In a battle of two teams just outside of the playoff picture, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held off the San Diego Chargers, 34-24, on Sunday for a crucial win at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Running back Doug Martin didn't have the almost inhuman week he had last week against Oakland, but his 19 carries for 68 yards, combined with 210 passing yards and two touchdown passes from quarterback Josh Freeman, was enough for Tampa Bay to win.
The Chargers got on the board first with a touchdown just 47 seconds into the game. On the third play of the afternoon, Phillip Rivers hit Danario Alexander for an 80-yard pass before the fans were able to settle into their seats.
The Buccaneers answered a couple minutes later, however, when Dallas Clark caught a three-yard pass from Freeman.
From there, the two teams went back and forth, with neither side taking more than a seven-point lead until the fourth quarter.
Less than two minutes into the fourth, Tampa got what would be the game-winning score when Leonard Johnson ran an interception 83 yards the other way for the touchdown to make it 31-21.
That was the first of just two turnovers in the entire game, but it was costly. San Diego added a field goal to close the margin to seven, but that was as close as the Chargers would get. A Connor Barth field goal with 1:12 left provided the final score.
Rivers threw for three touchdowns for San Diego, part of a 29-of-37 afternoon. Alexander led all receivers with five catches for 134 yards and a touchdown.
Fantasy studs and duds: Despite the loss, Rivers had a pretty nice afternoon with his three touchdown passes, though the two interceptions hurt. Alexander is probably the star of the game with his performance in the losing effort. It wasn't a great day for running backs, with no rushing touchdowns scored in the game and Martin's 68 yards a game high.
Injury report: Thankfully, it looks like both teams got through this one relatively unscathed.
Did they cover?: The Buccaneers were favored by three points, so they more than covered the spread.
Nov. 18, 4:25 p.m.: San Diego at Denver
Nov. 18, 1 p.m.; Tampa Bay at Carolina