Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 12/2/12

In a game that seemed to be going in the Buccaneers favor as it began, it was one single quarter of the game that was all the Broncos needed to beat Tampa Bay 31-23. As the Bucs took a 10-7 lead into the half, their gameplan looked as if it was working successfully, that was keep Peyton Manning off the field. But that was not the case in the third quarter. Denver would get a touchdown on their second possession of the quarter after Manning found wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from eight yards out following a pass interference call on Bucs’ rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson. After another three and out by the Bucs’ offense, Manning would find Thomas in the end zone again to give Denver a 21-10 lead. On the drive, an illegal use of hands penalty to defensive end Michael Bennett put the ball on the Tampa Bay nine yard line. Still in the third, Bucs’ quarterback Josh Freeman would be hit as he threw a pass intended for wide receiver Vincent Jackson in which Broncos’ Von Miller intercepted and returned for a touchdown, making it a 28-10 game. It was a 31-16 game in the fourth quarter when the Buccaneers would finally make it a game when Josh Freeman threw a touchdown pass to Mike Williams to bring the score to 31-23 with 2:33 left. It would prove to be not enough as a neutral zone infraction penalty on the Buccaneers on 2nd and six allowed Denver to get the first down and run out the clock. The Bucs now sit a full game out of the final spot of the wild card playoff race with four games left to play. NOTES Josh Freeman did not play his best. He made several bad throws and missed receivers high. He finished 18/39 for 242 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Doug Martin 56 yards on 18 carries. He also caught three passes for 42 yards, longest coming of a designed dump off for 26 yards. Mike Williams caught six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. Peyton manning finished 27/38 for 242 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Demaryius Thomas caught eight passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Buccaneers’ defense held the Broncos to 91 yards rushing. Linebacker Lavonte David got his first career interception. The Denver Broncos clinched the AFC West with the win over the Bucs. (Photo Credit: US Presswire) The post Broncos prove to be too much for the Bucs appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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