1. Ronde Barber 92 yard INT for a TD (NFC Championship): When you talk about all-time plays in Bucs history, it’s hard for this one not to be the top one as this play pretty much cemented the 2002 Bucs place in Super Bowl 37.
The play came as QB Donovan McNabb was leading a 4th quarter drive that managed to bring the Eagles within 10 yards of the Buccaneer endzone. As McNabb threw a pass intended for WR Antonio Freeman, Ronde stepped in between the receiver and ball to intercept it and take it 92 yards for a touchdown to extend the Buc’s lead to 27-10. This not only helped send Tampa Bay to their first-ever Super Bowl berth, but just so happened to be the final game in Veteran’s Stadium and the franchise’s first-ever NFC title to send them to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.
2. Derrick Brooks INT for a TD – The Dagger (Super Bowl 37): Derrick Brooks has had some very memorable plays in his years with the Buccaneers, but very few (if any) can argue that his interception in Super Bowl 37 is one of the greatest moments in franchise history.
On a January night in 2003, the NFL witnessed something very special as Jon Gruden had led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance against none other than his former team (a trade brought him from Oakland to Tampa). But, what the world witnessed in the 4th quarter of that game, was beyond something special. Derrick Brooks picked off league MVP Rich Gannon’s pass intended for Marcus Knight and took it 44-yards down the Buccaneer sideline to help “put the dagger in” that sealed the Lombardi Trophy for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first time in franchise history. As Brook’s ran down the sideline, “The voice of the Buccaneers” and broadcasting legend Gene Deckerhoff could be heard screaming “There it is! The dagger’s in! We’re going to win the Super Bowl!” The Bucs defeated the Raiders in the Super Bowl 48-21.
3. Warren Sapp catches first-ever TD pass (2003): On a September afternoon in the Georgia Dome, the defending Super Bowl champions were out for revenge as they had failed to win the previous week against division foe Carolina. This game was not only sweet due to the touchdown catch by the defensive tackle, but also because it denied coach Dan Reeves his 200th coaching win. But nothing is sweeter than watching your defensive tackle, the real Mouth of the South, Warren Sapp dance in the endzone after catching his first-ever touchdown pass.
Brad Johnson connected with the defensive tackle during a 4th quarter drive for 6 yards. This helped the Bucs defeat the Falcons 31-10 and helped get them back on the right track (although they would fall back off down the road and have been derailed ever since). In a game that didn’t involve then, Falcons franchise QB Michael Vick. Even without injury, it’s hard to believe Vick would’ve been able to do much in that game against the Bucs defense that was out for revenge.
4. Josh Freeman 95 yard pass to Vincent Jackson: Very few quarterbacks have their names mentioned for the top plays in franchise history, even fewer have it standing as a franchise record for “longest pass in franchise history”.
During a 2012 week 7 game against the Saints, the 2009 first-round pick out of Kansas State, Freeman tossed a 95 yards pass to Vincent Jackson to set the record. Also, during that game, he also threw for a career-high 420 yards, 5 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Though Freeman’s tenure with the Bucs ended the following season; he may very well be remembered for the way his tenure ended, but he will also have that franchise record stand until someone decides they can erase that memory of Freeman too.
5. Joe Jurevicius’ 71-yard catch and run (83 Zerba Jerk): During the 2003 NFC Championship game, no one played with a heavier heart than WR Joe Jurevicius. Days before the game, Jurevicius, and wife Megan welcomed son Michael to the world on Jan 14, 2003. Right from the start, problems came with the birth. As Joe balanced his personal life and NFL life, I don’t think anyone would imagine what would happen that Sunday in Philly.
On a 3rd and 2 from the Eagle’s 24, Gruden dialed up a play that would eventually lead No. 83 on a 71-yard race that would help turn the momentum that would lead to a Buccaneers NFC title. Some times things happen for a reason, and on that night, things went to perfection for the Buccaneers and for the moment, Jurevicius. This play is still mentioned within the franchise as one of the biggest catches along with Mike Evans’ 2016 Catch of the Year (one-handed catch vs Falcons on Thursday Night Football).
Other mentions: Mike Evans’ one-handed TD catch, Matt Bryant 62 yard FG, Mike Alstott 20 yard monster run vs Browns(2002), Jameis Winston scramble and pass to Mike Evans vs Chicago, Michael Spurlock KR touchdown, and LeGarrette Blount’s Monster 54-yard Run at the Green Bay Packers(2011)