Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2013 Week 14 BUF at TB

TAMPA, Fla. -- Take a look at the stat sheet from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 27-6 victory against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

It will show you that the Bucs had seven sacks, four interceptions, nine tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hurries. It will show you that the Bucs played a dominant defensive game.

It might even have made you flash back to the Tony Dungy or Jon Gruden years, when Monte Kiffin still was running the defense. But this wasn't Dungy, Gruden or Kiffin football.

[+] EnlargeTampa Bay's Greg Schiano
AP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackGreg Schiano said the Bucs "invented ways to lose some games" early in the season. They've now won four of five.
This, believe it or not, is what Greg Schiano football is supposed to be like.

"This game is really what the Bucs are about," rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks said.

Maybe, without knowing it, Tampa Bay fans would like to see a lot more Schiano-coached football games. Schiano is down to three games left to determine if he'll be back for a third season. When the Bucs were 0-8 at midseason, it seemed a certainty Schiano would be fired.

Now, and I'm just reading the tea leaves here, it seems like Schiano has at least a chance to stick around. He has won four of his past five games. Another win or two and maybe the Glazer family, which owns the team, will decide it wants to see more Schiano football.

By definition, Schiano football is supposed to be about playing aggressive defense, running the ball on offense and taking some deep shots in the passing game. The Bucs only had a few flashes of running and passing against the Bills, but the defense carried the day.

Go ahead and rain on the parade and point out that the Bills are pretty mediocre and this was a game the Bucs should have won. The difference is this is precisely the kind of game the Bucs would have lost early in the season. Why have things been going differently the second half of the season?

"I don't know if it's that much of a difference really," Schiano said. "I think we're finding ways to win the game. Against good football teams, we were in games and found ways to lose games. Literally, you look at it and you say we invented ways to lose some games."

There's no doubt about that. Just think about linebacker Lavonte David's late hit on Geno Smith in the season opener as one quick example. Maybe, in the end, the Glazers will decide that Schiano already has invented too many ways to lose.

Or maybe the Glazers, who also might factor in that Josh Freeman's repeated tardiness prompted his benching and eventual release, will keep their coach. For that to happen, the Bucs have to finish the season playing the way they did Sunday.

"We challenged each other, coaches and players alike, to really make sure that we had the details," Schiano said.

The Bucs host the 49ers next Sunday. Then they close the season by going on the road to St. Louis and New Orleans.

Play like they did against the Bills and the Bucs can finish this season with some positive momentum and, more importantly, some hope for the future.

"This week was just go play our game," safety Dashon Goldson said. "Make them one-dimensional. Stop the run and make them beat us with the pass and we knew we weren't going to do that."

The Bucs held Buffalo to 67 rushing yards and they harassed rookie quarterback EJ Manuel into a bunch of mistakes.

"I think it all comes down to making the quarterback just a little uncomfortable," Schiano said. "It's not always sacks. Sometimes it's just getting that hand in the quarterback's face so he has to alter his release just a little bit."

The Bucs did more than just make Manuel uncomfortable. They held the Bills to two field goals. And they got an 80-yard touchdown run from Bobby Rainey on the second play of the game and two touchdown passes from rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.

Rainey and Glennon didn't do much besides that. But each has had bright moments in recent weeks. Get Rainey and Glennon back to that and keep the defense playing the way it did against Buffalo, and Schiano's version of football could be enough for him to keep his job.

Rapid Reaction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

December, 8, 2013

TAMPA, Fla. -- A few thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 27-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

What it means: The competition undoubtedly had something to do with it, but the Bucs played their best all-around game of the season. There were bright spots on offense, defense and special teams. The Bucs now have won four of their past five games, and that could help coach Greg Schiano's cause. I think Schiano still needs another victory or two to keep his job, but he at least has set the stage for a strong finish.

Stock watch: Running back Bobby Rainey is back on the rise. After averaging just 49 yards in the previous two games, Rainey broke loose on an 80-yard touchdown run on Tampa Bay’s first series. That touchdown set the tone of the day, and the Bucs never trailed. The run was the longest in franchise history and represented the fastest score in Tampa Bay history.

A mixed bag: It’s a good thing Rainey was able to break off a big run because rookie quarterback Mike Glennon had an up-and-down day. Glennon threw two touchdown passes but was intercepted twice.

Pro Bowl push: When the early results of fan voting for the Pro Bowl came out last week, Lavonte David barely was in the top 10 among outside linebackers. After coming up with a sack and two interceptions against the Bills, maybe David will pick up some more votes.

Sack attack: The Bucs sacked Buffalo quarterback EJ Manuel seven times.

What’s next: The Bucs host the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday.

Buccaneers hold big halftime lead

December, 8, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- It hasn’t been pretty, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are winning -- pretty handily -- at halftime.

They have a 24-3 lead against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium.

Tampa Bay’s defense is playing very well. The offense has been spotty. But an 80-yard run by Bobby Rainey on the first drive and catches by Vincent Jackson and Tim Wright have given the Bucs a trio of touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has looked a bit shaky with two first-half interceptions, which likely means the Bucs will try to run the ball a lot in the second half.

Join us for the in-game chat and check back here for more coverage after the game.