Joe’s Take: Score One For Captain Garcia

November 2nd, 2008

"Man, I forgot about Brett Favre for about 20 minutes there. Great stuff."

The Bucs’ wacky win in Kansas City was a good example of why Jeff Garcia represents the Bucs’ offensive hope entering the final stretch of the season. 

The Bucs beat the Chiefs under the leadership of a veteran QB who executed almost flawlessly during the Bucs’ final three possessions, plus a 2-point conversion to send the game to overtime.

But it was a hardly a great game for Garcia. Stuck in a 14-0 hole, thanks to Earnest Graham’s quick fumble and the Bucs defense leaving their game at the team hotel, Garcia needed to rise to the challenge quickly. He didn’t. He had happy feet, and he seemed afraid to go downfield. Then there was the Griese-like interception that killed a drive.

But Garcia shook it off in the second half and was a calm, creative general late in the game.

He scrambled. He extended plays. He ran the hurry-up offense. He was on target with his throws. The late red zone fumble by Graham? No worries.

The final numbers for Garcia look pretty, 31-for-43 for 339 yards, a touchdown and one interception.

Garcia didn’t play as well as that sounds. But it was a performance that should reassure Bucs fans that we have a leader in the huddle who can get it done late in a game on the road.

Garcia failed on final drives in New Orleans, Denver and Dallas (but he gets a pass in the Denver game). A loss today would have made him 0-for-4 with the game on the line.

Now he’s chalked up one big comeback. And the Bucs enter the bye week with momentum and a leader they can count on.

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