Bucs' top plays: Barber's INT return

July, 8, 2014
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Ronde BarberAP Photo/Chris Gardner 
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This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in team history. In the next two days we’ll feature: Derrick Brooks’ interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVII, and the 71-yard catch by Joe Jurevicius in the 2003 NFC Championship Game. Please vote for your choice as the Buccaneers’ most memorable play.

Score: Buccaneers 27, Eagles 10
Date: Jan. 19, 2003 Site: Veterans Stadium

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In the last football game ever played at Veterans Stadium, Ronde Barber came up with one of the biggest plays in franchise history. His 92-yard interception return for a touchdown sealed a victory that put the Buccaneers into the first Super Bowl in franchise history.

The play came with the Bucs holding a 20-10 lead, but Philadelphia was driving. The Eagles had a first-and-goal at the Tampa Bay 10-yard line. That’s when Barber crowded the line of scrimmage to fake a blitz. He then dropped into coverage against the slot receiver and came up with the interception.

"[Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb] fell for it," Barber told the Tampa Bay Times in 2011. “I don't know why. Maybe it was because he just had a great play and thought I was going to blitz. But either way, he believed I was coming and threw it right to me."

The play came with 3 minutes and 12 seconds remaining and put an end to a string of dominance by Philadelphia. The Eagles had won the previous four meetings between the two teams, including playoff losses in 2001 and 2002, the second one prompting the firing of coach Tony Dungy.

But Barber’s play ended all that and it left Veterans Stadium, one of the NFL’s most raucous venues, silent in its final moments.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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