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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lead St. Louis Rams 3-0: Sam Bradford Fumbles In Red Zone, Penalties Take Them Out

St. Louis Rams rookie Sam Bradford fumbled the ball on his own six yard line during the Rams’ first drive of the game Sunday; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recovered the fumble and found themselves first and goal after an earlier unsuccessful drive of their own. It was Bradford’s first fumble of the year.

The Buccaneers then found themselves driven out of the end zone by their own inability to avoid penalties. At first-and-six an incomplete pass to Kellen Winslow was called for offensive pass interference, sending them to the sixteen; then an offensive holding call sent them back to first-and-26. The drive was capped, and finally sent to second down, when Josh Freeman was sacked for a nine yard loss and the Buccaneers, reeling, had to burn their first time-out.

From third-and-34 a Josh Freeman pass to Mike Williams for 23 yards was just enough to get them back in field goal range—but only after he recovered his own fumble. The 35-yarder put the Buccaneers on top 3-0.