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Q&A with Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Matt Bryant

Bucs kicker Matt Bryant watches his 34-yard winning field goal clear the uprights in overtime. It was his third attempt of the drive — after a timeout voided a made kick, and a penalty wiped out a miss.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Bucs kicker Matt Bryant watches his 34-yard winning field goal clear the uprights in overtime. It was his third attempt of the drive — after a timeout voided a made kick, and a penalty wiped out a miss.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After watching his team fall behind by 21 points in the second quarter, Matt Bryant never dreamed the greatest comeback in Bucs history would come down to his right foot. But it did — actually three times within a matter of seconds in overtime — and the seventh-year pro out of Baylor made it count when it finally mattered. His 34-yard field goal with 4:36 elapsed in overtime gave Tampa Bay an improbable 30-27 victory over the Chiefs.

Bryant's first attempt of 37 yards sailed through the uprights, but not before Kansas City called a timeout — forcing a rekick on third and 5 from the 20.

His next attempt fluttered wide right. But that effort didn't count either, thanks to a false-start penalty against Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood. Facing third and 10 from the 25, the offense went back on the field, and quarterback Jeff Garcia hit fullback Jameel Cook for 9 yards, setting the stage for Bryant's winner.

Bryant, 33, spoke about the emotional roller-coaster:

What was going through your mind after the missed field goal?

Just to have a short memory. The wind was doing goofy things in that stadium. It was swirling and all of a sudden on that one kick, it kind of straightened out. It went right when it should have come back left. You block it out and go to your next kick — and here we are.

Can it be helpful to have some practice kicks before the real one?

Kind of. But each kick is different, no matter how far it is or what the situation is. At least we try to approach it that way.

What did this win mean for the team?

It's great. It would have been terrible to go into the bye week with a loss. But to win the way we did, I think it's just going to make us hungrier for when we get back from the bye week.

Did you think it would come down to a field goal at 24-3?

You never know, but at 24-3, probably not. I wouldn't have bet that.

When you won the toss in overtime, how did you feel about your chances?

Clifton Smith was doing a great job all day giving us excellent field position. So from the very beginning, you know you're going to have a legit shot. And Jeff (Garcia) has done this many times, leading the offense down there. It was a total team effort to be down by that many and to hold them and keep scoring.

Q&A with Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Matt Bryant 11/02/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 3, 2008 6:49pm]
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