Tampa Bay Buccaneers Win First Game of 2014 in Dramatic Fashion


Sep 28, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver

Vincent Jackson

(83) catches a five yard game winning touchdown pass with seven seconds left against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Bucaneers won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, Louis Murphy was unemployed. On Sunday, he made the biggest play of the day.

Murphy hauled in a 41-yard pass from Mike Glennon with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter to set up a 5-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson with seven seconds left to lift the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 for their first win of the season.

The Bucs (1-3) trailed 24-20 with 1:44 left. After three straight stops by the defense, Steelers (2-2) punter Brad Wing shanked his kick only 29 yards to the Pittsburgh 46.

Five plays, and 33 seconds later, the Bucs had the go-ahead touchdown.

Glennon, who started in place of the injured Josh McCown, completed 21-of-42 passes for 302 yards while tossing two touchdowns and an interception.

The Bucs had jumped to an early 10-0 lead. Bucs defensive end Michael Johnson stripped Ben Roethlisberger and two plays later Glennon tossed a 7-yard pass to Mike Evans for a touchdown.

After forcing Pittsburgh to go 3-and-out on their next drive, the Bucs then added a Patrick Murray field goal.

However, the Steelers would rattle off 17 straight points as Shaun Suisham kicked a 25-yard field goal and Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown on two touchdown passes to give Pittsburgh a 17-10 half time lead. The Steelers could have extended their lead at the end of the first half but Suisham missed a 50-yard field goal as time expired.

At the half, the Bucs had just 64 yards of offense compared to Pittsburgh’s 253. Tampa Bay only had the football for 9:26 as their defense couldn’t get off the field.

The second half was a different story.

Sep 28, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback

Mike Glennon

(8) passes the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay answered right away on their opening drive as Martin ran in from 3 yards out, which had been set up by a 40-yard bomb from Glennon to Evans.

Their lead wouldn’t last as Pittsburgh responded immediately as Roethlisberger finished the drive off with a 5-yard touchdown toss to Heath Miller.

A Murray field goal in the fourth quarter made it 24-20 before Murphy’s late heroics.

Murphy didn’t have a catch in the first half but after Evans left injured in the third quarter, Murphy stepped up to the plate, finishing with six catches for 99 yards.

Evans had four grabs for 65 yards but left with an injured groin. He was running a deep route but pulled up half way down the field and Glennon’s pass was easily intercepted by Cortez Allen.

Doug Martin returned to the line up but mustered just 40 yards on the ground.

Roethlisberger torched the Bucs secondary for 325 yards and three touchdowns but the Bucs front seven played extremely well. They had five sacks, two of which were by Johnson. Gerald McCoy, who missed the defeat to Atlanta, returned and had two tackles and a sack on the opening drive.

Lavonte David had a team high 10 tackles while Major Wright, who replaced the injured Dashon Goldson in the first half, had nine.

The Bucs wound up with 350 yards of offense and went 7-of-13 on 3rd down. They committed nine penalties but were helped by Pittsburgh committing 13, many of which were of the 15-yard variety.

Tampa Bay are on the road for the third straight week next Sunday when they visit their NFC South rival New Orleans Saints.