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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs notes: T Penn shuts down Colts DE Freeney

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 01:30 AM

TAMPA Tampa Bay Buccaneers LT Donald Penn knew the past three games would be tough.

Penn faced three Pro Bowl defensive ends in Minnesota's Jared Allen, Atlanta's John Abraham and Indianapolis' Dwight Freeney.

No problem.

Penn, who played in the most recent Pro Bowl, held Freeney to zero tackles and zero sacks in Tampa Bay's 24-17 victory against Indianapolis on Monday night.

"I had a game plan," Penn said. "I worked hard in practice. (Bucs linebacker) Dekoda (Watson) worked me hard in practice. We had a good plan. I was with him most of the game.

"(Bucs QB Josh Freeman) did a great job moving in the pocket and getting rid of the ball. There is a lot that goes into playing somebody that good. I got lucky. I'm going to take this win and build from it. Freeney is a great player."

After allowing one sack against Allen, Penn held Abraham to one tackle and a quarterback hit before shutting down Freeney.

To be Blount

Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount shed the monkey on his back as easily as he did defenders. Blount rushed 25 times for 127 yards and one touchdown against Indianapolis, his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.

"It felt awesome, my first 100-yard game of the season," Blount said. "I'm happy to get that out of the way. Now, I don't have to deal with the pressure of, 'LeGarrette hasn't had a 100-yard game yet.' I feel like I should have had a 100-yard game by now."

Blount has rushed for more than 100 yards five times in his career, but started slowly this season.

Prior to Monday, Blount had four carries for 13 yards against Detroit, 13 for 71 yards and two touchdowns against Minnesota and 24 for 81 yards against Atlanta.

"My offensive line has been blocking awesome," Blount said. "There were a few plays, as you know, I left on the field the last few games and could have had a 100-yard game. I'm happy we got it out of the way and I'm going to send some of those (offensive lineman) to the Pro Bowl."

First quarter winners

The Bucs have struggled in the first quarter this season, but not in the won-lost column.

Tampa Bay has gone 58 consecutive games in which the offense failed to score more than seven points in the opening quarter. Yet, Tampa Bay is 3-1 in the first quarter of the 16-game season.

"Can't complain, man," CB Aqib Talib said. "If we're 3-1 in every quarter, that's the playoffs."

Extra points

Tampa Bay did not have a turnover against Indianapolis. Since 2002, Tampa Bay is 23-4 when it does not commit a turnover. …CB Ronde Barber has started in 187 consecutive games, most among active NFL players. …Bucs TE Kellen Winslow extended his pass catching streak to 80 consecutive games after recording five receptions for 33 yards. Winslow has the third-longest active streak among tight ends and eighth-longest overall. …K Connor Barth recorded six points against Indianapolis, giving him 189 total to rank ninth on Tampa Bay's all-time scoring list.

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