By Leo Haggerty


The Buccaneers started early and beat the Broncos 28-10 at Empower Field at Mile High for their first road win of the season.  That moved Tampa Bay to 2-1 and dropped Denver to 0-3.

Starting with the offense, Pewter Pirates QB Tom Brady had a good afternoon.  #12 was 25-of-38 for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Bucs dominated almost every offensive statistical category with more yards (353 to 226) and 1st downs (17 to 13) as well as time of possession (33:02 to 26:58).  One unique stat was the WR Mike Evans had only two catches for a measly two yards but two big touchdowns.  Deuces were certainly wild for #13 on Sunday.

Also stepping up on offense was TE Rob Gronkowski.  The “Invisible Man” in the Tampa Bay offense for the first two games came through with six catches on seven targets for 48 yards.  He’s back and that can only mean matchup problems for opposing defenders.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Buccaneers recorded six sacks with two of them coming from LB Shaquil Barrett.  Also included in the six QB captures was one each by DBs Antoine Winfield Jr. and Jerome Whitehead.  Everyone got involved in the sack attack.

DC Todd Bowles charges also threw a shutout in the second half.  Plus, they recorded the only two turnovers of the tilt with interceptions by LB LaVonte David and DB Mike Edwards.

The Bucs special teams got into the act as well and did it early.  DL Patrick O’Connor blocked the Denver punt on their first possession of the game.  #79 picked up the pigskin and rumbled down to the Broncos 10-yard line.  That set up the Pewter Pirates with a short field and Brady found WR Chris Godwin to take an early 7-0 lead.

From there, Tampa Bay sprinted to a 23-10 halftime lead.  A Ryan Succop 43 yard field goal and both Evans TD receptions countered a Denver field goal and a late TD pass for the Ponies

The Buccaneers, who now sit alone at the top of the NFC South standings, return home to take on the Los Angeles Chargers.  Kickoff at Raymond James Stadium is 1 pm.

Look for Senior Writer Rob Kriete’s Buc Up column for a preview of the game.  Then, I’ll meet you at the TV to see if the Buccaneers can continue their winning ways.