Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Josh Freeman hit Carnell Williams with a one-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came back to shock the St. Louis Rams, 18-17, at Raymond James Stadium.
Freeman completed 23-of-40 passes for 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown for Tampa Bay (4-2), which recovered after suffering a 31-6 loss to New Orleans last Sunday. The Buccaneers have won two of three since their bye week. Williams caught eight passes for 34 yards while Connor Barth kicked four field goals, including a 53-yarder.
Trailing 17-12 with just under five minutes to play, the Bucs began the winning march on their own 19-yard line. Freeman quickly moved the offense into Rams territory with a 16-yard pass to Mike Williams. Then facing a 4th- and-3 from the 30 and 1:12 left on the clock, the quarterback found Kellen Winslow for a nine-yard connection.
A 20-yard pass to Mike Williams on 3rd-and-10 moved the ball to the one with 20 seconds remaining. Out of a time out, Freeman rolled right and spotted Carnell Williams in the end zone for the score. The two-point conversion failed.
Sam Bradford threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-26 efficiency for the Rams (3-4), who have dropped five straight on the road, with their last win coming on November 1, 2009 at Detroit.
Steven Jackson ran for 110 yards on 22 carries and passed Hall-of-Famer Eric Dickerson (7,235) as the top rusher on the Rams' all-time list.
Bradford's fumble deep in the Rams' own end near the midway point of the first quarter led to a 35-yard field goal by Barth and a 3-0 Bucs lead.
Josh Brown's 25-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter capped a lengthy drive to tie things.
Tampa Bay failed to pick up a first down on its ensuing possession and the Rams went 80 yards on 11 plays to take a 10-3 lead. Jackson picked up a first down on a three-yard run to midfield and in the process passed Dickerson for the franchise rushing record. Later in the drive, Jackson reeled off 12 more yards to move it to the six-yard line, then three plays later, Bradford spotted Danny Amendola in the flat for the touchdown with just under 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the half.
A Bradford-to-Michael Hoomanawanui two-yard connection on St. Louis' next try put the visitors ahead by 14 three minutes to play. After a short Tampa Bay punt, the Rams picked up a first down, but the drive stalled and they appeared to have to settle for a Brown 32-yard field goal. However, the Bucs were guilty of an offsides penalty that allowed St. Louis to move the chains. Two plays later Bradford rolled out and found the big tight end at the one before banging in for the score.
Barth's 39-yard field goal with 25 seconds left made it 17-6 heading into the intermission. He then added his 53-yarder to finish off a 10-play, 60-yard set early in the third quarter, then tacked on a 38-yard effort with two ticks to play in the third for a 17-12 game.
Neither side was able to move the ball with an regularity until the Bucs' game-winning drive.
Tampa Bay was without backup tight end Jerramy Stevens, who was arrested on felony drug charges on Saturday night. The St. Petersburg Times reported Stevens was arrested at 7 p.m. (et) and charged with felony possession of cannabis with intent to sell, felony possession of cannabis and a misdemeanor of possession of drug paraphernalia, citing the Hillsborough County Sheriff's website. He posted a $4,500 bond a few hours later and was released...Despite the loss, the Rams have a 9-8 lead in their regular-season series with Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers have won six of the seven last non-playoff matchups between the teams.