Final/OT

Buccaneers 30

(6-3, 2-3 away)

Chiefs 27

(1-7, 1-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 2, 2008

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO 

1 2 3 4 OT T
TB 0 13 0 14 330
KC 14 10 0 3 027

Top Performers

Passing: J. Garcia (TB) - 339 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: J. Charles (KC) - 18 CAR, 106 YDS

Receiving: A. Bryant (TB) - 8 REC, 115 YDS, 1 TD

Bucs overcome four turnovers, 21-point deficit en route to OT win

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers needed some weird and lucky things to happen Sunday for them to make history.

Fast Facts

• The Bucs battled back to win despite trailing 24-3 in the first half, their biggest deficit of the season.

• Tampa Bay QB Jeff Garcia racked up 339 yards passing, the fifth most in his career and most since 2003.

• The Chiefs, who have lost four straight, put up 24 points in the first half. That's the most they have scored in a first half since Nov. 5, 2006 against the Rams, a 32-game span.

• Kansas City QB Tyler Thigpen had a 37-yard touchdown reception, becoming the first quarterback with a TD catch since San Diego's Drew Brees did so vs. Oakland on Sept. 28, 2003.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

Matt Bryant missed a 38-yard field goal attempt on a third down play in overtime, but tackle Jeremy Trueblood was called for a false start. So the Bucs lined up for another third-down play and Jeff Garcia connected with Jameel Cook for nine yards, giving Bryant a second chance from 33.

He nailed it, lifting the Bucs past Kansas City 30-27 in the biggest comeback in team history.

"It's a thrilling victory," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said. "I told the guys it's a hard place to win."

The Chiefs (1-7) led 24-3 with a little more than 2 minutes to go in the second quarter and seemed headed for just their second victory in more than a calendar year. But Garcia passed for 339 yards and Clifton Smith ran back a kickoff 97 yards for a score and the Bucs (6-3) go into their bye week just a half-game behind Carolina in the NFC South.

Besides missing several starters with injury, Tampa Bay also committed four turnovers.

"It would have terrible to go into the bye week with a loss," said Bryant, who also connected from 25 and 43 yards. "To win the way we did, I think it just going to make us hungrier when we get back."

Garcia's 24-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant and two-point conversion toss tied it with 19 seconds left as the Chiefs lost for the 16th time in 17 games.

"It's getting a little unbearable, to tell you the truth," said Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez.

The Bucs appeared to have blown their historic comeback bid when Earnest Graham fumbled at the goal line and Kansas City's Jarrad Page recovered in the end zone with 3:24 to go.

Gonzalez's one-handed, falling-down catch would have given the Chiefs a first down on that last drive and perhaps kept the ball out of Garcia's hands. But he was flagged for offensive pass interference.

"I'm falling away from him. I guess they saw him fall down," Gonzalez said. "I don't understand it. I don't agree with it."

The Chiefs never touched the ball in overtime as Garcia hit Michael Clayton for 29 yards on the first play.

"We can't afford to come out and play the way we did today as a team," said Garcia, who was 31-for-43. "It is very rare you're going to be able to put together a comeback like we had today. We're thankful for what took place."

Tyler Thigpen, making his third career start, was 14-for-25 for 164 yards and a touchdown and also caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Mark Bradley.

It was the second straight game without an interception for the second-year pro who is playing only because the top two quarterbacks had season-ending injuries.

"We didn't win, so it didn't matter if I threw three picks," he said. "We just want to win around here. We had a chance to win and we weren't able to capitalize."

After falling behind 24-3, the Bucs scored 10 quick points on Smith's 97-yard kickoff return and Bryant's 43-yard field goal.

"The return was the huge play in the game for us," Garcia said. "It created a positive play out of a first half that didn't have many positives."

The Chiefs were down to their third-team running back when Kolby Smith, who had a 1-yard touchdown run, hurt his knee in the third quarter. Jamaal Charles wound up rushing for 106 yards, but he also fumbled on the Chiefs' 3-yard line. On the first play, Earnest Graham threw a halfback option pass to Alex Smith for the TD, making it 24-19.

Bryant's touchdown catch setting up the 2-point conversion for the tie came against Maurice Leggett, who was in for injured starting cornerback Brandon Flowers.

"Leggett had to play a lot because Flowers went down," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. "We tried to hide him as much as we could."

Game notes


When Kansas City kicked off after its second TD with 4 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first quarter, the time of possession was Kansas City 10 minutes, Bucs 13 seconds. ... Thigpen is the fifth Chiefs player to throw a TD pass as well as run and catch for scores. He's the first player to throw for a touchdown and catch a TD pass in a game since Drew Brees did it for San Diego on Sept. 28, 2003.... Chiefs had not scored two TDs in the first quarter since doing it against San Diego on Oct. 22, 2006. ... The Bucs had pulled off 17-point comebacks twice.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Tampa Bay
Kansas City
1st Downs2421
3rd down efficiency
8-136-13
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Yards423384
Yards per play6.16.1
Total Drives21
Passing342201
Comp-Att
32-4415-26
Yards per pass
7.87.7
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-01-0
Rushing81183
Rushing Attempts
2536
Yards per rush
3.25.1
Penalties7-477-60
Turnovers41
Fumbles lost
31
Interceptions thrown
10
Possession32:1732:19

Passing Leaders

TBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Garcia31/433397.9110-0
Graham1/133.0100-0
KCC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Thigpen14/251646.6101-0
Bradley1/13737.0100-0

Rushing Leaders

TBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Graham19623.307
Smith3175.7010
KCCARYDSAVGTDLG
Charles181065.9022
Smith10464.6111

Receiving Leaders

TBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bryant811514.4124
Clayton45714.3029
KCRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bradley46516.3056
Gonzalez7628.9016

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTBKC
TD08:197 Yd Pass From . (Connor Barth Kick) 07
TD04:471 Yd Run. (Connor Barth Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERTBKC
FG13:0425 Yd 314
TD10:1237 Yd Pass From . (Connor Barth Kick) 321
FG02:1339 Yd 324
TD02:0197 Yd Kickoff Return. (Matt Bryant Kick) 1024
FG00:0043 Yd 1324
FOURTH QUARTERTBKC
TD13:363 Yd Pass From . (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 1924
FG07:3828 Yd 1927
TD00:1924 Yd Pass From . (Jeff Garcia Pass To Alex Smith For Two-Point Conversion) 2727
OVERTIMETBKC
FG10:2434 Yd 3027