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Top Performances From 2010 #8: Talib Weaves His Way to Paydirt

Not an uncommon sight for opponents in 2010.
Not an uncommon sight for opponents in 2010.

The eighth-best Buccaneer moment as voted on by you, our readership, takes us back to the Arizona desert, where we step in with the Buccaneers tied at 14, having just evened the game on a 47-yard TD strike to Mike Williams.  On the fourth play of their next drive from the Arizona 40-yard line, the quite flappable Max Hall dropped back and threw a medium out route across the field intended for Steve Breaston.  As the ball hung up in the air, Aqib Talib stepped ahead of the route, leapt, and snared the pass.  Ronde had coverage on the inside, allowing Talib to come from the back and jump the route.  Just another of many awful throws on the day by Hall, who would be benched shortly in favor of the slightly less inept Derek Anderson.

Talib took off for the end zone cutting up and past a flailing Hall at the 15-yard line and danced into the end zone ahead of TE Ben Patrick.  It was the play that jump-started the Bucs, who stormed ahead 31-14 before giving back and reclaiming the lead for good.   On the day, Talib picked off 2 passes and finished tied for second on the team in tackles for the game with 5.

Talib was lost for the year with a torn hip tendon on December 5 against Atlanta, but he had already made his mark this season as an upper-echelon cornerback.  Although its impossible to predict with any amount of certainty, one has to wonder if Talib wouldn't have made the Pro Bowl if he had avoided the injury bug.  Talib finished 2010 with 40 tackles, 6 INTs, and 11 passes defended.  He was named the 2010 NFL defensive back of the year by the NFL Alumni.