In a lackluster game that didn’t have a lot of offense, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers improved to 4-4 on the season with a 17-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium. The game was a physical, hard hitting affair that saw the Tampa defense harass the Cards most of the afternoon. The Bucs run defense was out of sight, holding Edgerrin James to just 15 yards on 9 carries and a score. Overall, the Cardinals rushed for just 23 yards on 12 carries.
Tampa’s offense was paced by a decent day by quarterback Jeff Garcia who went 18-for-28 for 196 yards and a score. Unlike last week in a loss to the Jags, Garcia was mistake free for afternoon, as he didn’t throw any interceptions. The running game also did it’s job, as Earnest Graham torched the Cards defense for 124 yards on 34 carries and a score. The Bucs ended the day with 18 first downs and the Cards had just 9.
The Cards struck first for a Neil Rackers field goal to go up 3-0 in the first quarter, but then Tampa struck as Garcia hit his favorite target, Joey Galloway, for a 37-yard score that ended a 10 play, 77-yard drive that made it 7-3. Tampa added a Matt Bryant 32-yard field goal to make it 10-3 in the second quarter. They struck again as Graham went over from two yards to make it 17-3 in the third quarter. James’ 3-yard run cut it to 17-10 with 4:17 to go, but the Cardinals final drive ended with Kurt Warner getting picked at the Cardinals 46-yard line.
Arizona has lost three straight, and with the red-hot Lions next week, they suddenly need a win in the worst way. They sit at 3-5 on the season. For the Bucs, they look to go over .500 as they travel to Atlanta to play the Falcons.