Advertisement
  1. Bucs

Bucs' Lavonte David seals victory with Matt Ryan interception

Bucs Lavonte David (54) runs after intercepting Falcons Matt Ryan late in the 4th qtr. during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon 12/6/2015 in Tampa.
Published Dec. 7, 2015

TAMPA — LB Lavonte David couldn't believe QB Matt Ryan threw the ball.

The Bucs' defense had gone nearly two full games without a takeaway, and staked with a 23-19 lead, it needed one more stop against the Falcons' offense Sunday afternoon.

From film study, David knew where the Falcons liked to go in two-minute drills, and he dropped back and waited, expecting a throw to WR Julio Jones.

"I didn't expect him to throw it. I was right there," said David, who made a leaping interception to seal the Bucs' 23-19 win. "I didn't move. I didn't budge. He threw it, and when the ball was in the air, I had my hands ready already."

Bucs coach Lovie Smith said it was "only fitting" that David got the key takeaway, and David said the play "couldn't come at a bigger moment."

Ryan, who lost for the sixth time in seven games, said he needed to make an aggressive throw for a winning drive. "I shouldn't have made that throw," he said.

SHORTHANDED: The Bucs played without DT Gerald McCoy (hand), DE Jacquies Smith (hamstring) and DE George Johnson (calf), injuries that decimated a defensive line that already had DT Clinton McDonald on injured reserve.

"Wednesday I looked over and our entire starting defensive line that we started the season with was standing on the sideline," Lovie Smith said. "Guys really stepped up. … It's an opportunity for some of the younger players to step up."

WELCOME BACK: After missing nine games with a shoulder injury, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned, catching three passes for 31 yards, including a first-down catch in Falcons territory on the winning drive in the fourth quarter.

"It really means everything to me," Seferian-Jenkins said. "To be able to get back out here for my team and to win in the fashion we did, it was really special to me. When you're out for a long time, you just miss the game of football. It's tough, and I'm just happy to be back. It's an amazing feeling."

BACK IN THERE: Bucs CB Jude Adjei-Barimah left the game with an elbow injury — his right arm was in a sling after the game — and taking over was Johnthan Banks, who had played only two defensive snaps in the previous four games. Banks had one tackle. The severity of Adjei-Barimah's injury was unknown. Banks could be back in a starting role next week against the Saints.

THIS AND THAT: Rookie QB Jameis Winston's five rushing touchdowns this season match the most by a Bucs quarterback. Steve Young had five in 1986, and Shaun King had five in 2000. … David's interception gives him nine for his career, tied for third in Bucs history and one short of second. Dave Lewis had 10 from 1977-81. Derrick Brooks leads the way with 25. … WR Vincent Jackson had a season-high 87 yards on three catches, including a 22-yard catch on the winning drive. … Sunday's announced attendance was 58,221, the second lowest in six home games this season. Only the Carolina game has a smaller crowd 57,468.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Teddy Bridgewater (5)  will look to stay unbeaten as Drew Brees' fill-in when the Saints play the Chicago Bears Sunday at Soldier Field. PHELAN M. EBENHACK  |  AP
    Here are our picks for this week’s NFL games.
  2. San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch, a former Bucs player and Ring of Honor member, celebrates with 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) after Sherman broke up a pass during the 49ers' 31-17 victory over Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 8, 2019 in Tampa. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    After two seasons of second-guessing, general manager John Lynch has it going with the 5-0 49ers. | Martin Fennelly
  3. The Tampa Bay Vipers kick off their inaugural season in February. XFL
    The Vipers’ initial 71-man roster features numerous players who have ties to Tampa Bay. Plus, why coach Marc Trestman drafted big receivers and why 77-year-old defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville...
  4. Indianapolis Colts running back Aca'Cedric Ware runs during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) MICHAEL CONROY  |  AP
    The move comes days after the team went through a series of roster transactions.
  5. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill will supplant Marcus Mariota as the starter in Tennessee. JACK DEMPSEY  |  AP
    The Bucs chose Jameis Winston over Mariota in 2015. Now both the No. 1 and No. 2 picks from that draft appear to be at a crossroads.
  6. Former NFL running back Warrick Dunn spends time with new homeowner LaToya Reedy and her son, AnTrez, at 918 43rd St. S. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    The retired Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back partnered with Habitat for Humanity and others to give a hardworking nursing assistant and her son the home of their dreams.
  7. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Bobo Wilson (85) during the second half of a preseason game against the Browns on Aug. 23. MARK LOMOGLIO  |  AP
    Wilson muffed two punts Sunday vs. Carolina, losing one. The team also released LB Devante Bond.
  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after making a touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter in London. ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP
    Journal: Also, the 2015 NFL draft is looking like a bust for quarterbacks. Could the Bucs have taken someone else at No. 1 overall?
  9. We've seen enough sad walks to the locker room. It's time we've reached the tough love portion of our program with Bucs coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Jameis Winston. The Bucs need to stop making excuses when Winston has one of those meltdown games that have become so familiar in Tampa Bay. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Stop coddling Jameis Winston. If he’s playing himself out of Tampa Bay, the Bucs should let him know now. | John Romano
  10. Former Plant High star Aaron Murray will fulfill a dream when he steps onto the Raymond James Stadium field as a Tampa Bay Viper. Tampa Bay Vipers
    Murray won a state title in 2008, started for four seasons at Georgia and played briefly in the NFL.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement