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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Goal-line stand kept Bucs in game with Rams



ST. LOUIS -- In a game where the Bucs offense could make few big plays, the defense kept the team in the game with a key stop on a goal-line stand, forcing a fumble in the second quarter.

"They're driving and about to score and the defense bulled up," said linebacker Lavonte David, who had two of his team-high 11 tackles on back-to-back plays at the goal line. "That's what we play the game for, goal-line situations. We knew what we were going to get, and our guys did a great job of getting penetration."

The Rams had marched down the field with big gains -- a 19-yard run by Zac Stacy, a 28-yard pass to Stedman Bailey -- and had first and goal at the 4-yard line, in position to take a 21-7 lead with a touchdown. David stopped Stacy at the 1-yard line, then dropped him for a loss on second down, setting up a third and goal from the 2.

St. Louis called a quarterback draw for Kellen Clemens, and defensive end Adrian Clayborn forced the fumble, which safety Keith Tandy recovered. Tampa Bay got the ball back, and the Bucs would allow only three field goals the rest of the game.

"We definitely needed that, because any momentum you can find in the game, you want to build off of it," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.

Red-zone defense was perhaps what the Bucs did best Sunday -- the Rams had four trips inside the Bucs' 20-yard line, and came away with a touchdown just once, holding them to a field goal on another stop.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 22, 2013 6:33pm]


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