Super Bowl champs rest starters, fall to Bengals 19-14

Aug 14, 2021, 8:06 AM | Updated: Aug 15, 2021, 1:53 am

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A little over six months after becoming the first team to win a Super Bowl played on its homefield, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were excited about finally being back in Raymond James Stadium.

Winding up on the wrong side of the scoreboard in a 19-14 preseason-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t dampen the mood Saturday night.

“I didn’t know what to expect. … But actually seeing all the fans and actually stepping back on the turf, it feels really good to be back out here man,” linebacker Lavonte David said. “It felt like it’s football season again.”

Chris Evans finished a long drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and kickers Evan McPherson and Austin Seibert combined for four second-half field goals for the Bengals, who played without quarterback Joe Burrow. They also didn’t see much of Tom Brady or the rest of Tampa Bay’s regulars, either.

With Brady and his talented supporting cast sitting after playing just six snaps during the lone series the 44-year-old quarterback worked, veterans Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin and second-round draft pick Kyle Trask ran the offense the remainder of the night.

Burrow, the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and the first overall selection in last year’s draft who’s coming off major reconstructive knee surgery, did not dress. The Bengals got extended looks at Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmur at quarterback.

“I was encouraged by a lot of things I saw,” said Bengals coach Zac Taylor, who also liked the way his defense began the game against Brady.

“It was six and out, I think,” Taylor added. “They got them off the field, finished with a sack. That was a good way for them to start.”

Griffin played into the third quarter for the Bucs, who return all 22 starters from the star-laden roster coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht assembled around Brady after signing him in free agency last year.

Trask, who the Bucs are grooming as a potential successor to Brady, entered midway through the third quarter. The former Florida star completed 4 of 15 passes for 35 yards and was sacked twice.

“It was fun to go out there and get some real NFL reps,” Trask said.

Gabbert noted the difference in the vibe in the stadium with most of the seats filled compared to last season, when the number of fans allowed to attend games was limited throughout the league due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The energy was awesome,” the 11th-year pro said.

SHORT OUTING

With Tropical Depression Fred weakening to a tropical wave but still threatening to bring heavy rain to Florida as it entered the eastern Gulf of Mexico, Brady was1 of 2 for 9 yards and was sacked once before departing.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion handed off to Leonard Fournette on the game’s first two plays, then connected with former Bengal and offseason free agent acquisition Giovani Bernard for 9 yards on third-and-8 to extend the opening drive.

Defensive end Joseph Ossai sacked Brady three plays later, though, ending the quarterback’s brief outing. Gabbert worked one series as well, leading a 15-play, 79-yard drive that Ke’Shawn Vaughn finished with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Gabbert finished 6 of 11 for 64 yards. Griffin was 6 of 11 for 47 yards and two interceptions before being replaced by Trask.

INJURIES

Bengals: Ossai left with a wrist injury and did not return. Allen started in place of Burrow, while Billy Price filled in for Trey Hopkins at center, and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was replaced in the starting lineup by Josh Toupo.

Buccaneers: Tampa did not report any injuries. Safety Mike Edwards started for Jordan Whitehead, who along with rookie offensive lineman Robert Hainsey and tight end Cameron Brate were among the players who sat out.

UP NEXT

Bengals: at Washington next Friday.

Buccaneers: home vs. Tennessee next Saturday.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Bryson DeChambeau looks at his club after hitting his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final ...
Associated Press

3 tied for lead after 1st round of LIV Golf in Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Richard Bland, Branden Grace and Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra upstaged their more-illustrious opponents on Friday to shoot 7-under 65s and share the lead after the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational-Bangkok. Marc Leishman and Ian Poulter were a stroke behind while Kim Sihwan, Brooks Koepka and Morgan Jediah were among those two […]
1 day ago
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico powers his car during first practice session for the Japanes...
Associated Press

Verstappen set to win a second straight F1 season title

SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc knows it. So does anyone following Formula One; no calculators needed. Red Bulls’ Max Verstappen is set to win his second straight drivers’ title, and it’s likely to come on Sunday with rain predicted for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Friday’s two practice sessions were run in […]
1 day ago
Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas II (25) and linebacker Zaire Franklin (44) celebrate after ...
Associated Press

Colts grind out 12-9 win over Broncos in injury-filled game

DENVER (AP) — Stephon Gilmore batted away Russell Wilson’s pass to Courtland Sutton in the end zone on fourth-and-1 from the 5 to give the Indianapolis Colts a 12-9 overtime victory over the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Gilmore also intercepted Wilson’s pass in the fourth quarter to help set up Chase McLauglin’s tying field […]
1 day ago
Fans of Gimnasia de La Plata choke on tear gas during a local tournament match between Gimnasia de ...
Associated Press

Police, fans clash outside Argentine soccer match; 1 dead

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — At least one person died while police clashed with soccer fans trying to push into an Argentine league match Thursday night, and the referee stopped the game as clouds of tear gas spread inside the stadium. Authorities and witnesses said fans of the home team, Gimnasia y Esgrima, struggled to […]
1 day ago
Tom Hoge tees off on the 13th hole during the first round of the Shriners Children's Open golf tour...
Associated Press

Tom Hoge rides a pair of eagles to 63, Las Vegas lead

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tom Hoge wanted to be sure to take advantage of pristine conditions Thursday morning in Las Vegas. He did more than he expected, making two eagles on his way to an 8-under 63 for a one-shot lead in the Shriners Children’s Open. One of the eagles came with a gap wedge […]
1 day ago
New York Mets' Francisco Lindor speaks during a news conference the day before a wild-card baseball...
Associated Press

Star-studded Padres and Mets square off in wild-card round

NEW YORK (AP) — For two teams that finished second fiddle in their divisions, the Padres and Mets bring an awful lot of star power into the playoffs. Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Yu Darvish on the San Diego side. Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Francisco Lindor for New York — just to name a […]
1 day ago
Super Bowl champs rest starters, fall to Bengals 19-14