The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) fall to the Cincinnati Bengals (10-4) 34-23 Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
Carlton Davis picked off a deflected pass from Joe Burrow, giving Brady and the offense the ball at their own 30-yard line. Succop knocked down his 21-yard field goal try to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead over the Bengals with 6:06 left in the opening quarter. The Bucs held onto their 3-0 lead into the second quarter.
Tom Brady and Russell Gage Jr. convert on 4th down early in the 2nd quarter to extend Tampa's lead to 10-0 over the Bengals. The Bucs defense came up big again. Unfortunately, the Bucs offense stalled out and called upon Ryan Succop to attempt a 50-yard field goal with 7:58 left in the first half. The kick was NO good. Later in the 2nd quarter, Tom Brady connected with Chris Godwin, who did the dirty work and scored from five yards out, giving the Bucs a 17-0 lead over the Bengals. Joe Burrow helped drive the Bengals down the field, setting up a 41-yard field goal try from Evan McPherson. The kick was good. The Bucs led the Bengals 17-3 at the half.
The Buccaneers muffed the snap on a punt on the opening possession of the third quarter, giving Joe Burrow's offense the ball inside the Bucs 15-yard line. After an unusual penalty committed by Lavonte David, the Bengals were able to take advantage of excellent field position as Burrow found Higgins in the endzone. Cincinnati's two-point try was no good. The Bucs held onto a 17-12 lead with 5:42 left in the 3rd quarter. Brady was sacked and fumbled the ball on the ensuing drive. The Bengals capitalized shortly after, as Burrow connected with Tyler Boyd for a touchdown. Burrow then found Tee Higgins to convert the two-point try, giving the Bengals a 20-17 lead with 2:40 left in the 3rd quarter. The Bucs offense gave the ball away after a bad handoff exchange from Brady to Fournette. The Bengals recovered the loose ball.
On the opening drive of the 4th quarter, Joe Burrow connected with Ja'Marr Chase on a touchdown pass to extend the Bengals lead, 27-17, over the Bucs with 12:45 left in regulation. Joe Burrow tacked on another Bengals touchdown late in the ballgame as he connected with tight end, Mitchell Wilcox, giving the Bengals a 34-17 lead late in the 4th quarter. Tom Brady helped the Bucs offense down the field, capping off the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Russell Gage Jr. The Bucs missed on the two-point try. The Bengals win 34-23.
The Buccaneers now prepare to face the Arizona Cardinals on Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25th, in Glendale, Arizona. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 PM ET - you can hear the game on 97.9 WXTB-FM - The Mighty 98 Rock.
PHOTO COURTESY: GETTY IMAGES