Bucs 17, Cards 10, Final

Can't watch Sunday's game between Tampa Bay and Arizona, or just want to keep up with it online? Our Bucsblitz.com game blog will keep you up to date with breaking news, injury reports and analysis throughout the game.

Shutting it down, 3:56 pm.

I'm getting ready to go to the field for postgame interviews.

Don't forget to stop by Bucsblitz.com later tonight for complete postgame coverage quicker than you can get it from your local paper.

Phillips INT?, 3:54 p.m.

Jermaine Phillips is ruled as having intercepted Kurt Warner on the sideline. Now, he didn't because he didn't' get both feet in. But because the Cardinals have used all their time outs, they can't challenge. The Bucs get the ball back with 2:20 left.

Huge hit, 3:53 p.m.

Maurice Stovall just timed a hit perfectly on punt returner Steve Breaston, applying a big hit just as Breaston caught the ball. The Cardinals have the ball at their own 16. Stovall has had a great game on special teams.

Cards will get it back, 3:51 p.m.

The Bucs are facing 3rd-and-11 at their 33 with 2:56 left, and the Cards have stopped the clock with one of their time outs. If the Bucs don't convert, the Cardinals will get one more shot at tying this game. Jeff Garcia looked like he was trying to kill the clock and the Cards have stopped it with 2:49 left. The Bucs will have to punt.

Bucs D steps up, 3:49 p.m.

Tampa Bay forced three straight incompletions to put the Cardinals in a punting situation. The Bucs will get the ball back with about three minutes left and a seven-point lead. The Cardinals have two time outs. The Bucs get the ball at their 39.

Drive sputters, 3:47 p.m.

A John Wade holding penalty and a sack stops the Bucs cold on this drive, as the Bucs are forced to punt. Davin Joseph got a facemask call that was declined. But it stops the clock before the punt. The Cardinals return the punt to their 25 with 3:31 left in the game. The Cards have that long to tie, or even win, the game.

Trust in Ike, 3:42 p.m.

Jeff Garcia went to reliable Ike Hilliard for the first down.

Bucs need a couple of first downs here, 3:41 p.m.

The Bucs don't need to score, necessarily, but they need to chew some clock. Earnest Graham has gained five yards on the first two carries, and the Bucs need to convert this third down to keep the drive alive.

Cards trying to make a game of it, 3:32

Arizona has gone almost exclusively to the pass on this drive and they got into Buccaneers territory and the red zone. Edgerrin James powered it in from 2 yards out with 7:30 left to cut the Bucs' lead in half. It's 17-10.

No we'll see where all those missed opportunities got the Bucs today as they try to seal this game up on the next drive.

The Saints are officially back, 3:29 p.m.

New Orleans is up 38-17 on the Jaguars with about two minutes left in the third quarter. The Saints would improve to 4-4 with the win and be a half-game behind the Bucs in the NFC South if the Bucs hold on to this win. And, with the Panthers losing 20-0 to Tennessee, they would drop to 4-4 and allow the Bucs to slide into first place overall in the NFC South entering the bye.

Smith had it, 3:25 p.m.

Alex Smith had his third touchdown pass this season, but lost it as he was rolling over on the ground. It was a perfectly-executed naked bootleg. Smith just couldn't hang on. Matt Bryant's short field goal was no good and the Bucs are still up 17-3 with 11:47 left in the fourth. Geez, leave the door open for the Cardinals, why don't you. That would have made it a three-possession game.

Graham goes over 100, 3:19 p.m.

Earnest Graham's 3-yard gain just put him over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his NFL career. He now has 102 rushing yards. Cardinals LB Calvin Pace left the game on the play with an injury.

Another third-down conversion, 3:18 p.m.

Jeff Garcia's scramble to the Cardinals 16 was their fifth straight third-down conversion on this drive. This drive, if it results in a TD, slams the door shut on the Cardinals.

Score update, 3:13 p.m.

New Orleans is now up 31-17 on Jacksonville midway through the third quarter. The Panthers are still down 13-0. And Earnest Graham just converted a third down for Tampa Bay in Arizona territory.

Smith, Stovall, 3:11 p.m.

Alex Smith's return is questionable from his ankle injury. Maurice Stovall just made his first catch today, on third down, to keep this drive going near the end of the third quarter.

There's Bennett, 3:08 p.m.

Michael Bennett just made his first appearance. He didn't gain much. And TE Alex Smith just got up limping. He's walking off the field. Looks like he re-aggravated that ankle injury.

No shock, it's Hilliard, 3:05 p.m.

Ike Hilliard just caught that third-down pass for a first down. That's not a surprise. He's one of the best third-down receivers in the NFL right now.

Oh, and Jeremy Trueblood is back in the game.

Adams so far, 3:03 p.m.

CBSSportsline has Gaines Adams with just one tackle so far, but I've seen him around the football quite a bit today. I wouldn't grade him an A, but it seems he's playing with more energy now that he knows he won't be yanked after one bad play. Sometimes that peace of mind means a lot to a young player.

Adams gets in big hit, 3 p.m.

On that third down incompletion, Gaines Adams gave Kurt Warner a big hit just as he released the pass. Then, for whatever reason, Deuce Lutui shoved Adams to the ground, drawing a personal foul call. All that did was allow Mike Barr to pin the Bucs back at their own 6 after a nice punt.

Another Graham milestone, 2:54 p.m.

A 100-yard rushing game just eluded him in Detroit two weeks ago, but Earnest Graham appears to be poised for his first career 100-yard game today. He now had 82 yadrs rushing and the Bucs will seek to keep it on the ground to protect their two touchdown lead.

Bucs score TD, 2:52 p.m.

Earnest Graham just plunged in from two yards out with 10:33 left in the third quarter to give the Bucs a 17-3 lead. It's just their second rushing touchdown since Week 4. That's the push the Bucs needed to take control of this game.

Trueblood could be back, 2:51 p.m.

Whatever his injury is, Jeremy Trueblood's return is probable. Two different people were talking over the press box P.A. at the same time, making it hard to hear.

Just heard that it's his shoulder.

Bucs have something going, 2:49 p.m.

Joey Galloway caught a cross, broke a tackle and sprinted into the red zone at the Cardinals 17. It's a 28-yard gain and it puts the Bucs in position to add to their lead.

Trueblood hurt, 2:47 p.m.

Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood is down on the field and trainers are looking at him. He's walking off under his own power and we'll update you when we know something. But right now Anthony Davis will see his first action this season at right tackle.

No Bennett?, 2:44 p.m.

I haven't seen Michael Bennett on the field today. What gives? Earnest Graham has done a fine job, but Bennett has the home run pitch Graham doesn't have.

Missed opportunities, 2:41 p.m.

If the Bucs end up losing this game, we'll point to the second quarter where they had the ball four times after taking a 10-3 lead and couldn't score again. The Bucs will have the ball to start the third quarter, and a touchdown here would really put the Cardinals behind the 8-ball. Right now, they must feel lucky to only be down seven points as poorly as they played on offense in the first half.

Score update, 2:40 p.m.

New Orleans is trying to add to its 24-17 lead late in the second quarter, while Carolina is down 13-0 at halftime to Tennessee.

Long attempt by Bryant, 2:27 p.m.

Matt Bryant is about to attempt a 58-yard field goal with 4 seconds left. It's no good. Halftime.

About Garcia, 2:25 p.m.

I think Jeff Garcia is getting to antsy in the pocket today. There have been several players in which a bit more patience would have benefited him. He's not as sharp as in weeks past, but certainly not as rough around the edges as last week. Earnest Graham just bailed him out by running for a first down.

Dumb play, 2:23 p.m.

The Cards get a chance to kick it again after the Bucs had 12 men on the field on coverage. One of the Bucs was trying furiously to get off the field, but didn't in time. Now the Bucs will start at their own 35 with 1:03 left.

Starting to get to Warner, 2:21 p.m.

Gaines Adams nearly got to Kurt Warner that time, no doubt forcing Warner to alter his pass to Larry Fitzgerald. Tanard Jackson nearly picked it off. The Bucs are a play away from getting the ball back with some time left in the first half. And after stopping the Cards on a run play and calling time out, they should get the ball back in decent shape with about a minute left.

False starts galore, 2:20 p.m.

Are we near the NFL record for combined false starts yet? Or does it just seem like it. Mike Gandy, Arizona's left tackle, was just called for one. And the Bucs still haven't sacked or really pressured Kurt Warner. I just overheard five false starts. And it's not even that loud in Ray Jay today.

Dockett sits on Garcia, 2:15 p.m.

Darnell Dockett brought down a scrambling Jeff Garcia to force a Bucs punt. On the play, Dockett seemed to spend about a second or two sitting on Garcia, and he didn't seem very pleased about that.

Hayes undaunted, 2:14 p.m.

Gerald Hayes just tracked down Jeff Garica for a 5-yard loss. Hayes lost his helmet on the play, but just kept coming. The Bucs defense is keeping the Cardinals out of this game, but the Cards defense is keeping the Cardinals in this game. If that makes any sense at all.

Cards punt, 2:10 p.m.

Arizona is forced to punt again. They cannot get a thing going on offense. The Bucs offense really needs to get some points. Ike Hilliard returned a nice punt to the Bucs 35 with 3:47 left. And Cards safety Aaron Francisco — who made the play — is down.

Run defense is great, 2:08 p.m.

Looks like Monte Kiffin listened to me when I said you have to shut down the run this week. The Cards have 9 rushing yards so far. Edgerrin James has nowhere to run.

Bucs punt AGAIN, 2:06 p.m.

Tampa Bay goes three and out again. This offense is leaving the Bucs defense hanging, even though the Bucs are up 10-3. They should be up by twice that, really. The Cards get the ball at their own 20 with 6:29 left. Also, Jacksonville's Quinn Gray is out of the game. It's still 17-17.

Big hit day, 2:03 p.m.

The Bucs secondary are laying some big hits on Arizona's big receivers. They just dislodged Anquan Boldin from a potential catch over the middle. And then a wide open Edgerrin James dropped a pass. Maybe the Bucs are getting in their heads defensively. The Bucs get the ball back at their 37 with 8:06 left in the second quarter.

Bucs punt again, 2 p.m.

Jeff Garcia had plenty of time to throw but couldn't find anyone. The Bucs punt and the Cardinals take over at their own 23 with 9:07 left in the second quarter. You get the feeling the Bucs are one big play away from breaking it open, because the Cardinals, offensive, have done nothing yet.

Missed ya, Alex, 1:58 p.m.

Alex Smith just made his first catch since his injury against Detroit, and it led to a Bucs first down.

Cards punt, 1:54 p.m.

the Cards punt and Phillip Buchanon lost yardage, getting back to the Bucs 32 before a holding penalty by Sammy Davis set it back further. The Bucs will start deep in their own territory with 12:19 left in the second quarter.

Warner's compensating, 1:52 p.m.

Kurt Warner is creatively using his right hand to hand off to a ball carrier on his left side. He's handing the ball off with the back of his right hand facing the ball carrier, which isn't how you teach it, but it works for Warner, who is nursing those strained ligaments in his left elbow.

Saints-Jags update, 1:50 p.m.

It's turning into a wild one in New Orleans. The game is tied 17-17 after the first quarter.

Bryant to kick, 1:47 p.m.

Yep, warm up Matt Bryant. He just kicked a 32-yard field goal to give the Bucs a 10-3 lead with 13:37 left in the second. But that just reinforced the Bucs' inability to score touchdowns when they start a drive in their opponents' territory. I think that's 3 out of 15 this season.

Jags-Saints update, 1:45 p.m.

The Jags have tied it up, 10-10, late in the first quarter.

Graham is undaunted, 1:43 p.m.

Earnest Graham gained 12 yards on 1st and 20 to give the Bucs a fighting chance on this series. Unless someone jumps offsides again.

Penalty plague, 1:42 p.m.

First it's Jeremy Trueblood. Then it's Arron Sears. They commit back to back false starts and the Bucs are now facing 1st-and-20 at the Cardinals 27. Warm up Matt Bryant.

Bucs pick off Warner, 1:40 p.m.

Tanard Jackson just wrestled away an interception from Cardinals TE Leonard Pope. Then, Pope compounded it by committing a personal foul facemask, good for 15 yards more. The Bucs will start this drive at the Cardinals' 17 with 14:49 left in the second quarter.

Update, 1:37 p.m.

New Orleans still leads Jacksonville, 10-7, while Carolina is down 10-0 to Tennessee. Remember that Carolina is a half-game ahead of the Bucs, and a loss, combined with a Tampa Bay win, would vault the Bucs back into first place entering the bye week. If New Orleans wins, the Saints are .500. If it falls right, the Bucs, Panthers and Saints could all be 5-4 entering Week 11. Yikes!

Bucs don't move the chains, 1:34 p.m.

Ike Hilliard dropped a pass he shouldn't have and the Bucs have to punt. The Cardinals jump offsides, which makes it 4th-and-3 from the Cards 46. The crowd wants Gruden to go for it. But he won't. The Bucs punt again and Maurice Stovall downs it at the Cardinals 3 with 25 seconds left in the first quarter.

Wade holds, 1:32 p.m.

John Wade's holding call set the Bucs back 1st and 20. The Bucs have three plays to get it back. This is something the Bucs struggled with last week – penalties and being unable to get the yardage back and move the chains.

Bucs mixing it up, 1:28 p.m.

As the Cards failed to convert that third down, I noticed that Gaines Adams lined up at left end and Greg White at right end. Kevin Carter was the under tackle and Greg Peterson was on the nose. I've seen the Bucs moved people around quite a bit this season, but that grouping has the feel of a speed-rushing unit to me. The Bucs have the ball at their own 34 with 4:45 left in the first.

Saints still up, 1:26 p.m.

The Saints are beating the Jaguars 10-7 in the first quarter.

That's more like it, 1:25 p.m.

That drive consumed 77 yards and 6:21 of clock. Those are the kinds of drives that we came to expect from the Bucs earlier this season.

How did he catch that?, 1:21 p.m.

Jeff Garcia just hit Joey Galloway for a 37-yard touchdown pass with 5:56 left in the first quarter. It's 7-3 Bucs. That was an incredible catch, because Cards DB Terrence Holt had good coverage. But it looked like from the replay that Holt was half a second slow in trying to break up the pass. That's Galloway's fifth TD catch this year — and that one may have been the shortest.

Askew limping, Garcia running, 1:19 p.m.

FB B.J. Askew came back to the sideline limping one play before Jeff Garcia completely escaped a sack — I don't know how — and got a first down to keep the drive going. Bertrand Berry tried to bring Garcia down from his shoulder pads and lost his grip. Garcia then dove forward for the first. Great play.

Bucs driving, 1:17 p.m.

Tampa Bay has picked up two first downs on this first drive so far, and Jeff Garcia is getting solid protection up front. The Bucs are opting for mostly short routes so far. And, TE Alex Smith doesn't seem hampered by his previously injured ankle.

Scoreboard watch, 1:12 p.m.

New Orleans is leading Jacksonville 3-0 and Carolina is down 7-0 to Tennessee, both in the first quarter. Time to start watching those other NFC South games.

Spurlock?, 1:10 p.m.

Yes, that was Michael Spurlock, the practice squad call-up, returning that kickoff for the Bucs. The converted quarterback didn't get all that far, as the Bucs will start at their own 24 with 12:08 left in the first quarter.

Phillips breaks it up, 1:07 p.m.

Jermaine Phillips put the Cards in field goal mode, breaking up a sure catch by the Cards' Jerheme Urban over the middle. Neil Rackers barely slipped it in for a 3-0 Arizona lead with 12:17 left in the first quarter.

Adams with tackle, 1:06

Gaines Adams came up with that solo tackle on Cards RB Edgerrin James early in the contest.

Cards on offense to start game, 1:04 p.m.

Kurt Warner – who is nursing a strained elbow – looks like he's wearing a welding glove on his left arm, but it's actually a brace. He's also wearing gloves on both hands. It isn't affecting his throwing arm, as he connected with Larry Fitzgerald for a 47-yard pass downfield into Bucs territory on the game's second play.

The Cardinals were called for holding on the kickoff, setting them back to their own 12.

Coin toss, 1 p.m.

Arizona won the toss and will receive.

Kelly should play, 12:21 p.m.

Given that he's not inactive, we should see Brian Kelly play for the first time in a month. That's good news for a Bucs secondary that will have to deal with Arizona's strong trio of wide receivers all day. Expect to see quite a bit of Sammy Davis, though. I doubt Kelly is 100 percent yet.

Uni change, 11:54 a.m.

Now that the weather is finally cooling down, the Bucs are going to wear their red jerseys and pewter pants for today's home game. They've worn white on white for their first four home games. That means the Cardinals will be wearing their road whites today.

Smith, Adams to start, 11:52 a.m.

Gaines Adams will make his first NFL start today at right defensive end in place of the injured Greg Spires. Also, TE Alex Smith will be available and will likely start at tight end, a jolt of good news for the Bucs on offense.

For the Cardinals, Monte Beisel will start at linebacker for Karlos Dansby, and Elton Brown will start at right tackle for Levi Brown.

Inactives, 11:50 a.m.

Here are the inactives for today's game: Tampa Bay — QB Luke McCown (third QB), RB Michael Pittman, LB Jeremiah Trotter, DE Patrick Chukwurah, LB Quincy Black, G Dan Buenning, WR Michael Clayton, DE Greg Spires. Arizona — QB Tim Hasselbeck (third QB), SS Oliver Celestin, FB Tim Castille, LB Karlos Dansby, DE Joe Tafoya, G Keydrick Vincent, TE Ben Patrick, DT Ross Kolodziej.


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