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Rivers can’t repeat first half magic, Bucs win 34-24

Doug Martin, Takeo Spikes AP

The Chargers held a halftime lead in Tampa on Sunday thanks in large part to Philip Rivers‘ mistake-free play in the first two quarters.

It didn’t carry over into the second half. Rivers threw two interceptions, one of which Leonard Johnson returned 83 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Rivers made that fateful throw while running toward the sideline under pressure and he almost certainly should have just kept running. The pick gave the Bucs a 10-point lead and seemed to suck all the life out of the Chargers. The final score was 34-24, but the game was over right there.

Rivers was able to lead the Chargers to three touchdowns in the first half, but the Bucs put the clamps on the big plays in the second half and didn’t let the Chargers get the ball into the end zone again. The Chargers dominated in time of possession — 36:41 over the course of the game — but the Tampa defense never broke after giving up way too much in the first half. Turnovers have killed the Chargers all season and they did it again on Sunday.

The Buccaneers offense didn’t need many big plays thanks to the two made by the defense, but they got the one they needed to set up a Tiquan Underwood touchdown in the third quarter. Josh Freeman hit Vincent Jackson for 31 yards to set up that score and the Bucs pretty much concentrated on working the clock from that point. Freeman wound up 14-of-20 for 210 yards, including three pass plays of more than 30 yards, and Doug Martin finished with 127 total yards on 22 touches.

The win leaves the Bucs at 5-4 and very much alive in the NFC playoff race. Their schedule isn’t easy — two games with the Falcons, road trips to Denver and New Orleans — but they’ve got a shot to make a run at the postseason. That’s a nice turnaround from the second half of last season even if it doesn’t wind up with a spot in the playoffs.

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21 Responses to “Rivers can’t repeat first half magic, Bucs win 34-24”
  1. shaggyjeff says: Nov 11, 2012 4:21 PM

    Buc are for real….great coaching and great talent….watch out for them ..

  2. rajbais says: Nov 11, 2012 4:22 PM

    Bye bye Norv Turner … (maybe) Hello Andy Reid???

  3. spellingcops says: Nov 11, 2012 4:22 PM

    Hey humdolt, how’s that super bowl express working out for ya?

  4. bucrightoff says: Nov 11, 2012 4:26 PM

    Not honestly expecting a playoff run with the schedule as is, but this season has been nothing but positive signs (minus the pass coverage)

  5. blackngold4life says: Nov 11, 2012 4:27 PM

    LOL WHATS NEW..just Rivers being Rivers..and that pass Defense is horrific at best

  6. konichiwabtches says: Nov 11, 2012 4:32 PM

    Why the hell would the chargers want Andy Reid ?!!
    Have you seen Philly, and their fantastic O-line?They are the chargers of the east.

    Hopefully this in enough to finally put a fork in Norv.

  7. nockinon7sdoor says: Nov 11, 2012 4:33 PM

    Isn’t it time to put Rivers in the same category as Romo? 3 or 4 good games a year, laying eggs for 3/4 of the schedule, over-matched in the playoffs. Wonder if the Chargers regret that trade in 2004?

  8. ambitoos says: Nov 11, 2012 4:33 PM

    Dear San Diego Charger fans. Our only hope is death.

  9. dougydougdoug says: Nov 11, 2012 4:34 PM

    I guess San Diegans can breathe a sigh of relief.
    Los Angeles isn’t going to want the Chargers now.

  10. bucforever says: Nov 11, 2012 4:35 PM

    Great win . A real team victory all the way from offense ,defense , special teams and coaching staff. This team is finally coming together. GO BUCS ! The Panthers are in your headlights next . Should be some nice road kill next Sunday!

  11. horsemeat47 says: Nov 11, 2012 4:44 PM

    try not to use Rivers and magic in the same sentence.

  12. blackngold4life says: Nov 11, 2012 4:49 PM

    Lol which pro bowl player will the Chargers get rid of next instead of Norv? Gates maybe? That ownership reminds me of the Browns..No football knowledge what so ever. They need to scrap that whole secondary except Waddel. And Rivers can’t keep being a turnover machine

  13. r8rh8r says: Nov 11, 2012 4:54 PM

    LA couldn’t sell out the Rams or the Faiders. What makes them think they’re gonna sell out a joke of a team in the DisChargers???

  14. fishfiletkray says: Nov 11, 2012 4:58 PM

    The Bucs are a couple pieces from being a Super Bowl caliber team.

  15. realfootballfan says: Nov 11, 2012 4:58 PM

    I know they’ve been doing it against some garbage teams, but the Buc offense has become a juggernaut. Even when you’re playing scrubs, putting up 35 point games every week isn’t easy.

  16. williamjheinecke says: Nov 11, 2012 6:27 PM

    Maybe this is part of the Chargers plan for moving. I mean doesn’t their attendance have to look bad to get the move approved?

  17. robgilman says: Nov 11, 2012 6:40 PM

    The new mayor has already shot down hopes of negotiations for a new stadium. The “fans” in san diego cant fill the stadium even with a winning team. The U-Haul’s are out front Qualcomm now, LA here come’s the Cheeeargers!

  18. blackngold4life says: Nov 11, 2012 8:48 PM

    I don’t know how big the new LA stadium will be but we all know LA is a basketball city..any football team that comes here wont sellout unless its the sorry ass Raiders and we damn sho don’t want them back AGAIN..I just hope its an AFC team so my Steelers can come to town.. Black&Yellow sells out in every NFL city

  19. konichiwabtches says: Nov 11, 2012 8:56 PM

    There’s no way LA will take them, they will eat Spanos up.
    Mike Brown was the Norv Turner of the NBA. Can’t motivate players and can’t execute.
    It took LA fans and and Buss 5 games to pull the trigger on him, but Spanos couldn’t pull the trigger on these goons for the last 5 years !!
    Yeah, he will do great in LA ..good luck with that!!

  20. robgilman says: Nov 11, 2012 11:50 PM

    Folks don’t remember that in order for the Raiders to move to LA Mark Davis has to give up a controlling interest in the team. It’s very unlikely. Chargers are the sexy pick to move. The management will be cleared out, the team will be rebuilt, and games will no longer be blacked out.

  21. zeddicuszorander says: Nov 12, 2012 9:15 AM

    Norved again!!!

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