Everybody at Ford Field knew the pass was going to Calvin Johnson. Megatron was no longer marooned on Revis Island after Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis pulled his groin just before halftime and couldn’t return. Because most of Sunday’s game plan centered on that matchup and with starting safety Dashon Goldson suspended, you figured the Lions’ roar would be restored against a bunch of no-names left in Tampa Bay’s depleted secondary. “The best cover corner in the league goes down against that guy?” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “You’re like, 'Oh, shoot!’ Let’s be real. That’s Megatron.” Needing at least a field goal with 50 seconds remaining in the game, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford appeared to complete a 15-yard pass to Johnson inside the Tampa Bay 5. But safety Kelcie McCray hit the 6-foot-5, 236-pounder and dislodged the ball, which fell into the waiting arms of rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks. It was the fourth interception by the Bucs, who also recovered a fumble and blocked a punt, and preserved their 24-21 upset of the Lions for their third win in a row. “He got a good hit on me,” said Johnson, who leads the league in receiving yards with 1,083, is tied for first in touchdown catches with 11 and is tied for 10th in catches with 59. With apologies to the Saints, “Who Dat” was the operative question every time the Bucs produced another turnover as a bevy of defensive backups pitched in for the win. “That was one of the more gutsy performances I’ve seen from a team,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. “A lot of things went against them, and they just kept playing their guts out. And I’m proud of them. Five takeaways and a blocked punt, and we needed every bit of it to win.” McCray, a second-year player from Arkansas State claimed off waivers from the Dolphins on Oct. 2, also recovered receiver Kris Durham’s fumble forced by backup cornerback Danny Gorrer. Cornerback Leonard Johnson, another backup, returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown late in the first half. Stafford’s first interception, by linebacker Lavonte David, caromed off receiver Nate Burleson, and safety Keith Tandy ended another drive with an interception when Stafford floated the ball toward Johnson in the end zone. “We were really shorthanded,” Schiano said. “It was just an incredible persistence by these guys.” The best performance might have belonged to Banks, who essentially took over Revis’ job of blanketing Megatron.
Revis to have groin pull evaluated on Monday
Tampa Bay Times | Nov 25