2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bucs beat Chargers 34-24 for 3rd win in a row

By FRED GOODALL - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-12 04:17

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Leonard Johnson was as surprised as anyone when Philip Rivers' ill-advised pass wound up in his hands.

``The ball came right to me,'' Tampa Bay's rookie cornerback said Sunday. ``I was just so excited. I grabbed it and just went to running.''

Up the sideline, breaking through the grasp of a would-be tackler near midfield and outrunning the remainder of the pursuit for an 83-yard interception return for a touchdown that helped the surging Buccaneers beat the Chargers 34-24.

``I was shocked that I caught the ball first of all, with my hands instead of my body,'' said Johnson, who redeemed himself for missing a tackle on a short reception that San Diego's Danario Alexander turned into an 80-yard TD on the Chargers' third offensive play of the game.

By the time Johnson's first touchdown since high school extended Tampa Bay's lead to 31-21 early in the fourth quarter, the undrafted rookie from Iowa State said he had forgotten about the mistake that put the Bucs in an early hole.

``When you've got guys around you that consistently tell you `next play, next play,' it's kind of easy, you know, to just put the play behind you, knowing that it's a long game to play,'' Johnson said. ``All the guys in the secondary came back to me, kept me uplifted. I moved on and continued to play the game.''

Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and the Bucs also scored on a blocked punt en route to their third straight win.

Freeman has thrown 13 TDs passes with just one interception in his past five games, helping the Bucs (5-4) win four times to climb over .500 following a 1-3 start.

Known for playing stingy defense but sputtering offensively, Tampa Bay has scored 28 or more points in five consecutive games for the first time.

The Bucs also got help from linebacker Adam Heyward, who scooped up a punt blocked by Dekoda Watson and ran 29 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.

``Maybe we didn't have our fastball today in every area, but what we did is we played off each other in all three phases,'' Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. ``Guys made plays when they needed to make them.''

Rivers threw for 337 yards and three TDs for San Diego. However, he was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter to ruin any chance of the Chargers (4-5) rallying for the win.

San Diego outgained the Bucs 426 yards to 279, had 23 first downs to Tampa Bay's 12 and finished with more than a 13-minute advantage in time of possession yet lost for the fourth time in five games.

``It's not acceptable to play hard and not win, and that's what happened,'' Chargers coach Norv Turner said in response to a question about his team's effort.

``Is it acceptable? No, it's not acceptable. Is it acceptable having a blocked punt and an interception for a touchdown? No,'' Turner added. ``That's not what we're trying to accomplish out there. We're trying to go win games, and those things are keeping us from winning.''

Bucs linebacker Quincy Black was hospitalized because of a neck injury after tackling running back Ryan Mathews for a 1-yard loss late in the third quarter.

The Bucs did not release specific details about the injury, but Schiano said the sixth-year pro is expected to be OK.

Trainers worked over Black for several minutes before immobilizing his neck and back on a stretcher.

``He's at the hospital for observation. We think he's going to be OK, but he's got to work through some things,'' Schiano said after the game.

Schiano was the head coach at Rutgers when former Scarlet Knights player Eric LeGrand broke two vertebrae and suffered a serious spinal cord injury in October 2010 during a kickoff return against Army.

He said thoughts of the paralyzed defensive lineman went through his mind when Black remained on the ground.

``I thought about it immediately. When a guy goes down and he's still,'' Schiano said before stopping abruptly. ``The good thing was Quincy immediately moved his right arm, so that was a relief.''

Freeman threw scoring passes of 3 yards to Dallas Clark and 15 to Tiquan Underwood, the latter set up by the quarterback's 4-yard run on fourth-and-inches, and a 31-yard completion to Vincent Jackson. The former Chargers receiver had five receptions for 59 yards in his first game against his old team.

Connor Barth kicked two field goals for Tampa Bay, including a 45-yarder that clinched the game after Rivers threw his second interception with San Diego trailing 31-24.

In addition to Alexander's 80-yard TD, Rivers had scoring passes of 13 yards to Antonio Gates and 3 yards to Malcom Floyd.

But the quarterback made a big mistake on his first interception, releasing the pass that went straight to Johnson as he was scampering out of bounds to avoid a sack.

Rivers said he was hoping to get the ball over Johnson's head to intended receiver Eddie Royal.

``In hindsight, not only do I wish I was throwing it over his head, I probably shouldn't have thrown the ball, period,'' Rivers said.

``It's a humbling game because it shows how one play, essentially one play, can ruin a game,'' Rivers added. ``We killed ourselves on the interception for touchdown. We were rolling pretty good most of the game.''

Notes: Gates has 80 career TD receptions, one behind Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for San Diego's franchise record. ... The Bucs beat the Chargers for only the second time in 10 meetings all time.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Knowshon MorenoSep 2 09:33a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller totaled nearly 20 percent (140 yards) of his season yardage total (709 yards) on his longest four carries of the 2013 season. He had [ More ]

J.J. WattSep 2 04:23a

The Houston Texans signed DL J.J. Watt to a new long-term contract on Monday, Sept. 1. Watt's extension is a six-year deal worth $100 million, of which $51.876 million is guaranteed money.

Kyle Van NoySep 2 04:23a

Detroit Lions LB Kyle Van Noy (core muscle) could miss as many as eight games as he recovers from core muscle surgery. He could be placed on short-term IR as a result.

Josh BoyceSep 2 03:12a

The New England Patriots signed LB Jake Bequette, DL Deontae Skinner, OL Chris Martin, S Kanorris Davis, LS Charley Hughlett, CB Daxton Swanson and WR Josh Boyce to the [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsSep 2 01:02a

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) said he felt fine after practice Monday, Sept. 1, and hopes to be on the field in Week 1.

A.J. EddsSep 2 12:43a

The New York Jets re-signed LB A.J. Edds Monday, Sept. 1.

Kevin DorseySep 2 12:03a

The Green Bay Packers signed WR Kevin Dorsey, C Garth Gerhart, WR Alex Gillett, RB Michael Hill, LB Adrian Hubbard and DE Luther Robinson to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim BenfordSep 1 11:52p

The Dallas Cowboys signed WR Tim Benford, DE Kenneth Boatright, C Ronald Patrick, CB Micah Pellerin, LB Keith Smith, LB William Smith and FB Nikita Whitlock to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Devon StillSep 1 10:42p

The Cincinnati Bengals signed OT Dan France, TE Kevin Greene, WR Cobi Hamilton, DT David King, WR Colin Lockett, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Sam Montgomery, C Trevor Robinson, DT [ More ]

Isaiah FreySep 1 10:33p

The Chicago Bears signed WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, DB Isaiah Frey, OG Ryan Groy, LB DeDe Lattimore, DB Albert Louis-Jean, DB Terrance Mitchell, DE [ More ]

Bryan WaltersSep 1 09:33p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed free-agent WR Bryan Walters (Seahawks) to a contract Monday, Sept. 1. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

J. CunninghamSep 1 09:33p

The St. Louis Rams re-signed TE Justice Cunningham (ankle) and placed him on the season-ending reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1.

Quentin GrovesSep 1 09:33p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Texans) to an undisclosed contract Monday, Sept. 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 09:23p

Free-agent C Josh Allen (Buccaneers), C Thomas Austin (Colts), OG Karim Barton (Browns), CB Akeem Davis (Redskins), LB Larry Dean (Vikings), TE Richard Gordon (Dolphins), TE Marcel Jensen (Vikings), [ More ]

Michael SamSep 1 08:02p

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League owns the rights to free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams). The team has reached out to him, but there is no word [ More ]

Jeremiah GeorgeSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed LB Jeremiah George on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim FuggerSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed DE Tim Fugger (ankle) on no-recall waivers from the reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1, and he received an injury settlement.

Phil BatesSep 1 08:02p

The Seattle Seahawks placed WR Phil Bates on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Don JonesSep 1 08:02p

The New England Patriots claimed CB Don Jones (Dolphins) off waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Derek CarrSep 1 06:42p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr will be the starting quarterback Week 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 05:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agents WR Charles X. Johnson (Browns) and OG Karim Barton (Browns) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Khalid WootenSep 1 05:32p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent CB Khalid Wooten (Titans) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Phillip AdamsSep 1 04:52p

The New York Jets signed free-agents CB Phillip Adams (Seahawks) and released WR Quincy Enunwa Monday, Sept. 1.

Korey ToomerSep 1 04:22p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent LB Korey Toomer (Seahawks) and released CB Jemea Thomas Monday, Sept. 1.

Case KeenumSep 1 04:22p

The St. Louis Rams claimed QB Case Keenum off waivers from the Houston Texans Monday, Sept. 1.

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

James IhedigboSep 1 04:22p

Detroit Lions SS James Ihedigbo (leg), FS Don Carey (undisclosed) and LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) did not practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Garrett GilbertSep 1 04:03p

The St. Louis Rams signed free-agents QB Garrett Gilbert (Rams), LB Kevin Reddick (Saints), SS Matt Daniels (Rams), LB Denicos Allen (Panthers) and OT Sean Hooey (Rams) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Bruce IrvinSep 1 03:52p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood (foot) and LB Bruce Irvin (hip) may play Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Corey PetersSep 1 03:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters (Achilles') is still iffy for the regular season opener. Head coach Mike Smith said he wants Peters to practice in pads Wednesday, Sept. 3, before making a decision.

Trai TurnerSep 1 03:12p

Carolina Panthers OG Trai Turner (groin) will start at right guard Sunday, Sept. 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to head coach Ron Rivera, though C Fernando Velasco may spot him at times.

Kyle WilliamsSep 1 03:02p

The Kansas City Chiefs released WR Kyle Williams Monday, Sept. 1.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group