JACKSONVILLE — Quarterback Shane Boyd, in his first start for the Storm, threw for four touchdowns and ran for two Saturday vs. Jacksonville.
But he threw an interception that was returned for a score and fumbled twice (one returned for a score) as Tampa Bay lost its seventh straight entering the playoffs, 52-44.
With Orlando's win over New Orleans, the Storm (7-11) fell to the No. 4 seed in the American Conference. Philadelphia's loss at San Antonio gave Jacksonville the No. 1 seed, so the Storm returns there at 7 p.m. Saturday for the conference semis.
With Adrian MacPherson hurt and Randy Hippeard struggling, Boyd, a second-year player out of Kentucky, started. His 19-yard TD to Joe Hills three minutes into the second half tied it at 28.
The Sharks (12-6) kicked a field goal on the ensuing series. Then defensive back Tracy Belton intercepted a Boyd pass and returned it 20 yards for a score. On the second play of the next series, Boyd was sacked and lost the ball. Defensive back Jamaal Fudge returned it 15 yards to make it 45-28.