The Buccaneers (2-3) lost their quarterback and the ballgame to the Cardinals (3-3) on Sunday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.
Arizona orchestrated an amazing start to this game against Tampa Bay. Playing in his first game for Arizona since being acquired from New Orleans during the week, running back Adrian Peterson teamed with quarterback Carson Palmer to make easy work of the Tampa Bay defense early. Adrian Peterson broke free for his first touchdown of the game, a 27-yard run, with 11:52 to go in the first quarter and from their the Cardinals were off to the races.
Carson Palmer made easy work of the Bucs defense, going 13-for-13 to start the game and throwing for two touchdowns on the next two offensive drives for Arizona. The fourth offensive drive ended in a field goal for Arizona, and the Cardinals led 24-0 and looked like they may double that.
The Bucs were unable to get anything going on the offensive side in the first half, punting the ball the first three times they touched the ball, but the story of the day was Jameis Winston leaving in the first half with a shoulder injury. On a day the NFL lost Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers possibly for the season, this blow proved to be too much for Tampa Bay to overcome.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick coming off the bench to play quarterback for Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers were able to play better throughout the second half. After Carson Palmer hit Josh Brown for his third passing touchdown of the day to make it 31-0 early in the third quarter, the Buccaneers attempted to claw back into this one. Fitzpatrick hit DeSean Jackson in the third quarter to make it 31-6, then hit fellow Harvard graduate Cameron Brate in the 4th quarter to make it 31-12. When Lavonte David recovered a fumble and ran it back 21 yards for a score to make it 31-20, the Buccanners began wondering how close they could get.Adrian Peterson answered with a short touchdown run with 7:17 to go in the game to make it 38-20, before the Bucs answered again. This time a long drive ended with a short touchdown run from Doug Martin to pull within 38-26 with 3:02 to go, but the two point attempt failing kept the deficit at 12.
Tampa Bay got the ball back again needed two touchdowns with 2:32 to go, but were only able to get one when Mike Evans grabbed a 37-yard touchdown to pull within 38-ike 33. That would be as close as Tampa Bay would get as the Cardinals secured the five-point victory.
Jameis Winston went 5-for-10 with 61 yards passing before being taken out with a shoulder injury for the Bucs. Ryan Fitzpatrick went 22-for-32 with 290 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in relief. Mike Evans led Bucs receivers with 95 yards and a touchdown, while Doug Martin had 53 yards and a touchdown in his second game back from suspension. Adrian Peterson looked like a much younger man, finishing with 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Carson Palmer went 18-for-22 with 283 yards, three touchdowns and an interception at quarterback. His favorite target was Larry Fitzgerald, who finished with 138 yards in the air and a touchdown.
The Buccaneers return to action next Sunday when they head to Buffalo to battle the Bills. Kickoff is set for 1 PM and you can hear 620 WDAE's coverage beginning with Countdown to Kickoff at 11 AM.