Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ronde Barber's best five games

Ronde Barber has been a part of some of the Bucs' greatest moments, games and seasons. What's more, he often has been at the center of the action, making the play that propelled them to victory. There are too many highlights to count in a career that spans 16 seasons, but we thought it appropriate to pinpoint Barber's greatest games.

No. 5: Dec. 4, 2005

Bucs 10, Saints 3

With the NFC South title in their sights, the Bucs could ill afford a slipup against the 3-8 Saints at LSU in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But the Bucs didn't look like a division winner that day, their offense producing only 10 points. That made big defensive plays all the more necessary, and Barber was right on time. He intercepted Aaron Brooks three times — with a combined 70 yards in returns — and made eight tackles.

No. 4: Sept. 10, 2000

Bucs 41, Bears 0

Barber is known as much for his ability to impact games as his 47 regular-season interceptions and 28 regular-season sacks. There might be no better example of this than one of the most thorough victories in Bucs history. Barber showed his versatility, recording a career-high 21/2 sacks against Cade McNown. He shared the first with end Marcus Jones then got a sack of his own, causing a fumble that linebacker Shelton Quarles recovered. And Barber dropped McNown for an 8-yard loss on the final play of the game.

No. 3: Dec. 23, 2001

Bucs 48, Saints 21

With the Bucs fighting for a playoff spot, there was little margin for error in this home game. Fortunately for Barber, Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks made quite a few mistakes. Barber, in the first of two such games, collected a team-record three interceptions off Brooks, slamming the door on threats and preserving the victory for the playoff-bound Bucs. Barber saved the best for last, returning his third interception 36 yards for a touchdown.

No. 2: Oct. 22, 2006

Bucs 23, Eagles 21

So how do the Bucs score 23 points on a day the offense doesn't find the end zone? By seeing Barber return two Donovan McNabb interceptions for touchdowns. Barber got the Bucs on the scoreboard first, returning a pick 37 yards in the second quarter. He outdid himself with a 66-yard touchdown return in the third quarter. Were it not for those scores, the Bucs would not have been in the game and certainly would not have had the opportunity to see Matt Bryant win it with a franchise-record 62-yard field goal as time expired.

No. 1: Jan. 19, 2003

Bucs 27, Eagles 10

The Bucs stood one win from the Super Bowl. In the NFC Championship against the rival Eagles and a packed house at storied Veterans Stadium — where the two previous seasons ended — the Bucs took a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter. But as the Donovan McNabb-led Eagles drove, the Bucs defense needed to make a stand. Enter Barber. With the Eagles at the Bucs 10 with 3:27 left, Barber faked a blitz, dropped into coverage and snared McNabb's underthrown ball at the 8. With no one catching him, Barber jogged the last half of the 92-yard touchdown for what most agree is the biggest play in Bucs history. "It was pretty sweet," Barber said that day. "Considering it was this stadium, dealing with these fans the way we've had to deal with them for the past two or three years, it was a pretty sweet feeling." He also had three tackles, a sack and four passes defensed that day.

The greatest play

With the Bucs leading the Eagles 20-10 and 3:12 remaining in the NFC Championship Game, Philadelphia began a furious rally. With first and goal at the Bucs 10, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb tried to hit receiver Antonio Freeman on a slant. Barber faked a blitz, then dropped back into coverage and stepped in front for the pass for the interception and ran 92 yards into playoff history.

Click the red dots below to read quotes and factoids about Barber's renowned play.

Ronde Barber's best five games 05/08/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  2. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  3. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    LHP Blake Snell stepped up when the Rays needed him to — and perhaps when he had to to keep his job — working a season-high seven plus innings. And it wasn't only that he got deep into the game, but how he did so, using his fastball to pound the strike zone.

  5. Urban Meyer says the Big Ten is now the equal of the SEC


    CHICAGO — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer doesn't just believe the Big Ten has closed the gap with the more heralded SEC. He is convinced the race is a dead heat already.

    Ohio State’s Urban Meyer says the Big Ten East is as strong as the SEC East was when he coached UF to two national titles.