Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 11/18/14

The Bucs defense found themselves up against the wall for the majority of the game. After some key plays on defense and special teams, Tampa Bay sent the Chargers back to San Diego with a 34-24 loss on Sunday. Philip Rivers and the Chargers struck first just three plays into the game. A 10-yard pass to Danario Alexander turned into an 80-yard catch and run when he broke free from Bucs’ cornerback Leonard Johnson tackle where Alexander’s knee never hit the ground. On the ensuing Buccaneers’ possession, a Josh Freeman touchdown pass from three yards out to tight end Dallas Clark tied the game 7-7. The touchdown was set up by a dump off to Doug Martin that he turned into a 42 yard reception. San Diego marched right back down the field where Rivers connected with tight end Antonio Gates, putting the Chargers back on top 14-7. A Connor Barth field goal would cut the deficit to 14-10 in the second quarter. But the Bucs would get the lead when linebacker Dekoda Watson blocked a Chargers punt attempt which allowed special teams captain Adam Hayward to scoop it up and take it in for the go ahead touchdown. The Chargers would take a 21-17 lead into the half after an eight minute touchdown drive left the Bucs with barely any time remaining in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Josh Freeman connected with wide receiver Tiquan Underwood for a 15-yard touchdown to put the Bucs ahead 24-21. The Bucs would add another touchdown when undrafted rookie Leonard Johnson intercepted a pass from Rivers that was thrown right to him and took it 83-yards for the touchdown. That is Johnson’s third interception in the last three games. With the score 31-24 with under four minutes left, Philip Rivers would be sacked by Bucs’ defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. On the following play, the Tampa Bay defensive front pressured Rivers into another interception this time by LeQuan Lewis. Tampa Bay would go on to kick a field goal with just over a minute left to seal the game 34-24. Scary situation in the third quarter for Bucs linebacker Quincy Black made a helmet to helmet hit on Chargers running back Ryan Matthews. Black would remain on the ground motionless to later be carted off on a stretcher. Coach Schiano said after the game that Black would be fine. The team will further evaluate him on Monday. NOTES Josh Freeman finished the game 14-20 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 137.5. Doug Martin had 119 total yards (68 rushing, 51 receiving). He has 100+ total yards in the last five games. The Bucs defense recorded two sacks (Mason Foster, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim) and two interceptions (Leonard Johnson, LeQuan Lewis). Tampa Bay is 11-3 when Freeman has a passer rating of 100+. With his two touchdown passes Sunday, he has now gone 12 straight games with at least one touchdown pass dating back to last season.   The post Defense, special teams carry Bucs in win over San Diego appeared first on The Bay Cave.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kentucky remains unbeaten after thrilling win over ND

Alabama DT arrested on domestic violence charges again

John Calipari blasted for postgame interview

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

WATCH: Enes Kanter embraces boos in return to Utah

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.