“The Spark” Ignited Bucs DefenseDecember 8th, 2013
It was one of the better defensive performances in recent memory for the Bucs defense. Players were flying all over the place and not just the well-paid stars like Darrelle Revis or Gerald McCoy, but a budding superstar like Lavonte David, unheralded Mason Foster and rookies like cornerback Johnthan Banks and defensive lineman Will Gholston.
The Bucs defense held a strong Bills rushing attack to a mere 67 yards, picked off quarterback EJ Manuel four times and limited the Bills to just a pair of field goals in a 27-6 win.
Mostly, if you believe the Bucs, this all came thanks to running back Bobby Rainey’s franchise record 80-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage.
“Adam Hayward, when we were walking here, he said, ‘Somebody has to make a big play early in the game to make a huge spark,’” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “[Rainey's touchdown run] got us going. Two three-and-outs. It sparked us. If the offense is doing that, let’s not ruin it.”
Bucs guard David Joseph agreed with GMC, claiming the proof of Rainey’s spark was how the defense blew up Buffalo in the first quarter.
“It sparked the entire team,” Joseph said of Rainey’s run. “You saw how the defense went out there and played lights out. Played tough in the run, smart in the pass, pressure the quarterback force turnovers. You couldn’t ask for much more than that.
“That Tampa bay defense is a legit defense. Sometimes it is just amazing to watch them really work because they have some tough matchups they have some explosive defense. Tough, hard defense, tough hard Buccaneer defense.
“The defense plays like that; I don’t see us losing in a long time.”