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

Peyton ManningDec 19 07:42p

Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was officially limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, but he threw more than he did than the day prior, [ More ]

Frank GoreDec 19 05:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) was limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, and is questionable for Week 16.

Keenan AllenDec 19 04:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and WR Keenan Allen (shoulder, ankle) have been ruled out for Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Cam NewtonDec 19 04:12p

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) has yet to officially be cleared to play in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Ron Rivera [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice all week but is questionable for Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Peyton ManningDec 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was back to a full practice Friday, Dec. 19, after being limited Thursday, Dec. 18. Manning made several strong throws in the portion open to the media.

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Friday, Dec. 19, and RTV6's Mike Chappell is convinced that Hilton will not play in Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

C.J. SpillerDec 19 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) has been added to the active roster and is probable for Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders.

Cam NewtonDec 19 12:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is listed as probable for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.

Blake BortlesDec 19 12:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) completed only 13 passes for 115 yards in the win over the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, but he didn't show any signs [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

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