Bucs MVP: DE Rice

January 12 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice came up big against Philadelphia with seven tackles and two sacks, but it wasn't enough as the Eagles beat the Bucs 31-9 in the NFC wild card game. Including the post-season, Rice had 13 sacks this season.

For all of the talking done by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense prior to the wild card playoff game at Philadelphia regarding repaying the Eagles for the Bucs' early ousting from the playoffs last year and playing to save head coachTony Dungy's job, not many defenders made big plays to back up their boasting.

One who did was Tampa Bay sackmeister Simeon Rice, who had seven tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble and is the BucMag.com Bucs MVP of the Game.

Rice, who entered the game as the Bucs' leading sacker with 11 quarterback takedowns, was miffed that he was passed over for the Pro Bowl and said he planned to make the wild card game against the Eagles his personal showcase game to prove to everyone that he can be a complete defensive end who can play the run as well as rush the passer. Mission accomplished.

Rice was very fired up to play his old high school teammate, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, and he came through with another big game and a two-sack effort, which gave him 13 sacks in his first season in Tampa Bay, including the post-season.


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