Smith Rebounds With Career Highs
The only thing TE Alex Smith had to show for last week's performance against New England was a large purple bruise on his forehead.
Following Saturday's 27-24 overtime victory over Atlanta, the only visible thing on Smith's face was a huge grin. Smith tied WR Joey Galloway with a game-high eight receptions for 75 yards, career highs in both categories for the rookie tight end. Smith had five catches for 46 yards against the Jets. "I was pretty fired up all game," Smith said. "I really wanted to bounce back because I felt like I had a poor showing last week. That was my main goal, to bounce back and have a good time."
Smith has proven to be a sure-handed target for QB Chris Simms. During the Bucs' first scoring drive in the first quarter, Smith caught two key passes for 31 yards to sustain the drive. "I'm just happy I was able to make plays when my name was called," Smith said.
|Buccaneer notes |
Galloway's eight receptions gave him a career-high 79 this season. His previous high was 72, with Seattle in 1997.
Simeon Rice's two sacks marked the 32nd multi-sack game of his career, the most among active players.
Jameel Cook scored on a 9-yard pass for the Bucs' first points of the game. It was the 900th touchdown in franchise history.
Josh Bidwell, who earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl this season, was introduced with the defense during pregame introductions.
Michael Pittman moved into the top 10 on the Buccaneers’ all-time receptions chart on Sunday. Pittman’s four catches game him 208 as a Buccaneer, moving him past Lawrence Dawsey and Courtney Hawkins (206 each) into 10th place. Pittman is also close to catching Ron Hall, 209, for ninth place.
Dewayne White’s blocked field goal in overtime was the first by a Buccaneer since last November 28. That one was also turned in by White, who stopped an attempt by Carolina.
Kenyatta Walker limped off the field with a right ankle sprain in the third quarter after he was penalized for holding. He was replaced by Todd Steussie for the remainder of the series. Walker returned later, but was sidelined again later in the game. WR Michael Clayton left the game in the first half with a turf toe injury and did not return. He finished with one reception for 11 yards.
Not so welcome home
Tampa native Michael Jenkins scored his first touchdown in Raymond James Stadium. He said it didn't matter. "We didn't win, and that's the only thing," Jenkins said. "I didn't do enough. I needed to make some more plays."
The former Leto High standout had to buy about 20 tickets for family and friends. They got to watch him catch four passes for 54 yards, including his 8-yard touchdown that tied the game at 14 with 3:25 remaining in the first half. One play Jenkins would have liked to make was on third-and-2 in overtime in what turned out to be the Falcons' final offensive play. The pass, intended for Jenkins, fell incomplete. "Ronde Barber was pressing me," Jenkins said. "I had to go up and over him to get it and just couldn't make the play."