Two of the NFL's hottest teams square off in a prime-time match up when Tampa Bay (7-4) hosts the Minnesota Vikings (7-4) Monday Night at 9 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs, winners of four straight, host the Vikings, who have done one better, holding the NFC's current longest win streak with five straight victories. Bucs head coach Tony Dungy is preparing for a quick-strike offense led by QB Jeff George, who has thrown for 1,637 yards and 17 touchdowns in just five starts.
"Minnesota is very, very hot," Dungy said. "They have been playing with a lot of confidence and they're making the big plays, which did us in the first game at their place. Jeff George is making some big plays. He's making the throws that Randall (Cunnigham) did last year and they have the weapons to score."
DUNGY CONFIDENT IN ROOKIE QB KING QB Shaun King will make his first NFL start Monday Night against the Minnesota Vikings. Although, first place in the NFC Central is at stake, Dungy is not apprehensive of placing King in this position
"I think he'll be fine," Dungy said. " He's a bright, young man and he's been a winner every where he's been. He'll definitely be ready to play come Monday Night against the Vikings."
"We're going to do the same thing on offense, but just be a little bit more consistent on the offensive side of the ball, " King said. "We have to just run the ball effectively and we have a great defense with a number of Pro Bowlers that have made a number of plays for us this season."
With King at the helm, Dungy said that he would wait until after Friday's practice to evaluate the status of QB Eric Zeier. Should Zeier be able to practice this week, he will backup King against the Vikings. If he is unavailable to make it through the team drills in practice QB Scott Milanovich, who was signed yesterday, will be the No. 2 quarterback. Zeier is still ailing from a left rib contusion that he suffered against the Detroit Lions on October 24.
"We'll have to wait until tomorrow," Dungy said. "Eric took a lot of work today and did OK," If he's fine coming in tomorrow, it should be encouraging."
BUCCANEERS INJURY REPORT QB Trent Dilfer (right clavicle fracture) is out and will miss the next six to eight weeks. Ken Blackman (left knee sprain) is doubtful. CB Floyd Young (left shoulder sprain), S John Lynch (left knee sprain), S Damien Robinson (left hip strain) and RB Warrick Dunn (left ankle sprain) did not practice. QB Eric Zeier (right rib contusion) practiced and is listed as probable for Sunday's contest.