Saturday, July 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Conte on key interception: 'Just doing my job'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Bucs were clinging to a 12-10 lead in the fourth quarter Sunday, and the Chiefs were threatening to take the lead, getting a 44-yard pass play to the 10-yard line, in range for a go-ahead field goal or touchdown.

The Chiefs' Alex Smith had thrown just three interceptions all season in 289 pass attempts, for an interception percentage of just 1.03 percent, among the best in the league. But on second and goal, his pass across the middle was deflected by the outstretched hand of DT Gerald McCoy, and S Chris Conte got the interception, racing out of the end zone to the Tampa Bay 48-yard line.

"I was just doing my job. I was just patient on that play," said Conte, who had his first career pick-six last week in a win against Chicago. "It's a play that we've seen before in practice, so I was ready for it. … They had a play-action fake and he threw me the ball."

Said Chiefs coach Andy Reid: "(No.) 23 didn't bite on it. … He has been biting on that, and he didn't do that. Lousy call."

The momentum was back to the Bucs, who took the short field and converted with their only touchdown, the deciding score in a 19-17 victory.

"I can't tell you how major of a play that was," S Bradley McDougald said. "Late in the game, their offense is driving, and they're gaining momentum play by play, and not only does he come down with it but returns it to midfield and gives our offense good field position. It's essentially the play of the game."

FIRST SCORE: The Bucs' only touchdown, with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter, came on a 3-yard pass to undrafted rookie TE Alan Cross, who lined up as a fullback and ran to the right, wide open for his first NFL touchdown. "We ran that play at Memphis all the time -— we called it 'Pig,' a power pass," Cross said of his second NFL catch. "Just avoid the (defensive end). I believe it was (Pro Bowl end Justin) Houston I had to avoid and it was there. … I've scored on that play I don't know how many times at Memphis. It was just Jameis (Winston) throwing me the ball instead of Paxton Lynch."

PERFECT: Rookie Roberto Aguayo went 4-for-4 on field goals and converted his only extra point, continuing his strong play after a rough start this season. After five misses in his first five games, Aguayo is 8-for-9 on field goals in the past five games, and 12-for-13 on extra points. "It's my job," he said. "If I'd have missed one, it would have been 17-16."

INJURIES: The Bucs played much of the game without Pro Bowl CB Brent Grimes, who left in the first quarter with a quad injury. Alterraun Verner played most of the game and had two passes defensed. Verner left late with an injury and was replaced by Josh Robinson, who got his first defensive snaps of the season. First-year lineman Ben Gottschalk got his first career snap at left guard with two starters injured, and he was replaced early by rookie Caleb Benenoch, who played the rest of the game. The Bucs' line gave up only one sack in 40 passing plays.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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