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Top Performances from 2010: #10 - Arrelious Benn Makes His Mark in the Desert

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Closest pic I could find w/Benn around the end zone at Arizona.  Just imagine the ball in his hands.
Closest pic I could find w/Benn around the end zone at Arizona. Just imagine the ball in his hands.

(The forthcoming list of top 2010 Buccaneer plays and performances coming up over the next couple of weeks have been decided by your vote.  This is the first in that countdown.)

The Buccaneers were on a roll.  Down 14-7, the Bucs had ripped off 17 straight points to take a seemingly-commanding 31-14 lead over the Cardinals in the 3rd quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium.  However, following a long TD run, a fumble return for a TD, and a methodical Cardinal TD drive, Arizona stormed back ahead 35-31 with just under 10 minutes to play.  For a moment, it seemed this was a game that was slipping away from the Bucs.

Then, as we saw much for of the year, somebody stepped up and made a game-changing play.  This time, that player would be WR Arrelious Benn. 

After grinding out a couple of tough first downs on the ensuing possession, Josh Freeman dropped back and slung the ball deep downfield................to Arrelious Benn on a post pattern with a couple of steps.  Benn laid out and pulled the ball in at the Arizona 1-yard line.   It was exactly the play that a recently stalled Buccaneer offense needed to get things going and to regain the momentum that had been completely ripped away over the past 15 minutes of the game.  The Bucs were able to punch it in and take a lead they would not surrender in a game they might have given away in previous seasons.

For Benn, the play signified his emergence as a force in the Buccaneer offense. It was his longest reception of the season and his first gain of 20+ yards.  In the following weeks, Benn found the end zone against the Falcons and Panthers, and began to separate himself as this team's starting flanker.