The Turning Point: Drive, Bounce Give Bucs Mo

The Turning Point--The Redskins had the lead and the momentum and were on the verge of turning in a great goal line stand until the ball bounced Tampa Bay's way.

The Redskins took the second half kickoff and, with as good a drive as they have executed all year, moved smartly downfield (12 plays, 74 yards, three third down conversions) to score the game's first touchdown. Jason Campbell snuck the ball in to Chris Cooley just over the goal line to give the Redskins a 10-3 lead over Tampa Bay. It was the first time that Washington had scored any third-quarter points in five games.

This came on top of the Redskins having stopped a Buccaneer drive at the end of the first half with a Shawn Springs interception near the goal line. It looked like the Redskins had the momentum. It was looking even better after Michael Pittman mishandled the ensuing kickoff and the Bucs were in the hole back at their own 15.

The Bucs, however, immediately took the momentum back. Cadillac Williams carried three times for 13 yards and then Brad Gradkowski found Michael Clayton for 14 yards and all of a sudden they are at their 42. The entire drive went the same way, with virtually every play that was run gaining the yardage it was designed to gain.

That was the case, anyway, until the Bucs were awarded a first and goal at the one after a pass interference call on Shawn Springs in the end zone. The Redskins defense tightened up, stuffing Mike Alstott first for no gain and then for a loss of one. It was third and goal at the two.

Gradkowski looked for Joey Galloway running a quick slant but Carlos Rogers was right with the receiver. The ball bounced off of Galloway. For a fraction of a second it looked like the Bucs would have to try for a field goal.

But when you're playing as poorly as the Redskins defense is you're not going to get the breaks. The ball fell into the arms of tight end Anthony Becht, who gladly gathered in the gift for the tying touchdown with 58 seconds left in the third quarter. It was the start of a 17-0 scoring run for the Bucs that put the game away for them.


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