Griese rescues Bucs, himself

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers needed overtime to defeat the Chicago Bears, 27-24, on Sunday.

Brian Griese was maybe one bad throw away from being benched next week against the Packers.

After throwing three interceptions and struggling through most of Sunday's 27-24 overtime win over the Bears, Griese rallied the Bucs from 10 points down in the fourth quarter and engineered the game-winning drive in overtime.

"We made some plays. We missed some throws, he'll tell you that," coach Jon Gruden said. "We wanted to come in throwing the football today and that we did. We didn't expect to throw it (nearly) 70 times, but you have to do what you have to do to win. I thought we missed a couple opportunities early in the game."

Brian Griese proved what he has inside of him today. He's a guy that is as cool and calm as anybody I've ever been around. I think the interceptions, I think they were all my fault. He's just got that kind of confidence in himself and that's what I love about him. He doesn't come unglued, he doesn't get rattled.

"And again, we've got to get better passing because of all the interchangeable players we've had play. We're throwing to (Antonio) Bryant now and obviously we had a chance to make a couple catches and we dropped some balls. We're a work in progress. But clearly to have a veteran quarterback with the kind of insight he has is a big advantage for us."

The Bucs will start Griese against the Green Bay Packers Sunday. He also could be without receiver Joey Galloway, who is nursing a foot sprain and did not play against the Bears.

"When you throw the ball 68 times, you should have some completions," Gruden said. "You shouldn't be 0-for-68. But we did some good things. Michael Clayton came back today. Antonio Bryant had 10 catches today and I think he'll look at the tape and be mad he didn't have more than that. But we're a work in progress."

TRENDING: QB Brian Griese attempted 67 passes Sunday, three short of the NFL record held by Drew Bledsoe.

LINEUP WATCH: G Davin Joseph could return to the lineup against the Packers next week after missing the first three games with a broken foot.

UNDER THE RADAR: WR Michael Clayton also served as the Bucs' kickoff returner against the Bears and did a decent job after replacing rookie Dexter Jackson. Clayton had three returns for 69 yards.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

WR Antonio Bryant is becoming the Bucs' big-play receiver. On Sunday against the Bears, he caught a career-high 10 passes for 138 yards. He played split end instead of flanker.

CB Marcus Hamilton, who was signed from the practice squad this week, had several pass breakups against the Bears and started for Aqib Talib at nickel corner.

CB Aqib Talib was inactive Sunday with a hamstring strain. He is expected to play next week against the Packers.

RB Earnest Graham entered Sunday's game averaging 8.3 yards per carry. But he was held to 16 yards on 12 carries against the Bears.

QB Jeff Garcia continued to be the Bucs' No. 3 inactive quarterback with Luke McCown assuming the duties of No. 2.


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