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Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs’ Glennon calm, cool in pocket

DETROIT — Any rookie quarterback who registers a passer rating of 137.5 is setting a pretty high standard.

Mike Glennon just found a way to top himself.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ third-round draft pick out of North Carolina State overcame four sacks to throw for 247 yards en route to a 138.4 rating Sunday that reinforced his reputation among Bucs teammates as one cool customer.

“Mike Glennon has been on a roll,’’ said Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who had a sack and three tackles for loss against the Lions. “We’re all glad he got his opportunity to shine, and we’re rolling right along with him.’’

Glennon escaped constant pressure long enough to complete 14 of 21 passes, hitting Tiquan Underwood for touchdowns throws of 7 and 85 yards. Most impressively, he boasts 10 scoring passes and only one interception in the past six weeks.

Sunday’s victory had a different feel for Glennon as the surging Bucs beat a winning team on the road without the benefit of a productive ground game.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge going in,’’ said Glennon, who has completed 34 of 44 passes in the past two games. “We knew we were going to have to hit our plays in the pass game to be effective, and we did that.’’

The Lions dropped Glennon four times and hit him on six other occasions, yet his focus never wavered.

“They blitzed us on the road,” Bucs guard Davin Joseph said. “They’ve got a good front four and you’ve got all that noise to deal with, but Mike never got rattled. I said from the start that this kid is a stud, and I was right.’’

Bucs coach Greg Schiano, who benched an ineffective Josh Freeman after three games, is seeing his faith in Glennon be rewarded.

“I thought Mike did a very good job of taking care of the football,’’ Schiano said. “He was fierce and held onto the football and didn’t force it. And he took the shots when they were there.’’

Building momentum

There are still five games remaining in the 2013 season, but some Bucs can’t wait to turn the page and start anew.

And they’re hoping coach Greg Schiano is back to lead the charge.

“We had coach’s back the whole time this season because he had ours,’’ second-year outside linebacker Lavonte David said. “The man never cracked, not once. He’s been the same man since Day One. In my opinion, there’s no reason to make a change. Obviously we didn’t want to start 0-8, but now it’s about finishing strong. If we do that, we’ll head into 2014 with a great mindset.’’

Tiquan Underwood, who played for Schiano at Rutgers, said Sunday’s victory was particularly gratifying.

“This win is big for this football team,’’ Underwood said. “Detroit is a quality team, very physical, and we walk out of this building with a victory. That means something. Coach continues to lead us, and we’re going to continue to play hard for Coach.’’

Rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence said Sunday’s key was the “will to win’’ displayed by offense, defense and special teams as the Bucs posted their first road victory since the 2012 season finale at Atlanta.

“As a team,’’ Spence said, “our confidence is going through the roof.’’

Winning the turnover battle has been critical.

After turning the ball over eight times in the first four games, Tampa Bay has been guilty of only four giveaways in the past seven weeks.

“It always feels good to win in someone else’s house,’’ said wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who was targeted only three times Sunday. “We wanted to take care of the football and get as many takeaways as we could,’’

Interrupted matchup

The duel between Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was heavily hyped during the week, but it ended without a decision as Revis was sidelined in the second half with a groin injury.

“I was having fun and I’m sure he was, too,’’ said Revis, who followed the NFL’s premier receiver across the field for most of the opening half as Johnson was targeted six times, catching four passes for 61 yards. “I wish we could have finished it off, but I got injured.’’

Johnson finished with seven receptions for 115 yards, but found himself victimized by a late interception that clinched the game.

“If we don’t have the (five) turnovers, we look great out there,’’ Johnson said after the Lions rolled up 25 first downs and 390 yards. “When we have turnovers, this is what happens.’’

Extra points

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn and linebacker Dekoda Watson each had a sack against Matt Stafford, who had been dropped only 12 times in Detroit’s first 10 games. ... The Lions were averaging 32 points per game at Ford Field this season. ... Before beating Detroit, Tampa Bay had been 1-21 in the past three years when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. ... Bucs wide receiver Eric Page returned kickoffs for 44 and 39 yards, adding a 17-yard punt return. ... Left tackle Donald Penn made his 103rd consecutive start, tying defensive tackle David Logan (1980-86) for fourth on the team’s all-time list. Cornerback Ronde Barber (1999-2012) holds the record of 215.

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