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)

Storm loses to Pittsburgh, still makes Arena playoffs

Storm receiver Michael Lindsey looks for room against Pittsburgh. Tampa Bay loses its sixth in a row but gets help to clinch a playoff spot.


Storm receiver Michael Lindsey looks for room against Pittsburgh. Tampa Bay loses its sixth in a row but gets help to clinch a playoff spot.

TAMPA — Michael Lindsey fumbled the opening kickoff. Quarterback Randy Hippeard almost took a safety on the opening possession. Chris Davis coughed up the ball on the second drive and it was returned for a Pittsburgh touchdown.

Not a good look for a team fighting for its playoff life.

Tampa Bay could have secured a postseason trip with a win but instead backed in with some help as the Storm lost to Pittsburgh 48-37 Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum before 16,118, the largest crowd to see an AFL game this year.

"That was embarrassing," Storm coach Dave Ewart said. "Right now, we're not playoff worthy."

The Storm has lost six in a row, a franchise record. Pittsburgh snapped a seven-game losing streak.

The Storm's postseason plans, however, were decided before the end of the game. Word came just before halftime that New Orleans lost to Arizona, sending the Storm to the postseason. It's the Storm's first trip to the playoffs under Ewart, who took over before the 2011 season.

"I've got to be the only coach in history to be (angry) about securing the playoffs," Ewart said.

Tampa Bay reached the playoffs for the first time since a 2010 loss in ArenaBowl XXIII to Spokane.

The Storm's offense sputtered most of the night. Tampa Bay had first and goal twice and a first and 10 at the Pittsburgh 16 and failed to score each time. Tampa Bay also turned the ball over on downs six times. Hippeard was sacked five times and looked hesitant in the pocket.

"He got hit early on and started watching the rush a little too much," Ewart said. "It was definitely a combination of things."

Tampa Bay's defense did most of the heavy lifting in the first half. Rodney Beamon recorded a safety, the defense forced two turnovers on downs and R.J. Roberts' forced fumble and recovery for a 48-yard TD return gave the Storm its first lead at 16-14 with 8:16 left in the half.

Davis, a former Florida State and St. Petersburg Catholic star, led with 10 catches for 88 yards and a score, and Joe Hills extended his single-season team record with two touchdown catches (41 total). Hippeard was 25-of-42 for 202 yards, four TDs and an INT.

Tampa Bay wraps up its regular season next Saturday at Jacksonville.

Storm loses to Pittsburgh, still makes Arena playoffs 07/20/13 [Last modified: Saturday, July 20, 2013 11:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. DeSean Jackson's 'Ferrari engine' brings him to first Bucs camp


    TAMPA — When the Bucs signed Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson in the offseason, QB Jameis Winston said his new target was "a Bentley with a Ferrari engine," a nod to Jackson's 5-foot-10 frame but elite speed.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson sits for an interview while on camera with NFL Films.   HBO's NFL Films production of "Hard Knocks" documented a day in the life of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson with his family at their home in Tampa on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
  2. What you should know about new Rays slugger Lucas Duda


    The MLB trade deadline is a few days away, but the Rays aren't procrastinating. Earlier today, they swung a deal for the Mets' Lucas Duda, sending minor league right-hander Drew Smith

    Slugger Lucas Duda will add some (more) power to the Rays lineup.
  3. Rays add a bat, too, acquiring Lucas Duda from Mets


    The Rays made another big move today, acquiring 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.

    Duda, 31, is a lefty slugger who will take over as the Rays primary DH against right-handers, with Corey Dickerson now playing most of the time in the outfield.

    To get Duda, the Rays gave up minor-league RHP Drew Smith, …

    The Rays acquired 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.
  4. Bucs do their best to stiff-arm the expectations


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team giving the Heisman trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    As always, the key to the Bucs success will be Jameis Winston. He still is only 23, but a charismatic leader that this team and this town believes deeply in. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. A trip down memory lane of Bucs' preseason expectations


    With HBO's Hard Knocks in town and the Bucs opening training camp Friday with their highest expectations in a decade, here's a look back at Tampa Bay's preseason expectations since their last playoff appearance in 2007 — and the results.


    Jameis Winston and running back Peyton Barber celebrate a touchdown last season against the 49ers. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]