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With a sizeable Buccaneer contingent on hand at the Georgia Dome, Tampa Bay disposed of the Falcons, 27-14


Warrick Dunn didn't score any of the Bucs' three touchdowns, but the diminutive back was the workhorse of Tampa Bay's offense all day

As 50-odd Tampa Bay Buccaneers ran into the tunnel that would spill them from the field to their postgame locker room, a sea of adoring fans cheered and slapped their hands from above.

And this was on the road.

Very roughly estimated at 15,000 fans, Tampa Bay's traveling supporters were delighted on Sunday by the Buccaneers' 27-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. It recalled, in reverse, a not-too-distant past in which Tampa Stadium sometimes seemed like the enemy's home turf.

It's a delightful turnaround for the franchise, but one that hopefully will take a backseat to a more immediate rebound, that of the Bucs' nearly ruined 2000 season.

At 5-4 with seven weeks remaining, the Buccaneers suddenly appear to be the strong playoff contenders they were purported to be when the season began. That was in evidence on Sunday when a big-play defense, an opportunistic offense and a resurgent special teams allowed the Bucs to pull away from a Falcons team that actually outgained them in total yards, 283-267.

QB Chris Chandler, the Falcons' starter, was knocked out of the game in the second quarter when the third of three consecutive sacks caused a concussion. Chandler was taken to an area hospital after spending several minutes on the turf.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay built a 14-0 first half lead by scoring one touchdown in each of the first two quarters. QB Shaun King, who threw a career-high four touchdown passes the week before, got two of his three TD passes on the day in the first half, though the Bucs' passing game struggled often.

Both of the Bucs' early touchdowns were set up by big plays not of the offense's making. CB Donnie Abraham picked of Chandler's third pass of the game and returned it to the Atlanta 22 before Chandler himself made a nice tackle to prevent the touchdown.

In fact, Chandler simply delayed the score, as the Bucs took five plays to put the ball in the end zone. A key pass interference penalty on Ray Buchanan preserved the scoring opportunity, and King converted it into seven points with a one-yard pass to TE Dave Moore in the back of the end zone.

In the second quarter, DE John McLaughlin, who had narrowly missed blocking P Dan Stryzinski's previous kick, shot up the middle to take the ball off Stryzinski's foot. The Falcon punter fell on the ball first at the Atlanta three, but King got the Bucs into the end zone two plays later with a quick-strike pass to WR Keyshawn Johnson.

That was all the scoring of the first half, though Atlanta did drive well into Buccaneers territory on two occasions. Abraham interrupted another drive with another first-quarter pick. Later, as the second quarter was drawing to a close, S Damien Robinson redirected another Falcon pass as Atlanta encroached into Buc territory, but the play was called back by a defensive holding penalty. Robinson got revenge with another pick seven plays later in the end zone.

The Falcons' first score came in the third period, as they took their opening possession 87 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown. It was an impressive march by Kanell, who finished with 218 passing yards on 26 completions and repeatedly converted third downs in the second half.

In fact, Kanell made good on four straight third-down plays on the scoring drive, including a 20-yard pass to WR Tim Dwight on third-and-11. That put the ball at the Bucs' 19, and Kanell then fired a fine touch pass into traffic that WR Terance Mathis hauled in for the score.

The score brought on some momentary tension in a Georgia Dome crowd whose allegiances seemed evenly split between the Bucs and Falcons. However, King began converting third downs at a Kanellian rate, and the result was two consecutive scoring drives and a 24-7 lead at the exact midpoint of the fourth quarter.

The first was a six-minute field goal drive kick-started by a 21-yard run by RB Warrick Dunn, who finished the game with 77 rushing yards on 18 carries. That final tally didn't do justice to the effort by Dunn, who routinely spun away from early tackles to make a medium gain out of nothing. K Martin Gramatica finished that drive with a 51-yard field goal.

After stopping another Falcon drive that reached Tampa Bay territory, the Bucs then embarked on their final scoring drive. WR Jacquez Green got it going with a 35-yard reception, and Johnson finished it with his second TD of the game on a beautiful, 29-yard touch pass over the defense.

At that point, the crowd was in Tampa Bay's back pocket, to the point where the Buccaneer defenders were actually lifting their arms to exhort the fans to higher volumes. It worked, and so did the Buc defense, picking off Kanell's very next pass.

Robinson swatted the ball out of Shawn Jefferson's hands and off of Jefferson's knee as he fell, and LB Jamie Duncan gobbled up the rebound for the turnover. Seven plays later, Gramatica kicked another field goal, this one from 34 yards, extending the Bucs' lead to 20 points.

The Falcons added a late touchdown against the Bucs' second-string defense, then tried several onside kicks as time expired.

The Bucs' four interceptions were their most since last November 28, when they picked off Seattle QB Jon Kitna five times. Abraham now has six picks on the season, just one short of the career high he set last year. Robinson has a career high three interceptions and Duncan has two on the season and in his career.

The Bucs' four sacks were recorded by DT James Cannida, DE Steve White, DT Anthony McFarland and S John Lynch. The team now has 41 sacks this season, just three behind the franchise record of 44, set in 1997.

King completed 11 of 25 passes for 110 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. P Mark Royals also completed one 36-yard pass to Robinson on a fake punt, but that drive ended on King's lone interception. provided quarterly reports of the action during the game, complete with details of each snap. Those reports follow to provide a more in-depth look at the game.

First Quarter

The Buccaneers' offense didn't come out quite as explosively today as it had a week ago, but just enough movement plus two interceptions and a fake punt allowed the Bucs to win the opening quarter. The Bucs had a 7-0 lead and the ball near the Falcons' end zone when the period expired.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

After winning the toss, the Buccaneers elected to receive and sent RB Aaron Stecker back to take the kick. Stecker fielded Morten Andersen's kickoff two yards deep in the end zone and was quickly swarmed under at the 13, giving the Bucs' poor field position to open the game.

QB Shaun King's quick pass on first down was intended for WR Keyshawn Johnson but was nearly intercepted by S Marty Carter. King handed off to RB Warrick Dunn on second down, and Dunn made several quick cuts to pick up three yards. On third-and-seven, the Bucs tried a screen pass to Dunn, but LB Jeff Kelly caught him in the backfield on the right side for a loss of six yards.

P Mark Royals thus stood in his end zone as the Bucs punted from their own 10. A booming 50-yard punt by Royals helped keep dangerous return man Tim Dwight in check, and the Falcons got back to the Bucs' 48.

Atlanta's First Drive

The Falcons started with a handoff to RB Jamal Anderson, but LB Alshermond Singleton, making his first career start, came around from the back side to wrap up Anderson for a loss of two. From the midfield stripe, QB Chris Chandler took a three-step drop and fired quickly to WR Shawn Jefferson, who picked up five yards and set up a third-and-seven.

The Bucs came with several extra blitzers on first down, and while they couldn't quite get to Chandler, they did force him to throw the ball well over Jefferson's head on the left side. After a false-start penalty, P Dan Stryzinski booted the ball into the end zone for a touchback.

Tampa Bay's Second Drive

Opening at their own 20, the Bucs lined up with Dunn behind FB Mike Alstott, but handed off quickly to Alstott, who pushed the line forward for two yards. Dunn then tried to knife off the left side but found no hole and was tripped up for no gain. On third-and-eight, King tried to hit WR Reidel Anthony on a come-backer just past the sticks, but the pass was just a little too wide for Anthony to wrap up.

Royals had to punt again and this time Dwight was wrapped up even quicker, dropped at the Falcons' 41 by LB Don Davis.

Atlanta's Second Drive

Anderson got the call on first down again for the Falcons and did get two yards, but he was stopped rather suddenly by a hit from DE Marcus Jones.

On second down, the Buccaneers came up with the first big defensive play of the game. CB Donnie Abraham leaped over WR Terance Mathis to come up with a quick pass that Chandler had fired in the left flat. Abraham returned the pick 23 yards to the Falcon 22 before Chandler brought him down with a nice tackle.

Tampa Bay's Third Drive

The Bucs got the ball inside the ten with two plays. On a curl route on the right sideline, Johnson hauled in a strike from King for a nine-yard gain. On second-and-one, Alstott took the ball up the middle and picked up four yards to the nine.

Alstott got the ball again on the next first down and picked up three yards, though he was kept from the end zone by a nice tackle by DE Patrick Kerney. After an incompletion that went through the hands of Johnson on the left side, the Bucs were forced into a third-and-goal from the six.

To convert, King tried to loft a pass to WR Jacquez Green at the back of the end zone. Green leapt to catch it but landed out of bounds. However, CB Ray Buchanan was called for pass interference for shoving King and the Bucs were awarded a first down at the one.

It took only one play from there. Lined up in their jumbo package, the Bucs faked a handoff to Alstott and sent two tight ends into the end zone, Dave Moore at the back and Patrick Hape at the front. King targeted Moore, who was wide open, and hit him for the one-yard score. Tampa Bay 7, Atlanta 0.

Atlanta's Third Drive

Martin Gramatica's kickoff came off the foot high and short and was fielded by upman Brian Kozlowski at the Falcons' 20. Kozlowski got back to the 30 before he was wrapped up.

A sweep right to Anderson on first down was perfectly executed, and only a hard hit from S John Lynch prevented the play from gaining a lot more than the eight yards it netted. On second down, Anderson put his head down and powered over the middle to pick up just enough for a first down.

Atlanta called a timeout before the next snap. When play resumed, Chandler was able to thread a 15-yard pass to Mathis on a quick post in front of CB Ronde Barber, who made the tackle at the Bucs' 44. Chandler audibled several times at the line as the Bucs' defense stunted, then fired a six yards pass over the middle to Anderson. On second down, Anderson threw a pass right down the line of scrimmage to Mathis, who picked up three yards but was stopped short of the first down by Abraham's tackle. Anderson was able to pick up the first down, however, with a three-yard run up the gut.

Now at the Bucs' 32, the Falcons gave in to the urge to go deep, and WR Shawn Jefferson appeared to gain a step on Abraham down the right sideline. However, the pass was slightly underthrown and Abraham picked it off, screeched to a halt as his foot touched the end zone and returned his second interception of the day back to the Bucs' 26.

Tampa Bay's Third Drive

King faked a handoff to Dunn on first down and then rolled right, where he had Johnson on a comeback and Green on a deep post to choose from. King tried to zip one into Johnson but CB Ashley Ambrose made a nice recovery to knock it away. King looked for Johnson on the left side on the next snap but the two were on different pages as to the route and the ball was well overthrown. Green flew up the left sideline on third down but the coverage was good and the ball was incomplete.

That brought up fourth down and an apparent punt. However, instead of kicking, Royals pulled the ball down and passed perfectly over the middle to S Damien Robinson, who picked up 36 yards to the Atlanta 38.

With a new first down, King handed off to Dunn, who spun off a tackle in the backfield and sliced up the middle for eight yards. On second down, a nice second effort by Dunn on a plunge up the middle resulted in a three-yard gain and another first down at the Falcons' 27.

King then tossed a play-action pass to TE Patrick Hape in the left flat, and Hape lowered his shoulder to gain five yards. The quarter came to an end just before the Bucs could get their next snap off.

Second Quarter

The second quarter was quite similar to the first, with the Bucs' using a big play on special teams to set up a short touchdown drive. Tampa Bay's defense also picked off its third pass of the game, helping keep Atlanta off the scoreboard. The halftime score was 14-0, Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

The Bucs started the second quarter in a second-and-five from the Falcons' 22-yard line. On the first snap, QB Shaun King stepped up out of pressure and fired a hard pass to TE Dave Moore, who held on for a 10-yard gain despite a hard hit just as the ball arrived.

On first down, RB Warrick Dunn zipped up the middle for seven yards. He appeared to get in the end zone on the next play by running wide around the left side. However, the play was called back a holding penalty. On second-and-13, King ran up the middle on a designed play and picked up seven yards. On third-and-six, disaster.

King faked a handoff and a pitch and found himself in trouble. An ill-advised throw to the end zone as he was being tackled found its way into CB Ray Buchanan's hands, and Buchanan returned the ball all the way to the Bucs' 44, though a tackle by RB Warrick Dunn prevented the touchdown.

Atlanta's First Drive

On first down, S John Lynch and DT James Cannida combined for a sack. QB Chris Chandler was sacked again on second down by Cannida as he tried to scramble. On third down, you guessed it, another sack, this one by DE Steve White all the way back at the Falcons' 43.

Chandler was shaken up on the play. After a very long time prone on the field with the Falcons' medical staff around him, Chandler got up and walked shakily to the sideline.

Tampa Bay's Second Drive

WR Karl Williams fielded P Dan Stryzinski's kick near the ten-yard line and, on his first action in a month, eluded the first man coming at him and returned the kick to the Bucs' 24.

From there, King faked a handoff to Dunn and gave the ball instead to WR Jacquez Green, who was swinging by on an end-around. Green picked up five yards before a hard hit by S Marty Carter put him immediately on the ground.

On second down, King dropped back and threw a perfect comeback pass to WR Keyshawn Johnson on the left sideline for 13 yards. On the new first down, Dunn got the ball on a sweep right and was able to cut up for two yards despite a wall of Falcon tacklers. On second-and-eight, King tried to loft a touch pass over coverage to TE Dave Moore, who was cutting up a seam on the right side, but there was no room to get the ball in.

On third-and-eight, King's pass to the left side was thrown under duress and didn't get near to a Buccaneer receiver. P Mark Royals came on to kick it away and hit a beautiful 52-yarder to the right corner that return man Tim Dwight was able to field but unable to get past the 10. In the scrum that resulted after John McLaughlin's tackle, a Falcon was penalized half the distance to the goal line for throwing the ball at McLaughlin.

Atlanta's Second Drive

Backup QB Danny Kanell took over for Chandler and faced a first down at his own five. Kanell started with a handoff to RB Jamal Anderson. Anderson thought he had a hole on the left side, but LB Nate Webster met him on the fly and kept the gain to two yards.

The Falcons got some breathing room, however, on second down, when Kanell threw a 17-yard pass to WR Shawn Jefferson. Anderson tried the left side again on first down but he was stood up by several Buc tacklers then put on the ground by S Damien Robinson after a gain of three. Kanell threw quickly over the middle to FB Bob Christian on second down, but he was stopped after gaining three yards by a hard hit from LB Derrick Brooks.

On third-and-four, Kanell tried to hit a deep out route to Jefferson, but it was thrown just behind him. Stryzinski came on to punt again and this time McLaughlin, who had just missed Stryzinski's last kick, took it off the punter's foot. The ball spun down to the Falcons' three, where Stryzinski fell on it before McLaughlin could arrive.

Tampa Bay's Third Drive

Alstott got the ball on first down but was met immediately in the middle and lost two yards. However, King got the Bucs in the end zone this time by dropping back and, with enough protection to survey the field calmly, zipping a five-yard TD pass to Johnson in the back of the end zone. Tampa Bay 14, Atlanta 0.

Atlanta's Third Drive

WR Tim Dwight took Martin Gramatica's kickoff at the Falcons' four and returned it hard up the middle, but he was stopped suddenly at the 26 by McLaughlin's tackle.

On first down, Kanell threw quickly to Jefferson on the left side but it was dropped. Jefferson got the ball again on second down, cutting across the middle and spinning away from one tackle to pick up 11 yards and a first down. Jefferson continued to be Kanell's favorite target as he hauled in a 15-yard pass just in front of CB Donnie Abraham on the right side.

On first down from the Bucs' 48, TE Reggie Kelly hauled in a three-yard pass on the left side but was shoved out of bounds by CB Brian Kelly. WR Terance Mathis burned right past the Bucs' defense on a fly pattern on second pass, but the pass was overthrown near the end zone.

On third-and-seven, heavy pressure up the middle caused Kanell to back up and eventually settle for a dumpoff to Anderson. Anderson ran into his own man and fell down, and though he was able to get back up, the Bucs' defense had closed in and he was trapped at the 45 for a loss of one.

Stryzinski came in to punt and hit a beauty, dropping his kick down at the four, where it bounced sideways out of bounds.

Tampa Bay's Fourth Drive

Needing to get their backs of their own goal line, the Bucs gave the ball to Alstott, who obliged by driving behind left guard for a gain of five. Alstott tried the same route on second down and was able to bounce off several tackles to get four yards and set up a very important third-and-one. The Bucs brought in a three-WR formation and tried to throw, but King's pass found no Tampa Bay targets nearby.

The Bucs were forced to punt, and Dwight had a nice running start on the return. However, he was tripped up after gaining just seven yards to the Falcons' 48.

Atlanta's Fourth Drive

Kanell had good protection on first down but was able to pick up just two yards on a pass to Christian, who did get out of bounds to stop the clock.

On second down, S Damien Robinson appeared to intercept Kanell's pass, but a defensive holding penalty nullified the turnover and gave Atlanta a first down at the Bucs' 45. Kanell's next pass appeared to be on target to Dwight at the 15-yard line near the sideline, but CB Brian Kelly leapt at the last second to tip it away.

DT Warren Sapp got to Kanell quickly on second down, but Kanell dumped the pass off just in time to Christian, who picked up nine yards to the Bucs' 36. On third-and-inches, the Falcons tried a draw play to Anderson, but the back was trapped quickly by McFarland for a loss of two.

On fourth-and-three, however, Kanell found Mathis for a first down at the Bucs' 31. Kanell quickly pulled his team to the line to spike the ball and stop the clock at 32 seconds.

Anderson caught Kanell's next pass on the right sideline, sidestepped one tackle, then was knocked out of bounds by LB Derrick Brooks after a nine-yard gain to the 22. Kanell tried to find Dwight at the front left corner of the end zone on the next pass, but Robinson picked it off again and this time it stood.

Tampa Bay's Fifth Drive

The Bucs thus got the ball at the 20, and one kneeldown by King ended the first half with the visitors up by two touchdowns.

Third Quarter

The third period was almost completely drained by two long scoring drives, one for each team. The Falcons got the upper hand, however, scoring a touchdown to the Bucs' field goal, thus closing Tampa Bay's edge to 17-7.

Atlanta's First Drive

CB Darrick Vaughn took Martin Gramatica's kickoff at the five to start the second half, and promptly dropped it. Though he recovered, the delay allowed S Dexter Jackson to grab him at the Falcons' 13.

RB Jamal Anderson shot around left tackle on first down to pick up four yards before LB Jamie Duncan stopped him. QB Danny Kanell completed a quick pass to WR Shawn Jefferson on second down, but Jefferson was stopped a yard short of a first down. On third-and-one, Anderson made it up the middle for four yards and a first down at the 26.

Kanell went to the air on the next first down, finding TE Reggie Kelly for an 11-yard gain and another first down at the Falcons' 37. Anderson made several nice cuts on his next carry, but was stopped for just a two-yard gain by S John Lynch. After a false-start penalty on the Falcons, Kanell threw a five-yard pass to Anderson, with the tackle by LB Alshermond Singleton. CB Ronde Barber appeared to knock away the third-down pass, but he was flagged for pass interference and Atlanta had a new first down at the Bucs' 48.

Kanell stood in the pocket for a long time on the next snap before throwing to Anderson, and Anderson was lifted off his feet by LB Derrick Brooks' tackle after a gain of just one. Anderson made a nice shoestring catch on the next pass but lost his balance and fell out of bounds at the Bucs' 43. The Bucs' brought a heavy blitz on third-and-five, but Atlanta picked it up and Kanell had just enough time to deliver a pass to Jefferson for a first down.

Anderson took a pitch on the next play, but S Damien Robinson caught him the backfield and held on for a loss of one. Kanell's next pass hit the turf incomplete thanks to another strong Buc rush, but he converted another third down when he hit a wide-open Tim Dwight for a 20 yard gain to the Bucs' 19.

Kanell's next pass was a perfectly thrown ball into traffic that WR Terance Mathis caught for a touchdown. Tampa Bay 14, Atlanta 7.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

After RB Aaron Stecker got his kickoff return back to the Bucs' 19, RB Warrick Dunn took a delayed handoff up the middle but got just one yard. Dunn found a small gap behind right tackle on the next carry but still managed just four yards, bringing up a third-and-five. QB Shaun King converted that situation with a brilliant individual effort. As the pocket collapsed, King nimbly stepped backwards out of a sack, then took off running and avoided several tackles to pick up 12 yards and a first down.

Dunn picked up two yards on his next carry, a quick-hitter behind right tackle. However, Dunn's next carry was more productive, a knifing run up right guard that picked up nine yards.

With a new first down at the Bucs' 48, Tampa Bay stuck to the ground and got one yard out of another Dunn carry. The speedy Dunn then broke free for his longest run of the night, darting up the middle and threw the middle of the Falcons' defense for 21 yards.

King rolled right on the next snap and tried to throw a comebacker to Johnson, but it was incomplete. Dunn's next carry picked up just one yard but was impressive nonetheless, as he literally faked S Ronnie Bradford out of one of his shoes in the backfield.

The Falcon defense came up with its first sack on the next play, though the Bucs didn't agree. An Atlanta tackler had King wrapped up but not on the ground, allowing King to complete a first-down pass to TE Dave Moore. However, King was ruled down by the officials and the result was a fourth down. Gramatica allowed the Bucs to take some points away from the drive by nailing a 51-yard field goal, his ninth make in a row. Tampa Bay 17, Atlanta 7.

Atlanta's Second Drive

Dwight nearly got around the corner on the Bucs' cover unit on the resulting kickoff, but LB Don Davis stopped him at the 29.

Anderson caught a short pass over the middle for five yards on first down, though Brooks ended the play emphatically by knocking Anderson's helmet off. Anderson then zipped around left tackle for seven yards and a first down as the quarter came to an end.

Fourth Quarter

Though a late Atlanta touchdown against the Bucs' second-string defense narrowed the final gap to 13 points, Tampa Bay dominated the fourth quarter en route to a 27-14 victory.

Atlanta's First Drive

Starting with a first-and-10 at its own 41, the Falcons tried to hit a long play with a pass to Tim Dwight on the right side. S John Lynch nearly intercepted the underthrown ball. A Buccaneer blitz on second down got to QB Danny Kanell in a hurry, forcing an incomplete pass.

That brought up third-and-10, and the Falcons took a timeout. When play resumed, the Falcons picked up Tampa Bay's blitz and Kanell threw on target to Dwight for a 17-yard gain. Kanell was flattened on the next pass by DT Warren Sapp, and his pass was well off target. Kanell then fired a very quick pass to WR Shawn Jefferson, but the Bucs defense swarmed Jefferson after a gain of two.

On third-and-eight, a bullrushing Sapp got in Kanell's face again and the result was another incomplete pass. P Dan Stryzinski came on to kick it away and was disappointed when his punt went well into the end zone for a touchback.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

RB Warrick Dunn continued his busy afternoon with a first down carry on a pitch that resulted in a one-yard gain. QB Shaun King faked a handoff to FB Mike Alstott on the next play but then threw the ball out of the reach of TE Dave Moore. On third-and-nine, the Bucs' offense finally contributed a long play, as King threw the ball up for WR Jacquez Green and Green ran under it for a 35-yard gain to the Falcons' 44.

King backed nimbly out of a sack on the next play and improvised with a pass over the middle to Dunn for five yards. King called an audible on the next snap with Alstott alone in the backfield and threw a flare pass to Alstott for four yards. On third-and-one, Alstott went up the middle but was tripped up in the backfield and even a second effort wasn't enough for the first down.

The Bucs elected to go for it on fourth down, first letting the play clock run down to one second before calling a timeout. After the break, Alstott banged away at the middle again and found just enough of a seam behind right guard to get two yards and a first down at the Falcons' 33.

Dunn took the handoff on the next snap and turned in a dazzling four-yard, spinning and slicing away from tackles to get to the 29. King then tried to hit Alstott on a flare pass to the right but threw it well over Alstott's head. On third-and-six, King went for it all, throwing a high, lofting pass that dropped over the heads of the defense and into Johnson's hands as he crossed the goal line on a 29-yard touchdown. Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 7.

Atlanta's Second Drive

Gramatica purposely pooched his next kickoff high and short, and the Bucs' coverage unit swarmed over Dwight at the 18-yard line just after he caught the ball.

The Falcons' resulting drive lasted one play. Kanell threw a pass in Shawn Jefferson's direction but a bit high. S Damien Robinson swatted at the ball as Jefferson tried to haul it in, causing it to come loose and bounce off

Tampa Bay's Second Drive

The Bucs tried their second Jacquez Green end-around on third down and got six yards this time as Green eluded one Atlanta tackler deep in the backfield. Dunn darted behind left tackle at an angle and picked up three yards, just inches short of the sticks. Alstott dove over the middle on the next snap to get the first down at Atlanta's 23.

After a measurement and a Buc timeout, Dunn followed a big push to the left to get four yards. He got three yards on the next carry, once again slipping away from backfield tackles to get positive yardage. On third-and-three, King threw well over Johnson's head on a quick out.

That forced the Bucs' into a field goal try, and Gramatica nailed it from 34 yards out, extending his streak to 10. Tampa Bay 27, Atlanta 7.

Atlanta's Third Drive

Gramatica switched up on his next kickoff, driving it through the end zone on one bounce. Starting at their own 20, the Falcons tried a screen pass, which went directly at S Dexter Jackson's chest. Jackson might have had six, but G Calvin Collins hit him an instant later to break it up.

On second down, DT Anthony McFarland showed startling speed in chasing Kanell down on the right side for a 10-yard sack. On third-and-20, the Falcons played it safe, handing off to Anderson, who got 11 yards. Atlanta went for it on fourth down and Kanell's pass went through Anderson's hands for a loss of down.

Tampa Bay's Third Drive

With the Bucs taking over at the Falcons' 21, Head Coach Tony Dungy inserted QB Joe Hamilton under center. Of course, Hamilton simply handed off to Alstott on first down, and the big back got one yard up the middle. Dunn got the next handoff but was stopped at the line of scrimmage. Atlanta then called a timeout with 2:10 remaining in the game.

RB Aaron Stecker ran up the middle on third down and picked up one more yard to make it fourth-and-eight from the 19. The Bucs were more interested in running out the clock than scoring, so Hamilton dropped back to pass and then scrambled. However, he was caught quickly and made to fumble, which Atlanta recovered at their own 21.

Atlanta's Fourth Drive

Tampa Bay brought in an entire second team of defense for the final two minutes, but the Falcons still struggled to move the ball. Kanell's first two passes were incomplete, but a handoff to Anderson on third down worked for 15 yards against a sagging defense.

Kanell then tried to pass over the middle to Anderson, but the back dropped the ball as a linebacker closed in. On second down, Anderson caught a pass on the left sideline and worked his way upward for 13 more yards to nearly midfield.

Kanell avoided a blitz on the next play and threw to FB Bob Christian, who picked up 10 yards for a first down. Kanell then threw short to Anderson for six more yards. As the clock ticked down inside 20 seconds, Dwight caught a four-yard pass but was thrown down hard out of bounds by Jackson. The result was a personal foul that put the ball at Tampa Bay's 16. Kanell then completed another TD pass to WR Terance Mathis. Tampa Bay 27, Atlanta 14.

Tampa Bay's Fourth Drive Morten Andersen's first onside kick attempt went out of bounds, resulting in another try. TE Dave Moore recovered the next kick, leaving two seconds on the clock. One kneeldown ended it.

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