Dustin Bradford

Buccaneers vs. Broncos: Tampa Bay loses 31-23

It's Game Day! Here's everything you need to know about today's matchup between the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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16 Total Updates since December 2, 2012
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10 Things We Think We Learned: Bucs vs. Broncos

The Bucs dropped their second straight to a top flight football team in Denver. What did we learn from this disappointing outcome?

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Go for it! Schiano hurting playoff chances

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost and won close games throughout the season, but conservative playcalling has cost them more than one win this season.

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Manning, Miller are too much as Bucs lose 31-23

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took it to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as Denver's stars won the game for them.

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GIF: Buccaneers rush the Victory Formation again

Greg Schiano failed to be aggressive throughout most of the fourth quarter, but managed to keep the Buccaneers' hopes alive nonetheless. And that, of course, set up something we haven't seen since the week two matchup against the New York Giants: an opponent kneeling out the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The result: the Bucs rushed the Broncos' victory formation, and, well, Denver didn't take kindly to that:

The Bucs will undoubtedly get some flak for this stuff, but should they? The game isn't over until it's over, and even the minute chance of forcing a fumble is better than no chance at all. The risk of injury is certainly fairly big on this play, and it really hasn't bothered anyone taking a snap this year. But supposedly, it did work in college.

Is this okay according to NFL etiquette? Obviously not, but Greg Schiano doesn't care about etiquette if it stands in the way of a minute chance at a victory.

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Broncos run away, take 28-10 lead

Well, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast. The Bucs took a 10-7 lead into the half, but the Broncos took a 28-10 lead before the third quarter even ended.

That was the consequence of two star players on both sides of the ball. Demaryius Thomas destroyed the Tampa Bay secondary through the air, as they simply have no one who can cover him. And on the other side of the ball, Von Miller has constantly harassed the Tampa Bay offense. He's repeatedly hit Josh Freeman, beaten Demar Dotson, and then punctuated his performance with a pick-six.

That pick-six came about because Josh Freeman was hit as he dropped back to throw, and Miller could simply walk into the endzone. That makes this a three-score game, and the Bucs are struggling to find ways to come back in this one. Can they limit Peyton Manning and get some big plays on offense?

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Peyton Manning can't be held down, takes 14-10 lea

Well, that was just a matter of time. The Tampa Bay defense has been surprisingly stout this game, but it broke on this latest defensive drive as Peyton Manning found Demaryius Thomas in the endzone to take the lead, 14-10.

Undrafted rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson was beat repeatedly on that drive, which should be no surprise. He's a mismatch for Demaryius Thomas, and so is everyone else on the roster. The Bucs can't keep Peyton Manning down forever, and they need to find a way to score points themselves.

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Dallas Clark puts the Bucs up against his old QB

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken the lead against the Denver Broncos. They've managed ten points out of three offensive drives, while the Denver Broncos took seven points from their two drives. Tampa Bay actually managed a three-and-out with their mangled secondary against Peyton Manning on the second defensive series.

The Bucs are pounding the Denver defense on the ground and through the air. Doug Martin has 57 yards from scrimmage already, and the big play on the last drive was a 40-yard pass to Mike Williams. As they've done repeatedly this season, the Bucs managed to beat the opposing secondary deep, setting up an 11-yard Dallas Clark touchdown. Clark, of course, spent the first nine years of his career catching passes from Peyton Manning. But Josh Freeman's feeding him the ball just fine, as he now has four touchdowns on the season.

The Bucs lead 10-7, but can their pass defense hold up against one of the best quarterbacks in the league?

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Peyton Manning drives down the field for 7

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense is awful. That shouldn't surprise anyone, and the Broncos took full advantage on the first drive. After the Buccaneers went 3-and-out on their first drive, Peyton Manning just drove down the field. Twice he was given a first down with legitimate penalties on the Bucs, and a missed holding call then got the Broncos to the one-yard line. To make matters worse, tackle Mitch Unrein got the touchdown. Yeah, these Broncos are going to give it to the Bucs on defense today.

Tampa Bay's sole hope? Keeping up on offense. Josh Freeman and Doug Martin need to get going today to give them a chance of winning.

Peyton Manning is 5 of 7 for 37 yards and one touchdown, which isn't too bad. But the only reason he wasn't more productive was that the Bucs stopped him from completing passes by interfering with his receivers.

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Stokley, Porter, Ayers out; Bucs healthy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are healthy going into Sunday's game, while the Denver Broncos have a number of key injuries.

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