama  Preseason The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held Training Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex from July 26 through August 16. They played four preseason games. Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Stadium Final score Team record 1 August 10, 2007 7:30 p.m. EDT New England Patriots W 13-10 1-0 Raymond James Stadium 2 August 18, 2007 7:30 p.m. EDT at Jacksonville Jaguars L 31-19 1-1 Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 3 August 18, 2007 7:30 p.m. EDT at Miami Dolphins W 31-28 2-1 Dolphin Stadium 4 August 30, 2007 8:00 p.m. EDT Houston Texans W 31-24 3-1 Raymond James Stadium Notes On August 9, 2007, fullback Mike Alstott was placed on injured reserve due to a neck injury, ending his 2007 season. On August 30, 2007, with three minutes left in preseason, during the final touchdown against the Texans, wide receiver Paris Warren suffered a severe injury to his leg, and he was placed on injured reserve. Prior to the beginning of the regular season, the Buccaneers made their final cuts. Among others, notable players included DT Ellis Wyms, a starter last season, and CB Alan Zemaitis a 2005 Fourth Round Draft pick.  Schedule & standings Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Stadium Final score Team record 1 September 9, 2007 4:15 p.m. EDT at Seattle Seahawks L 20-6 0–1 Qwest Field 2 September 16, 2007 1:00 p.m. EDT New Orleans Saints W 31–14 1–1 Raymond James Stadium 3 September 23, 2007 1:00 p.m. EDT St. Louis Rams W 24–3 2–1 Raymond James Stadium 4 September 30, 2007 4:05 p.m. EDT at Carolina Panthers W 20–7 3–1 Bank of America Stadium 5 October 7, 2007 4:05 p.m. EDT at Indianapolis Colts L 33-14 3-2 RCA Dome 6 October 14, 2007 1:00 p.m. EDT Tennessee Titans W 13–10 4–2 Raymond James Stadium 7 October 21, 2007 1:00 p.m. EDT at Detroit Lions L 23–16 4–3 Ford Field 8 October 28, 2007 4:05 p.m. EDT Jacksonville Jaguars L 24-23 4-4 Raymond James Stadium 9 November 4, 2007 1:00 p.m. EST Arizona Cardinals W 17–10 5–4 Raymond James Stadium 10 Bye 11 November 18, 2007 1:00 p.m. EST at Atlanta Falcons W 31-7 6-4 Georgia Dome 12 November 25, 2007 1:00 p.m. EST Washington Redskins W 19-13 7–4 Raymond James Stadium 13 December 2, 2007 4:15 p.m. EST at New Orleans Saints W 27–23 8–4 Louisiana Superdome 14 December 9, 2007 1:00 p.m. EST at Houston Texans L 28-14 8-5 Reliant Stadium 15 December 16, 2007 1:00 p.m. EST Atlanta Falcons W 37-3 9-5 Raymond James Stadium 16 December 23, 2007 4:05 p.m. EST at San Francisco 49ers L 21-19 9-6 Bill Walsh Field at Monster Park 17 December 30, 2007 1:00 p.m. EST Carolina Panthers L 31-23 9-7 Raymond James Stadium Postseason Wild Card January 6, 2008 1:00 p.m. EST New York Giants L 24-14 9-8 Raymond James Stadium  Division standings NFC South view • talk • edit W L T PCT PF PA STK Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9 7 0 .563 334 270 L-2 New Orleans Saints 7 9 0 .438 379 388 L-2 Carolina Panthers 7 9 0 .438 267 347 W-1 Atlanta Falcons 4 12 0 .250 259 414 W-1  Regular season game summaries  Week 1: at Seattle Seahawks 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 6 0 0 0 6 Seahawks 0 10 0 10 20 Game time: Sunday September 9, 2007 - 4:15 p.m. EDT/1:15 p.m. PDT Game weather: 67°F Stadium: Qwest Field - Seattle, Washington Television announcers (FOX): Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, & Cara Capuano (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 68,044 The Buccaneers began their 2007 campaign on the road against their fellow 1976 expansion mate, the Seattle Seahawks. In the first quarter, kicker Matt Bryant provided two field goals for Tampa Bay (a 38-yarder and a 32-yarder) to begin the game. In the second quarter, the Seahawks took the lead with kicker Josh Brown getting a 28-yard field goal, while RB Shaun Alexander got a 1-yard TD run. During a scoreless third quarter, injuries sidelined Tampa Bay running back Cadillac Williams (ribs) and quarterback Jeff Garcia (head). Garcia, however, would return to the game. Seattle would wrap up the win with Brown kicking a 46-yard field goal, while QB Matt Hasselbeck completed a 34-yard TD pass to RB Maurice Morris. With the loss, the Buccaneers began their season at 0-1, their third opening day defeat in the past four seasons. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 9:00 Bryant 38 yard FG TB 3-0 1 TB 0:03 Bryant 32 yard FG TB 6-0 2 SEA 2:42 Brown 28 yard FG TB 6-3 2 SEA 0:58 Alexander 1 yard TD run (Brown kick) SEA 10-6 4 SEA 14:14 Brown 46 yard FG SEA 13-6 4 SEA 8:01 34 yard TD pass from Hasselbeck to Morris (Brown kick) SEA 20-6  Week 2: vs New Orleans Saints 1 2 3 4 Total Saints 0 0 7 7
14 Buccaneers 7 14 7 3 31 Game time: Sunday September 16, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EDT Game weather: Partly cloudy, hot, 91°F Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Television announcers (FOX): Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan & Chris Myers (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 65,178 The Buccaneers played their home opener against the 2006 NFC South champion New Orleans Saints. After scoring only 6 points the week before, the Buccaneers dominated the Saints, on offense and defense, at one point taking a 28-0 lead. Early in the first quarter, Barrett Ruud recovered a Deuce McAllister fumble, which set up a Tampa Bay scoring drive. Carnell Williams, who was back in the lineup after injuring his ribs the week before, capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Early in the second quarter, Joey Galloway scored on a 69-yard catch and run from quarterback Jeff Garcia. Inside the two-minute warning, Garcia and Galloway scored again, this time with a 24-yard touchdown, to take a 21-0 halftime lead. Halfway through the third quarter, Cato June intercepted a pass from Drew Brees. Two plays later, Garcia and Galloway connected for yet another big play, a 41-yard completion to the New Orleans 9 yard line. Williams capped off the drive with his second 1-yard touchdown. New Orleans' first score finally came with a 1-yard touchdown run by Mike Karney, aided by a 58-yard catch by Phillip Buchanon moments earlier. The Buccaneers improved to 1-1, into a tie for the NFC South lead. New Orleans fell to 0-2. Following the game, with 16 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles, middle linebacker Barrett Ruud was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday September 19. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 5:30 Williams 1-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 7-0 2 TB 13:23 69-yard TD pass from Garcia to Galloway (Bryant kick) TB 14-0 2 TB 1:12 24-yard TD pass from Garcia to Galloway (Bryant kick) TB 21-0 3 TB 4:32 Williams 1-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 28-0 3 NO 5:55 Karney 1-yard TD run (Mare kick) TB 28-7 4 TB 7:35 Bryant 27-yard FG TB 31-7 4 NO 2:56 4-yard TD pass from Brees to Colston (Mare kick) TB 31-14  Week 3: vs St. Louis Rams 1 2 3 4 Total Rams 0 0 0 3 3 Buccaneers 0 3 7 14 24 Game time: Sunday September 23, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EDT Game weather: Thunderstorms, hot, 89°F Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Television announcers (FOX): Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan & Chris Myers (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 65,267 The Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams renewed a rivalry that was popular from 1999-2004. The early part of the game was a field position battle, with Rams running back Steven Jackson rushing effectively in the first half. All of St. Louis' first half drives, however, came up empty on the scoreboard. Tampa Bay's first quarter drivers were also scoreless, with kicker Matt Bryant missing a 54-yard field goal short after slipping in the damp grass. Just before the two-minute warning, Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins missed a 42-yard field goal, setting up Tampa Bay's first score. After driving to the 17 yard line, a heavy downpour drenched the stadium. Matt Bryant connected on 27-yard field goal for the game's first points and concluded the first half. Tampa Bay received the second half kickoff, and rolled into the endzone with a 7-yard touchdown run by Carnell Williams. St. Louis drove to the Tampa Bay 10 yard line, aided by two uncharactaristic defensive penalties by Derrick Brooks (late hit) and Ronde Barber (taunting). The threat was moot, however, as Phillip Buchanon intercepted Marc Bulger in the endzone. In the fourth quarter, Carnell Williams, aggravated his sore ribs, and fumbled the ball while Oshiomogho Atogwe recovered for St. Louis. The Rams finally got on the scoreboard with a 25-yard field goal, narrowing the lead to 10-3 with 12 minutes to play. Back up running back Earnest Graham took over for Williams, and iced the game with two rushing touchdowns, the first of his career outside of the preseason. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 2 TB 0:03 Bryant 34-yard FG TB 3-0 3 TB 10:41 Williams 7-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 10-0 4 StL 11:31 Wilkins 32-yard FG TB 10-3 4 TB 7:56 Graham 8-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 17-3 4 TB 5:00 Graham 28-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 24-3  Week 4: at Carolina Panthers 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 14 3 0 3 20 Panthers 0 0 0 7 7 Game time:
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 4:05 p.m. EDT Game weather: Sunny, 81°F Stadium: Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, North Carolina Television announcers (FOX): Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan, and Chris Myers (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 73,707 The Buccaneers and Panthers met for the first time this season, with first place in the NFC South on the line. Carolina starting quarterback Jake Delhomme sat out the game with an elbow injury, and was replaced by David Carr. The Buccaneer offense started the game with an exhausting, 11-play, 71-yard drive, capped off by a 3-yard scramble by Jeff Garcia for a touchdown. With 3 minutes left in the first quarter, running back Carnell Williams blasted down the field for an 18-yard run, but his right leg buckled, seriously injuring his knee. As he was being carted off the field, nearly the entire Buccaneers team, along with several Panthers players, huddled around Williams in support. After the injury timeout, Earnest Graham salvaged the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Tampa Bay extended their halftime lead to 17-0 after a Matt Bryant field goal, meanwhile, Carolina's offense was sputtering, blasted by the Buccaneers defense, who sacked Carr three times, and intercepeted him once. Carr completed only 19 of 41 pass attempts, and Carolina was facing their first shutout in five seasons. With 23 seconds left in regulation, Carolina finally got on the board with a touchdown pass to DeAngelo Williams. An onside kick was unsuccessful, and the Buccaneers won their third straight game. Through four games, the Buccaneers have not given up any points in the first quarter, and quarterback Jeff Garcia has not yet thrown a single interception. After the game, the Buccaneers announced that running back Carnell Williams (torn patellar ligament) and left tackle Luke Petitgout (torn ACL) would both face season-ending surgery. On Wednesday October 3, linebacker Barrett Ruud was named the NFC Defensive Player of Month for September with a league-leading 51 tackles, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one interception. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 8:43 Garcia 3-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 7-0 1 TB 0:48 Graham 1-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 14-0 2 TB 6:41 Bryant 25-yard FG TB 17-0 4 TB 10:21 Bryant 38-yard FG TB 20-0 4 Car 8:01 24-yard TD pass from Carr to Williams (Kasay kick) TB 20-7  Week 5: at Indianapolis Colts 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 0 7 0 7 14 Colts 7 9 7 10 33 Game time: Sunday October 7, 2007 - 4:05 p.m. EDT Game weather: Indoors Stadium: RCA Dome - Indianapolis, Indiana Television announcers (FOX): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa Game attendance: 65,743 The Buccaneers faced former head coach Tony Dungy for the second time. The previous meeting between the two teams in 2003 saw the Colts erase a 21-point deficit in the final four minutes to win the game in overtime. Both teams entered the game with players sidelined by injuries. Marvin Harrison and Joseph Addai sat out for Indianapolis, while Carnell Williams and Luke Petitgout were placed on injured reserve for Tampa Bay. The Colts controlled the tempo of most of the game, with a time of possession of over 38 minutes and 400 yards of offense. The Buccaneers were held to only 177 total yards and only 17 yards rushing. The first three Buccaneers possessions were 3-and-outs. Meanwhile, Indianapolis pulled out to a 13-0 lead. In the second quarter, Tanard Jackson intercepted Peyton Manning and set up the Buccaneers' first scoring drive. During the drive, running back Michael Pittman left the game with an injured ankle. Two plays later Tampa Bay got on the board with a Jeff Garcia touchdown pass to Alex Smith, and narrowed the score to 13-7. In the second half, Indianapolis continued to dominate both sides of the ball, and stretched their lead to 30-7. Garcia and Smith connected for a second touchdown pass with just over 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter, and made the score 30-14. Hoping to spark a comeback, Tampa Bay attempted a surprise onside kick, but it was called back by a penalty. Indianapolis then took the re-kick, and put three more points on the board with an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Bruce Gradkowski took over as quarterback for Tampa Bay, and subsequently threw an interception to seal the victory for the Colts. The following day, on Monday October 8, the Buccaneers announced that Michael Pittman would miss 6-8 weeks with a cracked fibula. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 Ind 10:19 10-yard TD pass from Manning to Clark (Vanatieri kick) Ind 7-0 2 Ind 14:53 Keith 1-yard TD run (kick blocked) Ind 13-0 2 TB 6:43 3-yard TD pass from Garcia to Smith (Bryant kick) Ind 13-7 2 Ind 0:00 Vanatieri 27-yard FG Ind 16-7 3 Ind 7:23 Keith 7-yard TD run (kick blocked) Ind 23-7 4 Ind 14:57 9-yard TD pass from Manning to Wayne (Vanatieri kick) Ind 30-7 4 TB 9:21 3-yard TD pass from Garcia
to Smith (Bryant kick) Ind 30-14 4 Ind 2:53 Vanatieri 35-yard FG Ind 33-14  Week 6: vs Tennessee Titans 1 2 3 4 Total Titans 0 0 3 7 10 Buccaneers 0 3 7 3 13 Game time: Sunday October 14, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 p.m. CDT Game weather: Partly cloudy, 84°F Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Television announcers (CBS): Greg Gumble and Dan Dierdorf Game attendance: 65,347 The Buccaneers hosted the Titans at Raymond James Stadium, their second inter-conference matchup in two weeks. Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham was a part of the starting lineup for the first time in his career, replacing the injured Michael Pittman, who sat out the game. The first half was a defensive struggle, with neither team scoring in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, Tennessee drove to the Buccaneers 32 yard line, but quarterback Vince Young fumbled the ball and the Buccaneers recovered. Jeff Garcia connected on a 39-yard pass play to Michael Clayton, to help set up a 23-yard Matt Bryant field goal, the first points of the game. Moments later, Phillip Buchanon intercepted Vince Young with 1:29 remainging in the half, to maintain a 3-0 halftime lead. Tennessee took the second half kickoff, and executed a 12-play, 45-yard drive which resulted in a 48-yard field goal by Rob Bironas. On their next possession, Vince Young ran out of bounds, and suffered a strained quad. He would have to leave the game, and was replaced by Kerry Collins. On Tampa Bay's next drive, Garcia connected with Joey Galloway for a 69-yard touchdown catch. On the ensuing drive Ronde Barber intercepted a pass by Kerry Collins, but it ruled incomplete after review. With under four minutes remaining in regulation, Collins drove the Titans to the Buccaneers 23 yard line. For the second time, Ronde Barber intercepted Collins, this time in the endzone, but it was again ruled incomplete after review. The drive continued, and with 1:24 remaining, Lendale White tied the game 10-10 with a touchdown run. With only one timeout, Garcia drove the Buccaneers 55 yards on seven plays. With 11 seconds remaining, Matt Bryant kicked a game-winning 43-yard field goal. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 2 TB 6:07 Bryant 23-yard FG TB 3-0 3 TEN 7:52 Bironas 48-yard FG 3-3 3 TB 2:29 69-yard TD pass from Garcia to Galloway (Bryant kick) TB 10-3 4 TEN 1:17 White 2-yard TD run (Bironas kick) 10-10 4 TB 0:11 Bryant 43-yard FG TB 13-10  Week 7: at Detroit Lions 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 0 7 0 9 16 Lions 10 3 3 7 23 Game time: Sunday October 21, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EDT Game weather: Indoors Stadium: Ford Field - Detroit, Michigan Television announcers (FOX): Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, and Jennifer Hammond (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 71,234 The Tampa Bay racked up 422 yards of offense against Detroit, and quarterback Jeff Garcia passed for 316 yards, but two costly fumbles and one blocked punt allowed the Lions to take the victory. In the first quarter, Tampa Bay and Detroit began what would be a physical game. Tampa Bay suffered injuries to Mark Jones(knee) and Michael Clayton(ankle), and neither would return. On the sixth play of the game, Detroit forced a fumble for a loss of 23 yards. However, an instant replay ruled the play an incomplete pass instead. Moments later, the Lions blocked a punt by Josh Bidwell, and the turnover led to a field goal. On the next drive, the Buccaneers drove 43 yards to the Lions 37 yard line, but a fumble between the exchange from Garcia to Earnest Grahamwas recovered by the Lions. Detroit moved quickly down the field and Kevin Jonesscored the first touchdown of the game. Early in the second quarter, Garcia capped off an 81-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Ike Hilliard. Their next possession, a 16-play, 58-yard drive, covered over 9 minutes. It came up empty, as Matt Bryantmissed a field goal. Detroit moved quickly to score a field goal just before halftime. Late in the third quarter, and early in the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay started another long drive. A 15-play, 73-yard drive of over 7 minutes drove the Buccaneers to the Detroit 1 yard line. Tampa Bay had converted on two third downs, and one fourth down. But Garcia fumbled the handoff on a first and goal at the 1 yard line, and Detroit recovered. They would drive 93 yard for their second touchdown. Trailing by 16, Tampa Bay drove 78 yards in 16 plays, and Maurice Stovall caught Garcia's second touchdown pass. A two-point coversion failed, but Bryant performed and onside kick, which Tampa Bay recovered. The Buccaneers managed to trim the deficit to 7, but a second onside kick failed, and Detroit
took the victory. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 Det 9:53 Hanson 34-yard FG Det 3-0 1 Det 1:17 Jones 1-yard TD run (Hanson kick) Det 10-0 2 TB 12:48 5-yard TD pass from Garcia to Hilliard (Bryant kick) Det 10-7 2 Det 0:05 Hanson 42-yard FG Det 13-7 3 Det 4:13 Hanson 32-yard FG Det 16-7 4 Det 6:28 Johnson 34-yard TD run (Hanson kick) Det 23-7 4 TB 2:03 4-yard TD pass from Garcia to Stovall (pass failed) Det 23-13 4 TB 1:04 Bryant 48-yard FG Det 23-16  Week 8: vs Jacksonville Jaguars 1 2 3 4 Total Jaguars 7 10 0 7 24 Buccaneers 3 10 10 0 23 Game time: Sunday October 28, 2007 - 4:05 p.m. EDT Game weather: Cloudy, 80° Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Television announcers (CBS): Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots Game attendance: 65,133 Tampa bay faced in-state rival Jacksonville Jaguars for the fourth time in the regular season. Injured Jacksonville starting quarterback David Garrard was replaced by Quinn Gray, while Jeff Garcia hoped to extend on a 217-consecutive passing streak without an interception. In the first half, Jacksonville's running attack of Fred Taylor, LaBrandon Toefield and Maurice Jones-Drew rushed 15 times in their first 16 plays from scrimmage, and eventually set up a 10-3 lead. In the second quarter, Garcia threw his first interception of the season, which was returned for a Jacksonville score. Tampa Bay quickly responded, however, driving 81 yards in three plays, capped off with Garcia and Joey Galloway connecting for a 58-yard touchdown. A momentum shift appeared to occur near the end of the second quarter, as Tampa Bay forced Jacksonville into a 3-and-out. Inside the two-minute warning, Garcia drove the Buccaneers to the 4 yard line. Garcia scrambled on 3rd & 10, colliding with Reggie Nelson, losing his helmet, but fell one yard short of the first down. Tampa Bay settled for a Matt Bryant field goal, and a 13-17 halftime deficit. Tampa Bay's defense dominated the third quarter, forcing Jacksonville a turnover on downs, a fumble in the endzone (recovered by Gray on the 1 yard line), and a blocked punt. The good field position led to Michael Bennett's first touchdown as a Buccaneer. The fourth quarter saw Jacksonville re-take the lead with an 8-yard touchdown pass. Despite two late drives starting with decent field position, Tampa Bay's effort died when Garcia's pass was deflected and intercepted with 19 seconds remaining, his third pick of the game. The loss dropped Tampa Bay to 4-4, second place in the NFC South. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 7:26 Bryant 44-yard FG TB 3-0 1 Jax 1:31 Toefield 1-yard TD run (Carney kick) Jax 7-3 2 Jax 7:25 Carney 41-yard FG Jax 10-3 2 Jax 7:09 Glenn 28-yard interception return (Carney kick) Jax 17-3 2 TB 5:45 58-yard TD pass from Garcia to Galloway (Bryant kick) Jax 17-10 2 TB 0:15 Bryant 22-yard FG Jax 17-13 3 TB 3:19 Bennett 19-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 20-17 3 TB 0:05 Bryant 42-yard FG TB 23-17 4 Jax 11:37 8-yard TD pass from Gray to Jones (Carney kick) Jax 24-23  Week 9: vs Arizona Cardinals 1 2 3 4 Total Cardinals 3 0 0 7 10 Buccaneers 7 3 7 0 17 Game time: Sunday November 4, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EDT Game weather: Sunny, 75°F Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Television announcers (FOX): Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, Chip Carter (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 65,267 The Buccaneers beat the visiting Arizona Cardinals, snapping a two-game losing streak, and regained first place in the NFC South. Tampa Bay dominated the game, maintaining a time of possession of over 43 minutes with running back Earnest Graham rushing for 124 yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay's defense held Arizona to only 23 yards rushing, and held them to 2 of 10 third down conversions. In the first quarter, Arizona quickly drove down the field, connecting on a 47-yard pass from Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald. The drive stalled, however, and they settled for 43-yard Neil Rackers field goal. Tampa bay answered on the ensuing drive. On 3rd and 1, from the 42 yard line, Jeff Garcia fell, but avoided a sack, and scrambled for a first down. Two plays later he scored a 37-yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway. On the first play of the second quarter, Tanard Jackson intercepted Warner's pass, and Arizona was penalized 15 yards for a facemask, setting up the Buccaneers on the Arizona 27 yard line. Tampa Bay suffered two false start penalties, and settled for a field goal and took a 10-3 lead into halftime. Tampa Bay took the second half kickoff and drove 64 yards in ten plays. The drive was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Earnest Graham. Late in the third quarter, the Buccaneers started a 19-play, 86-yard drive, lasting nearly 9 minutes. At the 8 yard line, Garcia threw to Alex Smith but the pass was incomplete in the endzone. The drive came up empty when Matt Bryant missed a 26-yard field
goal. Arizona quickly drove down the field and scored a touchdown by Edgerrin James, narrowing the margin to 17-10. With 2:43 remaining in the game, Tampa Bay punted to Arizona. Maurice Stovall de-cleated receiver Steve Breaston at the Arizona 16 yard line, preventing a return. On the very next play, Jermaine Phillips intercepted Warner's pass, sealing the victory for Tampa Bay. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 Arz 12:17 Rackers 47-yard FG Arz 3-0 1 TB 5:56 37-yard TD pass from Garcia to Galloway (Bryant kick) TB 7-3 2 TB 13:37 Bryant 32-yard FG TB 10-3 3 TB 10:33 Graham 2-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 17-3 4 Arz 7:30 James 3-yard TD run (Rackers kick) TB 17-10  Week 10: Bye week The Buccaneers had their scheduled bye the weekend of November 11. In week 10 action, Atlanta defeated Carolina, and St. Louis upset New Orleans, giving Tampa Bay sole possession of first place in the NFC South.  Week 11: at Atlanta Falcons 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 7 7 10 7 31 Falcons 0 0 0 7 7 Game time: Sunday November 18, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EST Game weather: Indoors Stadium: Georgia Dome - Atlanta, Georgia Television announcers (FOX): Ron Pitts (play-by-play) & Tony Boselli (color commentator) Game attendance: 69,480 Tampa Bay faced their heated division rival for the first time this season, at the Georgia Dome. Tampa Bay dominated, and enjoyed the return of Michael Pittman from injury. Atlanta started quarterback Byron Leftwich. Atlanta suffered four turnovers, and 11 penalties for 105 yards in the loss. In the first quarter, both teams traded punts on their opening drive. On Tampa Bay's second drive, Pittman caught an 11-yard pass but fumbled and it was recovered by Keith Brooking. An instant replay challenge upheld the ruling on the field. On the very next play, Byron Leftwich was hit as he released the ball, and it was intercepted by Barrett Ruud, who returned the ball to the 28 yard line. Tampa Bay drove 72 yards in three plays, as Joey Galloway caught a 44-yard touchdown. In the second quarter, Leftwich was sacked from behind and fumbled the ball. Ronde Barber picked up the ball, and ran 41 yards for Tampa Bay's second touchdown. On Atlanta's next drive, Warrick Dunn fumbled at the 45 yard line. Atlanta challenged the ruling, and the call on the field was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass. The following play, Roddy White fumbled, and Brian Kelly recovered for Tampa Bay. He lateraled to Cato June, who then lost the ball. Despite an instant replay challenge by Tampa Bay, the ruling on the field was upheld. Atlanta, however, was unable to move down the field, and Tampa Bay took a 14-0 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, Tampa Bay added a field goal, then Gaines Adams chopped Leftwich's arm as he threw and his floating pass was intercepted by Chris Hovan (later in the week NFL officials revised the play to a sack & fumble recovery). Tampa Bay quickly scored another touchdown catch by Alex Smith. In the fourth quarter, Earnest Graham took over the offense for Tampa Bay, rushing 102 yards total, and a touchdown score. Atlanta avoided the shutout, replacing Leftwich with Joey Harrington, and scored a touchdown with 1:10 to go. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 7:43 44-yard TD pass from Garcia to Galloway (Bryant kick) TB 7-0 2 TB 10:42 Barber 41-yard fumble recovery (Bryant kick) TB 14-0 3 TB 13:37 Bryant 23-yard FG TB 17-0 3 TB 4:51 21-yard TD pass from Garcia to Smith (Bryant kick) TB 24-0 4 TB 10:33 Graham 26-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 31-0 4 Atl 1:10 7-yard TD pass from Harrington to Jennings (Andersen kick) TB 31-7  Week 12: vs. Washington Redskins 1 2 3 4 Total Redskins 0 3 7 3 13 Buccaneers 10 9 0 0 19 Game time: Sunday November 25, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EST Game weather: Warm, partly cloudy, 81 °F Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Television announcers (FOX): Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan, and Chris Myers (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 65,596 Tampa Bay hosted Washington for the third time in three seasons during the month of November. Tampa Bay's defense dominated a good part of the game, forcing six turnovers, and despite quarterback Jeff Garcia sitting out most of the game, the Buccaneers held on for a 19-13 victory. On the game's first play, Garcia tried to scramble, but injured his back upon being tackled by Cornelius Griffin. He would last only two more plays, and was replaced by Bruce Gradkowski until early in the 4th quarter. Garcia's injury seemingly galvanized the Tampa Bay defense, who went on to cause 4 turnovers in the first half. Phillip Buchanon
forced a fumble off the Redskins' first pass which was recovered by Tanard Jackson who advanced it 8 yards to the Washington 19. Three plays later, Earnest Graham scored a 1 yard touchdown run. On the third play of Washington's next drive, Greg White hit Clinton Portis hard, forcing a fumble which Jackson recovered at the 19 yard line. Tampa took a 10-0 lead after a Matt Bryant field goal. Early in the second quarter, Greg White forced yet another fumble as he sacked Jason Campbell which Kevin Carter recovered. The turnover led to another field goal. Portis fumbled again on the following drive as he took a bone-jarring hit from Jermaine Phillips and Tampa Bay capitalized with a third field goal. Before the half, Washington managed to get on the board with a field goal, then Tampa Bay kicked a fourth field goal as the half expired to lead 19-3. The second half saw Washington attempt a comeback. Despite injuring his hand, Campbell stayed in the game, and threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cooley. Meanwhile, Gradkowski stayed in at quarterback for Tampa Bay, and continued to perform poorly. Tampa Bay managed only 9 yards of offense in the third quarter, and 0 yards passing. The Redskins drove 66 yards in 13 plays and over nine minutes to the Tampa Bay 4 yard line. Tampa Bay's defense held on 4th and 1 at the 4, however, as linebacker Derrick Brooks shed several blockers to down Portis for no gain. Washington narrowed the score to 19-13 in the fourth quarter. With about 11 minutes to go, Jeff Garcia returned to the game, hoping to spark Tampa Bay's offense, and hold on for the win. He was unable to do much against the Redskins' well-rested and fired up defense, however, and Tampa Bay ended up having to punt. Josh Bidwell pinned the Redskins at their own 9 yard line, and Campbell drove them to the Tampa Bay 32 yard line. Ronde Barber stopped the threat when he intercepted the ball at the 28 yard line. With under a minute to go, Campbell drove the Redskins to the Tampa Bay 16 yard line, but Brian Kelly intercepted the pass in the endzone with 17 seconds remaining, to clinch the victory for the Buccaneers. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 10:00 Graham 1-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 7-0 1 TB 6:27 Bryant 35-yard FG TB 10-0 2 TB 12:28 Bryant 27-yard FG TB 13-0 2 TB 10:13 Bryant 48-yard FG TB 16-0 2 Was 6:11 Suisham 43-yard FG TB 16-3 2 TB 0:00 Bryant 39-yard FG TB 19-3 3 Was 10:38 39-yard TD pass from Campbell to Cooley (Suisham kick) TB 19-10 4 Was 11:19 Suisham 38-yard FG TB 19-13  Week 13: at New Orleans Saints 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 3 10 7 7 27 Saints 7 7 7 2 23 Game time: Sunday December 2, 2007 - 4:15 p.m. EST / 3:15 p.m. CST Game weather: Indoors Stadium: Louisiana Superdome - New Orleans, Louisiana Television announcers (FOX): Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan, and Eric Richey (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 70,009 Referee: Ron Winter Tampa Bay took on the New Orleans Saints for the second time this season, this time at the Superdome. Luke McCown started at quarterback for the Buccaneers in place of the injured Jeff Garcia. McCown would pass for 313 yards, and connectd on his first 15 consecutive passes of the game. The Buccaneers scored the first points of the game with Matt Bryant's 27-yard field goal. New Orleans answered with WR Terrance Copper catching a 4-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees. Late in the first quarter, McCown connected with Joey Galloway for a 60-yard catch which set Tampa Bay up on the 1 yard line. Tampa Bay retook the lead early in the second quarter with TE Anthony Becht catching a 1-yard TD, and Matt Bryant making another field goal to increase the Tampa Bay lead to 13-7. New Orleans scored a touchdown just before halftime, a 45-yard pass to WR Devery Henderson, to make it 13-14 at halftime. In the second half, RB Earnest Graham scored a 25-yard touchdown run. New Orleans had to punt on their ensuing possession, but disaster struck with 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter as miscommunications between McCown and WR Joey Galloway led to a Saints interception which was returned for a touchdown. Leading 21-20 with 4 minutes remaining in the game, Saints P Steve Weatherford made a successful coffin corner punt which pinned the Buccaneers at their own 2-yard line. Two plays later, DE Will Smith sacked McCown for a safety. After the safety kick, New Orleans looked to run the clock out and seal the victory. However, in an unexpected and perhaps season-altering mistake, Reggie Bush fumbled a double reverse intended for WR Devery Henderson and Jovan Haye recovered for Tampa Bay at the New Orleans 37-yard line. Three plays later, the Buccaneers found
themselves in a predicament as they faced a 4th and 1 at the New Orleans 28. Instead of attempting a game-tying field goal, however, coach Jon Gruden went for it on fourth down, calling a run around right tackle which Graham converted for a first down. Three plays later, McCown found TE Jerramy Stevens for a 4-yard touchdown to win the game. With the win, Tampa Bay improved to 8-4 and maintained a perfect division record. Tampa Bay only needed to win one game in the final four weeks to clinch the NFC South division crown. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 9:54 Bryant 27-yard FG TB 3-0 1 NO 2:05 4-yard TD pass from Brees to Copper (Mare kick) NO 7-3 2 TB 14:20 1-yard TD pass from McCown to Becht (Bryant kick) TB 10-7 2 TB 7:52 Bryant 31-yard FG TB 13-7 2 NO 3:21 45-yard TD pass from Brees to Henderson (Mare kick) NO 14-13 3 TB 9:36 Graham 25-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 20-14 3 NO 3:05 McKenzie 53-yard interception return (Mare kick) NO 21-20 4 NO 3:52 McCown sacked by Smith for safety NO 23-20 4 TB 0:14 4-yard TD pass from McCown to Stevens (Bryant kick) TB 27-23  Week 14: at Houston Texans 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 0 7 7 0 14 Texans 7 7 7 7 28 Game time: Sunday December 9, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. CST Game weather: Indoors (retractable roof stadium) Stadium: Reliant Stadium - Houston, Texas Television announcers (FOX): Dick Stockton (play-by-play) and Terry Donahue (color commentator), and Matt Samsell (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 70,237 Tampa Bay faced the Texans for only the second time in the regular season, and for the first time during the regular season at Reliant Stadium. With a win, or losses by New Orleans and Carolina, Tampa Bay would clinch the NFC South division title. Tampa Bay's postseason berth, however, would have to wait at least another night, as the Texans capitalized on a sluggish Buccaneers squad. For the second week in a row, Luke McCown started in place of injured Jeff Garcia. Meanwhile, back-up quarterback Sage Rosenfels led the Texans. Tampa Bay took the opening kickoff, and drove to the Houston 34 yard line. Coach Jon Gruden elected to go for it on 4th down and 2, but running back Earnest Graham was tackled for no gain. Houston took over on downs, and scored a quick and convincing touchdown pass. On the ensuing kickoff, Tampa Bay's Micheal Spurlock returned the ball 45 yards to the Houston 47. Even though the drive ended in a punt, the good field position helped pin the Texans deep on their next drive. Greg White sacked Rosenfels and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Jovan Haye the Houston 25. Five plays later, Earnest Graham scored his first rushing touchdown to tie the score 7-7. Later in the second quarter, Ike Hilliard caught a pass for a first down at the Houston 28, but Will Demps hit Hillard in an apparent helmet-to-helmet and forced a fumble, but did not draw a penalty. Houston recovered, and soon scored a second touchdown to lead 14-7 at halftime. Houston received the second half kickoff, which Andre Davis returned 97 yards for a touchdown. Just over two minutes later, Tampa Bay responded with a 4-play, 69-yard drive, capped off by Graham's second rushing touchdown. Tampa Bay, however, would not score again. Houston added another score early in the fourth quarter, and held on for a 28-14 victory. Tampa Bay fell to 8-5, but still controls their own destiny for the division championship and overall playoff picture. A single victory in the final three weeks will clinch the NFC South championship. In other week 14 action, Carolina lost to Jacksonville, eliminating them from the division race, and New Orleans defeated Atlanta, keeping themselves mathematically alive for the division title. Scoring
summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 Hou 3:59 4-yard TD pass from Rosenfels to Johnson (Brown kick) Hou 7-0 2 TB 10:57 Graham 4-yard TD run (Bryant kick) 7-7 2 Hou 3:59 8-yard TD pass from Rosenfels to Walter (Brown kick) Hou 14-7 3 Hou 14:46 Davis 97-yard kickoff return (Brown kick) Hou 21-7 3 TB 12:38 Graham 11-yard TD run (Bryant kick) Hou 21-14 4 Hou 14:56 4-yard TD pass from Rosenfels to Daniels (Brown kick) Hou 28-14  Week 15: vs. Atlanta Falcons 1 2 3 4 Total Falcons 3 0 0 0 3 Buccaneers 14 13 3 7 37 Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST Game weather: 68 °F (Sunny, windy) Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Referee: Jeff Triplette Television announcers (FOX): Matt Vasgersian (play-by-play), J.C. Pearson (color commentator), and Krista Voda (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 65,133 The Buccaneers stayed home this week for a rematch against their division rivals the Atlanta Falcons. With the convincing victory, Tampa Bay clinched the NFC South division title, maintained a perfect 5-0 division record, and scored their first kickoff return touchdown in franchise history. Tampa Bay's defense recorded the first points of the game, as Ronde Barber intercepted Chris Redman's pass on the third play of the game and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown. Atlanta got on the board next with kicker Morten Andersen making a 33-yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, Micheal Spurlock made team history by becoming the first Buccaneer player to return a kickoff for a touchdown. It was the first kickoff return touchdown for Tampa Bay in 32 seasons, 498 games, and 1,865 attempts. After the Buccaneer defense forced a Falcons punt, Jeff Garcia commandeered a long, clock-eating 10-minute drive ending in a 33-yard field goal by Matt Bryant to make the score 17-3. With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, Tampa bay recovered an Atlanta fumble, and Earnest Graham scored a 1-yard TD run. Graham became the first player in club history to score a touchdown in six consecutive games. With a 24-3 lead, Tampa Bay performed a pooch kickoff, and Atlanta muffed the return, while Kalvin Pearson recovered. Tampa Bay drove to the 24 yard line, but DeAngelo Hall intercepted a pass intended for Joey Galloway at the Atlanta 11-yard line. The Buccaneers would immediately regain possession as Greg White forced and recovered a fumble on the next play. Matt Bryant then easily converted a 28-yard field goal to take a 27-3 lead into halftime. Tampa Bay would receive the second half's opening kickoff, but was forced to punt after a 7-minute drive. On Atlanta's third play, Jermaine Phillips intercepted a pass intended for Jerious Norwood which set Tampa Bay up at the Atlanta 23-yard line. Matt Bryant then scored the half's first points with a 34-yard field goal to make the score 30-3. In the fourth quarter, punter Josh Bidwell successfully pinned Atlanta at their own 6 yard line. The resulting poor field position eventually led to Tampa Bay taking over near midfield. Michael Bennett carried six times all the way to the Atlanta 1-yard line, from which Anthony Becht scored the game's final points off a 1-yard TD catch. Statistically, Tampa Bay's defense dominated Atlanta. The Falcons managed only 133 yards of total offense, committed five turnovers, and were 0-for-9 on third down conversions. The Falcons crossed midfield only once, and Tampa Bay's time of possession was 43 minutes. On the following Wednesday, the kickoff return touchdown earned Spurlock the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 14:00 Barber 29-yard interception return (Bryant kick) TB 7-0 1 Atl 6:32 Andersen 33-yard FG TB 7-3 1 TB 6:19 Spurlock 90-yard kickoff return (Bryant kick) TB 14-3 2 TB 11:24 Bryant 33-yard FG TB 17-3 2 TB 4:09 Graham 1-yard TD run (Bryant kick) TB 24-3 2 TB 0:00 Bryant 28-yard FG TB 27-3 3 TB 4:08 Bryant 34-yard FG TB 30-3 4 TB 7:42 1-yard TD pass from Garcia to Becht (Bryant kick) TB 37-3  Week 16: at San Francisco 49ers 1 2 3 4 Total Buccaneers 6 7 0 6 19 49ers 0 7 7 7 21 Game time: Sunday December 23, 2007 - 4:05 p.m. EST / 1:05 p.m. PST Game weather: 51°, clear Stadium: Bill Walsh Field at Monster Park - San Francisco, California Television announcers (FOX): Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, and Charissa Thompson (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 68,193 Tampa Bay traveled west to San Francisco for the third time in
five seasons. Tampa Bay lost their eight consecutive meeting at Monster Park, dating to 1980. This game was originally scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on NBC's Sunday Night Football, but on December 10, in accordance with flex-scheduling, the game was moved to the afternoon. Having already clinched a playoff berth, Tampa Bay rested most of their starters in the second half. Despite a late rally, the Buccaneers fell two points short of victory. Tampa Bay controlled most of the first half, capping off their first two drives of the first quarter with field goals by Matt Bryant. On the first play of the second quarter, Shaun Hill connected with Darrell Jackson on a 21-yard touchdown. San Francisco punted on their next drive, and Micheal Spurlock fielded the ball at the 19 yard line. He was tackled and fumbled, while the 49ers recovered. After an instant replay challenge, it was determined that Spurlock was down by contact, and Tampa Bay maintained possession. The drive fizzled though, and ended with a punt. Late in the fourth quarter, Barrett Ruud recovered a 49ers fumble, setting the Buccaneers up on the San Francisco 36 yard line. Four plays later, Jerramy Stevens caught a touchdown pass from Jeff Garcia. Tampa Bay took a 13-7 lead into halftime. On the second-half kickoff, San Francisco recovered a surprise onside kick. The drive came up empty, as they were forced to punt. On Tampa Bay's next possession, however, Luke McCown (who had taken over for the benched Garcia) fumbled and the 49ers recovered at the 14 yard line. In four plays, San Francisco scored a touchdown. Early in the fourth quarter, Nate Clements intercepted a McCown pass, and led to another 49ers touchdown. The 49ers led 21-13, but Tampa Bay still kept hopes alive for a rally. With under six minutes left in the game, the Buccaneers drove to the 49ers 25 yard line. On 4th down and 6, McCown threw to Michael Clayton for an apparent one-handed touchdown catch, but the ball fell incomplete, and the drive turned over on downs. Tampa Bay managed one final chance to tie the score. Inside the two-minute warning, Tampa Bay drove to the 49ers 24 yard line. McCown rolled out wide to his right, and connected with Stevens for a 24-yard touchdown. McCown then attempted a game-tying two-point conversion. Michael Clayton caught the pass, but one of his feet touched out-of-bounds in the back of the endzone, sealing the game for San Francisco. Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 8:09 Bryant 34-yard FG TB 3-0 1 TB 2:36 Bryant 22-yard FG TB 6-0 2 SF 14:56 21-yard TD pass from Hill to Jackson (Nedney kick) SF 7-6 2 TB 3:49 24-yard TD pass from Garcia to Stevens (Bryant kick) TB 13-7 3 SF 9:30 5-yard TD pass from Hill to Davis (Nedney kick) SF 14-13 4 SF 14:11 23-yard TD pass from Hill to Gore (Nedney kick) SF 21-13 4 TB 1:20 24-yard TD pass from McCown to Stevens (pass failed) SF 21-19  Week 17: vs. Carolina Panthers 1 2 3 4 Total Panthers 7 10 7 7 31 Buccaneers 7 6 7 3 23 Game time: Sunday December 30, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. EST Game weather: 80°F, Mostly Cloudy Stadium: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida Television announcers (FOX): Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, and Chip Carter (sideline reporter) Game attendance: 65,609 Tampa Bay concluded the regular season at home against the Panthers. They dropped the season finale, and their second-straight game, but rested most of their starters (including Garcia, Graham, Galloway and Ruud). Luke McCown started at quarterback. On their opening drive, McCown drove the Buccaneers for the game's first score, a touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens. The drive included a 52-yard catch by Chad Lucas. Carolina responded by driving to the Tampa Bay 4 yard line. A field goal kick was good, but a holding penalty by Derrick Brooks gave the Panthers a first down. They capitalized by scoring a touchdown. In the second quarter, an interception by Phillip Buchanon led to a Tampa Bay field goal. Late in the second quarter, Josh Bidwell punted to Carolina, but a fumble on the return was recovered by the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay tacked on another field goal before halftime, and trailed 14-13 at the half. Midway through the third quarter, Carolina punted and pinned the Buccaneers on their own 2 yard line. McCown then led the Buccaneers on a 10-play, 98-yard touchdown drive, the longest such scoring drive in franchise history. Carolina kept themselves in the game, however, quickly following up with a 46-yard reception to Drew Carter, and then a 1-yard touchdown run. Trailing 31-23 late in the fourth quarter, McCown drove the Buccaneers to the Carolina 36 yard line, but
was intercepted by Richard Marshall. The Buccaneers finished the regular season 9-7 (5-1 division, 6-2 home). Scoring summary Q Team Time Scoring play Score 1 TB 11:04 3-yard TD pass from McCown to Stevens (Bryant kick) TB 7-0 1 Car 3:55 2-yard TD pass from Moore to Fauria (Kasay kick) 7-7 2 TB 12:32 Bryant 31-yard FG TB 10-7 2 Car 6:40 20-yard TD pass from Moore to Rosario (Kasay kick) Car 14-10 2 TB 2:34 Bryant 23-yard FG Car 14-13 2 Car 0:16 Kasay 19-yard FG Car 17-13 3 TB 6:57 23-yard TD pass from McCown to Bennett (Bryant kick) TB 20-17 3 Car 4:03 Williams 1-yard TD run (Kasay kick) Car 24-20 4 TB 14:02 Bryant 49-yard FG Car 24-23 4 Car 6:24 Williams 32-yard TD run (Kasay kick) Car 31-23  Postseason Main article: NFL playoffs, 2007-08  NFC Wild Card playoff: New York Giants 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 1 2 3 4 Total Giants 0 14 3 7 24 Buccaneers 7 0 0 7 14 at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST Game weather: 70 °F (21 °C), sunny TV announcers (FOX): Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentator), Pam Oliver and Chris Myers (field reporters) Referee: Walt Anderson Game attendance: 65,621  Offseason On January 22, 2008, head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen were re-signed to a three-year contract extension. On January 24, 2008, Mike Alstott scheduled a press conference, and is expected to retire.  References ^ a b "FINALLY!", Buccaneers.com (2007-12-17). Retrieved on 2007-12-17. ^ a b "Kickoff-return TD long time coming for Buccaneers", OrlandoSentinel.com (2007-12-17). Retrieved on 2007-12-17. ^ a b "Spurlock Earns Special Teams Award", The Ledger (2007-12-20). Retrieved on 2007-12-20. ^ "Gruden Monday presser: Pittman out 6-8 weeks", Tampa Bay's 10 (2007-10-08). Retrieved on 2007-10-08. ^ "NFC South Hot Topic: Dec. 3", Scout.com (2007-12-03). Retrieved on 2007-12-03. ^ "Bucs Flexed to the Afternoon in San Fran", Buccaneers.com (2007-12-10). Retrieved on 2007-12-11. ^ "Leaders in Place: Allen, Gruden Sign Extensions", Buccaneers.com (2008-01-22). Retrieved on 2008-01-24. ^ "Tampa Bay RB Alstott expected to announce his retirement today", OrlandoSentinel.com (2008-01-24). Retrieved on 2008-01-24. [hide]v • d • eTampa Bay Buccaneers The Franchise Franchise • Seasons • History • Players • First-round draft picks Stadiums Tampa Stadium • Raymond James Stadium Culture Hugh Culverhouse • Malcolm Glazer • Tampa Bay Curse • Buccaneer Bruce • Tampa 2 Lore Snow Bowl • Monsoon Bowl Head Coaches McKay • Bennett • Perkins • Williamson • Wyche • Dungy • Gruden Division Championships (6) 1979, 1981, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2007 Super Bowl appearances (1) XXXVII League Championships (1) 2002 Hall of Fame Members Lee Roy Selmon Retired Numbers 63 Seasons 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 Current League Affiliations League: National Football League • Conference: National Football Conference • Division: South Division 2007 NFL season v • d • e AFC East North South West NFC East North South West Buffalo Baltimore Houston Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta Arizona Miami Cincinnati Indianapolis Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Carolina St. Louis New England Cleveland Jacksonville Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans San Francisco NY Jets Pittsburgh Tennessee San Diego Washington Minnesota Tampa Bay Seattle 2007 NFL Draft • NFL Playoffs • Pro Bowl • Super Bowl XLII Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Tampa_Bay_Buccaneers_season" Categories: 2007 National Football League season by team | Tampa Bay Buccaneers seasons