Jackson finishes strong
Vincent Jackson had a pedestrian two catches for 27 yards through three quarters. Then the fourth quarter came around.

Jackson's two catches for 41 yards during the final possession of regulation helped power the Bucs to a 27-21 overtime victory on a day when the deep passing game that had been so consistent of late wasn't effective.

Jackson caught a 17-yard pass on third and 4 with 32 seconds remaining. He topped himself two plays later with a 24-yard touchdown catch then caught the two-point conversion to send the game to overtime.

Jackson deferred credit for the touchdown to QB Josh Freeman. "We call that a dime," Jackson said. "He dropped a dime right there. That's a window that only a few quarterbacks in this league can hit, and he did."

On the touchdown, Jackson lined up in the slot, and the Bucs correctly predicted the way the Panthers would defend the play. "We knew the safety was going to be split," said Jackson, who finished with six catches for 94 yards. "We knew the linebacker was going to run underneath me, and it was going to be a high ball up over his head."

Freeman put the ball over LB Luke Kuechly's head, and Jackson went high to snatch it for the Bucs' longest pass play of the day. Jackson, gleefully looking around at his teammates celebrating in the locker room, said the win was the result of a season-long effort: "With all the work we put in, these are the ones that really just show you if you believe and buy in, you'll get the results that you want."

About the writer
Stephen F Holder has been writing additional Buccaneer features and daily blog reports on the team for several seasons now for The Tampa Bay Times.