Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman knows drama.
For the third time this year, Freeman led the Bucs on a fourth quarter comeback victory. (It’s his fifth fourth quarter comeback in seven career wins.) The second-year quarterback found Cadillac Williams from one-yard out with only 17 seconds to go to put the Bucs ahead for good 18-17.
Tampa moved the ball well against St. Louis for much of the second half, but kept settling for field goals. Until money time. Freeman got the ball back with under five minutes to go and led the Bucs on a 81-yard touchdown drive to win it.
Criticized for struggling against the blitz last week, Freeman handled it just fine on a fourth-and-three conversion to Kellen Winslow with the game on the line with just over one minute left.
The Rams led at one point 17-3, but their passing game struggled throughout. Sam Bradford wound up with only 126 yards on 26 attempts, although he did throw for two scores. Still, Bradford was very lucky not to be picked off a number of times. The Rams couldn’t find anything down the field; their wide receivers were held to under 60 yards.
St. Louis remains winless on the road, while the Bucs won their second home game in four tries. At 4-2, Tampa Bay can hang around in the playoff picture because of a favorable schedule if they keep winning games against medicore teams.
The formula in Tampa is clear: Stay close, and get Josh Freeman the ball with a chance to win in the fourth quarter.