Tampa Bay Buccaneers CHOKE series: Chapter 2- LA Rams on National TV

Vinny Testeverde and Tampa Bay Buccaneers stormed out to a 27-0 lead on TNTs Sunday Night Football, and just as one-sided as the first half was, the 2nd half proved to be the opposite as the Rams demolished the Bucs.

Tyji Armstrong split two safeties and took it to the house for a 13-0 lead.Great comebacks usually are awarded when a team comes back from great odds with a short amount of time. No  Doubt we will be talking about the 2003 epic game on Monday Night Football where the Bucs dominated the Colts all game, but a perfect storm happened that saw things change in the last 5 minutes.

So todays choke by the Bucs is more about a tale of two halves:

FIRST HALF: The Bucs stormed out to a 27-3 lead, but It should come as no surprise the Rams came back and beat the Bucs; their first half big lead was really only made up of two plays, all in one sequence;  Tyji’s TD where two safties thought they were playing touch football, and the next play, the VERY NEXT PLAY, on the kickoff!

Watch the whole sequence…



Vinny and the Bucs did put together a nice drive here at the end of the first half, of course the score was 27-10 but  in  this drive Vinny ran and threw the ball for a 12 play 92 yard drive to give the Bucs their lead they would eventually squander.

This return gave the Bucs two Touchdowns in as many plays in the second quarter.

The close statistics would have set the stage; 120 to 117 yards passing, but the Bucs ran the ball well in the first half, Reggie Cobb led the Bucs with 74 yards on 17 carries, and Vinnie had 41 himself on a keeper.

But the Rams wasted no time getting back into this one; a 70 yard drive in 2 minutes, capped by a Jim Everett to Anderson for a 40 yard TD to cut the lead to 17. Then Bucs RB McDowell fumbles to the HOF Kevin Green setting up another Everett TD pass in 2 more minutes.

Then Vinny got in the action, throwing one of his world famous interceptions that the Rams would capitalize in a minute and a half! With 8 minutes to go in the 3rd Quarter the Rams had destroyed the lead it took Tampa Bay a whole half to achieve.

Reggie Cobb ran only 25 more yards in the second half, on 9 carries. Chalk that one up to Sam Wyche, who would “rather fool you than beat you” according to one of his rival coaches. A 24 point lead evaporates really fast when your not running the ball.

After the game former Redskin QB Joe Theismann was asked if the Bucs can take anything positive out of the game moving forward…Joe answered honestly “No.”

Truth is there was a positive… no one watching the game at the time knew it, but two of the Bucs players that helped forge the turnaround for the soon to be Pewter Pirates were on this team, one out in the open another on special teams at the time:

Linebacker Hardy Nickerson

Tight End  Dave Moore

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