Anthony has made the most of his limited receptions this season, scoring four touchdowns
What connection does Chicago have with the Bucs' playoff hopes? That and more in the weekly media notes
Each week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' communications department prepares a lengthy release for distribution to local and national members of the media. The release previews the team's upcoming game and keeps an eye on team notes, stats and trends.
This comprehensive document is now available to the team's fans on Buccaneers.com. Each week, Buccaneers.com will post this release as a front-page story, sharing directly with the fans what used to be filtered through the media covering the team. As the Bucs try to stretch their winning streak to four games, the following release covers all the angles for the team's trip to Chicago to face the 2-8 Bears.
TAMPA BAY (6-4) RIDES INTO CHICAGO (2-8) ON THREE-GAME WINNING STREAK
GAME INFORMATION Date: Sunday, November 19, 2000 Kickoff: Noon CT (1:00 p.m. ET) Site: Soldier Field Records: Tampa Bay 6-4, Chicago 2-8 Television: Fox. Play-By-Play: Kenny Albert, Color: Tim Green Bucs Radio: WQYK, Flagship station (99.5 FM, 1010 AM) Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff; Color: Scot Brantley; Sideline: Tom Korun Spanish Radio: Mega 96.1 FM Play-by-Play: Neil Fernandez; Color: Mike Chavez
LAST GAME Bucs Extend Win Streak to Three with 20-15 Victory over Green Bay
Tampa Bay won its third consecutive game as it rallied in the fourth quarter to down Green Bay 20-15 at Raymond James Stadium. K Martin Gramatica nailed field goals from 54 and 51 yards to complete the rally, giving the Bucs their third consecutive victory at home over the Packers for the first time in series history. Green Bay grabbed its first lead of the game at 15-14 on a fake field goal for a touchdown with 14:01 left in the game, but Gramatica nailed the 54-yarder for a 17-15 Bucs lead less than four minutes later. After the Tampa Bay defense forced a fumble by RB Ahman Green, Gramatica extended the lead with his fifth field goal of 50 or more yards this season. The Bucs defense stopped Green Bay on its final two drives to preserve the victory. After a scoreless first quarter, QB Shaun King hooked up with WR Keyshawn Johnson for a five-yard score early in the second quarter. Packers K Ryan Longwell cut the lead to 7-3 with his first of three field goals, but King connected with WR Reidel Anthony with less than two minutes remaining in the first half for a 14-3 halftime edge. Packers QB Matt Hasselbeck, who came off the bench midway through the third quarter after Brett Favre suffered a left ankle sprain, led Green Bay to two third quarter field goals to cut the lead to 14-9. Hasselbeck then executed the fake field goal to perfection, throwing a 27-yard pass to a wide-open Bubba Franks for Green Bay's lone lead of the game.
Tampa Bay has scored 252 points in the first 10 games to already eclipse the total for an entire season of 11 previous Buccaneer teams. Tampa Bay's 25.2 points per game ranks fifth-best in the NFL, including second in the NFC. The Bucs are on pace to score 403 points, which would shatter the team record of 335 points set by the 1984 team. In addition, the Bucs are on target to score 45 touchdowns, which would break the club mark of 40 set in 1984.
SACK DIFFERENTIAL TOPS IN THE LEAGUE
Tampa Bay's defense has been racking up quarterback sacks at an alarming rate, but the offense has also done an excellent job of protecting QB Shaun King. The Bucs defense has notched 42 sacks, while the offensive line has allowed just 14 sacks. Tampa Bay's sack differential of plus-28 ranks tops in the league. A look at the top five teams in the league:
|Team||Sacks By||Sacks Allowed||Differential|
BUCS IN THE RANKINGS
Here is a look at where the Buccaneers rank in the team and individual rankings:
|Team Statistic||NFC Ranking||NFL Ranking|
|Total Offense (300.4 ypg)||12th||21st|
|Rushing Offense (116.5 ypg)||10th||18th|
|Passing Offense (183.9 ypg)||12th||23rd|
|Total Defense (289.7 ypg)||3rd||7th|
|Rushing Defense (100.4 ypg)||5th||12th|
|Passing Defense (189.3 ypg)||5th||9th|
|Turnover Margin (+5)||t2nd||t9th|
|Third Downs (36.0%)||11th||----|
|Third Down Defense (29.8%)||1st||1st|
|Red Zone Scoring Pct. (93.1%)||2nd||----|
|Red Zone TD Pct. (62.1%)||3rd||----|
|Opponent Red Zone TD Pct. (34.6%)||t3rd||----|
|First Downs (174)||12th||----|
|Opponent First Downs (167)||3rd||----|
|Individual Statistic||NFC Ranking||NFL Ranking|
|Kicking - Gramatica (82 points)||3rd||5th|
|Passing - King (80.8 rating)||8th||----|
|Punting - Royals (44.0 avg.)||2nd||----|
|Punt Returns - Williams (8.0 avg.)||9th||----|
|Interceptions - Abraham (6)||t1st||t1st|
|Sacks – Sapp (11.5)||3rd||4th|
|Sacks – Jones (10.0)||4th||5th|
|Sacks - McFarland (6.5)||10th||----|
BUCCANEERS-BEARS SERIES NOTES
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Chicago leads the all-time series 30-15, but the Buccaneers have won each of the last six meetings and seven of the last eight. Tampa Bay has swept the season series in each of the previous two seasons (1998 and 1999) after accomplishing that feat just once in its first 22 seasons (1989). Tampa Bay's current six-game winning streak is its best in the series. The Bucs have defeated Chicago in each of their five playoff seasons. Chicago owned the series in the 1980's, winning 15 of the 19 meetings. That run of success included a 12-game winning streak for the Bears that began in 1983 and finally ended with a 42-35 Bucs victory in 1989. Chicago dominated the early 1990's with victories in 11 of the first 13 games before the Bucs turned it around with their recent fortunes.
- Bucs' longest winning streak: 6, 12/21/97-current - Bears' longest winning streak: 12, 9/11/83-11/20/88 - Bucs' home record: 11-13 - Bears' home record: 17-4
LAST MEETING: Tampa Bay 41, Chicago 0 (9/10/00) - The Bucs displayed a complete effort on offense, defense and special teams as they recorded the largest margin of victory in team history with a 41-0 win over Chicago in the home opener before 65,569 at Raymond James Stadium. The two teams played a scoreless first quarter before K Martin Gramatica booted field goals of 23 and 47 yards for a 6-0 Bucs lead. The game changed drastically, though, in the final three minutes of the first half. CB Donnie Abraham intercepted a Cade McNown pass off the hands of RB James Allen and returned it to the Bears four-yard line. QB Shaun King scored on three-yard run three plays later for a 13-0 lead. The Bucs defense was not finished as CB Ronde Barber, who had 2.5 sacks on the day, recovered a fumble forced by Abraham and took it 24 yards for a touchdown and a 20-0 halftime advantage. King added touchdown strikes to WR Keyshawn Johnson - his first score as a Buccaneer - and WR Jacquez Green in the third quarter, while FB Mike Alstott closed out the scoring with a 20-yard run in the final period. The Bucs defense extended their streak to 14 quarters against Chicago without allowing a touchdown, and permitted the Bears just 165 total yards, including 49 passing. Tampa Bay forced four turnovers and allowed Chicago one third down conversion in 11 tries.
SERIES HIGHLIGHTS: Walter Payton's three-yard TD run clinches 10-0 Bears win (12/4/77)...Ricky Bell runs for 95 yards and one TD as Bucs get first win over Bears, 33-19 (10/22/78)…QB Doug Williams hits WR Isaac Hagins on an 8-yard scoring pass with 5:07 left as Bucs run record to 5-0 with 17-13 win at Soldier Field (9/30/79)…Bears blank Bucs 23-0 in Tampa Bay's first Monday Night Football appearance (10/6/80)…Bill Capece hits 33-yard FG in OT as Bucs clinch playoff berth with 26-23 win (1/2/83)…Williams passes for 367 yards and two TDs…Bucs snap 12-game skid to Bears with 42-35 victory (10/8/89)…QB Vinny Testaverde throws for 269 yards and three TDs…Bucs open Raymond James Stadium with 27-15 win over Chicago (9/20/98)…Tampa Bay erases 15-0 deficit, thanks to two TD passes from QB Trent Dilfer and a 43-yard TD run by RB Warrick Dunn...The Bucs set the franchise record for most wins with their 11th of the season in a 20-6 win in the season finale in Chicago (1/2/00).
CAREER STATISTICS VERSUS CHICAGO:
FB Mike Alstott - 109 carries, 423 yards, 3 TDs; 15 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD RB Warrick Dunn - 92 carries, 342 yards; 15 catches, 81 yards WR Jacquez Green - 16 catches, 231 yards, 1 TD QB Shaun King - 28-45 passing, 345 yards, 3 TDs CB Donnie Abraham - 34 tackles, 5 interceptions CB Ronde Barber - 23 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery for TD LB Derrick Brooks - 113 tackles, 2 interceptions S John Lynch - 79 tackles DT Warren Sapp - 39 tackles, 6 sacks
Bucs FB Mike Alstott is a native of Joliet, IL…Bucs S Damien Robinson played collegiately with Bears C Casey Wiegmann at Iowa...Bears RB Edgar Bennett went to Florida State…Bears QB Shane Matthews played at Florida…Bucs DT Tyoka Jackson played at Penn State with Bears WR Bobby Engram…Bears LB coach Dale Lindsey was the Bucs' LB coach in 1991…S John Lynch is Bears TE John Allred's brother-in-law…Lynch was a teammate of Bears RB/KR Glyn Milburn at Stanford…G Frank Middleton, Bears LB Sean Harris and DE Van Tuinei were teammates at Arizona…Bears OL coach Bob Wylie served in the same capacity for the Bucs from 1992 to 1995…Bears P Brent Bartholomew grew up in Apopka, FL…Bears WR Dez White, who played at Georgia Tech with Bucs QB Joe Hamilton, is a native of Orange Park, FL…Bears DT Brad Culpepper was a staple for the Bucs' defensive front from 1992-99…Bears K Paul Edinger was born and raised in Lakeland, FL and attended Kathleen High School...Bucs WR Jacquez Green and Bears WR Marcus Robinson played together at Georgia's Peach County High School.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Here are a few things to keep an eye on this Sunday:
- Tampa Bay boasts 42 sacks (4.2 per game), while Chicago has allowed 28 sacks (2.8 per game).
- Chicago's Glyn Milburn is averaging 23.0 yards per kickoff return, but over the last two games, Tampa Bay has allowed an average of 18.0 yards on opponent kickoff returns.
- Tampa Bay has already blocked a club-record six kicks (three punts and three field goals), while Chicago has yet to have a kick blocked this season.
K Martin Gramatica is following a record-setting rookie season with an outstanding sophomore campaign. Gramatica, a third-round selection out of Kansas State prior to last season, has converted on his last 12 field goal attempts, including two from 50-plus yards against Green Bay last Sunday. With his game-winning 54-yarder in the fourth quarter, Gramatica set a new club record with his fourth field goal of 50 or more yards this season and then extended that record to five with his second FG from 51 yards. The 54-yarder is tied for the second-longest in the NFL this season, with his career-long 55-yarder vs. Detroit (10/17) ranking best in the league. Gramatica is one field goal shy of his career-best streak of 13 consecutive field goals made, which he accomplished a year ago. Three of his last four field goals have been from 50 or more yards.
For the year, he is 18-22 on field goals and a perfect 28-28 on PATs. Gramatica's success has not gone unnoticed as he was honored last week as the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October. He currently ranks third in the NFC with 82 points.
Against Detroit on October 19, Gramatica nailed the career-long 55-yarder in the fourth quarter, tying K Donald Igwebuike (55-yarder at Minnesota, 11/30/86) for the second-longest in club history (Michael Husted holds Bucs record with 57-yard FG at L.A. Raiders, 12/19/93). The kick was the longest field goal in the NFL this season. Gramatica became the lone kicker in the league to connect on two attempts of more than 50 yards in the same game twice over the past two seasons.
Most Field Goals of 50 or More Yards in a Season
|Morten Andersen||Atlanta, 1995||8|
|Dean Biasucci||Indianapolis, 1988||6|
|Chris Jacke||Green Bay, 1993||6|
|Mike Vanderjagt||Indianapolis, 1998||6|
|Tony Zendejas||L.A. Rams, 1993||6|
|Martin Gramatica||Tampa Bay, 2000||5|
Several other kickers have also made five in a season. Most recent: Jason Elam (Denver, 1999).
Tampa Bay can now boast six blocked kicks this season (three FGs and three punts), the most blocks in a single season since the Buffalo Bills recorded six in 1996. The 1990 Kansas City Chiefs were the last club to block seven. Prior to this season, the Bucs had never blocked more than four combined punts and field goals in a season. The previous best was four, set in 1990 and 1997. If you include blocked extra points, the team record was five, set in 1978. Tampa Bay has scored 22 points following the blocks with two TDs, a pair of field goals and a safety.
ROOM TO RUN
Tampa Bay's offensive line has helped revitalize the team's rushing attack and has given the Bucs' playmakers opportunities to thrive during the club's three-game winning streak. Bolstered by an offensive front with three new starters, Tampa Bay's rushing attack has racked up 386 yards on the ground (128.7 per game) over the last three games, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. In the three games prior to the winning streak, the Buccaneers rushed for just 244 yards (81.3 yards per game). The offensive line has paved the way for the club's leading rusher, RB Warrick Dunn, who has rushed for 221 yards on 43 carries (5.1 avg.) in the last three games.
Additionally, the improved pass protection by the offensive line has resulted in only three sacks for opposing defenses in the last four games. The Bucs' offensive front has allowed no sacks in three games this season (at Detroit - 9/17, vs. Detroit - 10/19 and vs. Green Bay - 11/12), compared to allowing no sacks in just two contests during the entire 1999 season. Tampa Bay has allowed a total of 14 sacks this season, well below the NFL average of 24.3. In fact after 10 games last season, the Bucs had already allowed 27 sacks. In the last three wins, QB Shaun King has benefited from the solid pass protection, tossing nine touchdowns and just two interceptions, including four of those scores to Pro Bowl WR Keyshawn Johnson.
Tampa Bay has also rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of the team's 10 games. The Bucs own a 6-2 mark when they rush for more than 100 yards.
With 10 games in the books for the 2000 season, several club records are in danger of falling, or have already fallen, this season. Here is a look (team record in parentheses):
Points Scored, Team: 252 (335 in 1984) Scoring Margin, Team: +85 (+47 in 1981) Sacks, Team: 42 (44 in 1997) Defensive TDs, Team: 3 (5 in 1981) Return TDs, Team: 4 (5 in 1981) *Blocked Kicks, Team: 6 (5 in 1978) Sacks, Individual: Sapp - 11.5, Jones 10.0 (Lee Roy Selmon - 13 in 1977) Scoring, Individual: Gramatica - 82 points (Gramatica - 106 in 1999) Field Goals Made, Individual: Gramatica – 18 (Gramatica - 27 in 1999) PATs Made, Individual: Gramatica – 28 (Obed Ariri - 38 in 1984) TD Passes, Individual: King – 15 (Trent Dilfer - 21 in 1997 and 1998) Interceptions, Individual: Abraham – 6 (Cedric Brown - 9 in 1981)
- Have already broken record
OFFENSE BACK ON TRACK
Tampa Bay has regained its early season form during its current three-game winning streak. Here is a comparison of the offense in its six wins and its four losses:
|Six Wins||Four Losses|
|Total Yards Per Game||317.7||274.6|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||133.7||90.8|
|Passing Yards Per Game||184.0||183.8|
|Points off Turnovers||65||21|
FORCING THE ISSUE
The Tampa Bay defense has been making plays all season and that has continuously led to points. Last week against Green Bay, the defense was held without a turnover until it forced a fumble by Packers RB Ahman Green in the fourth quarter. That fumble led to K Martin Gramatica's second field goal - a 51-yarder - giving Tampa Bay a five-point cushion. The previous week at Atlanta the Bucs intercepted Atlanta's quarterbacks four times, including three picks in the first half as Tampa Bay took a 14-0 lead into intermission.
For the season, the Bucs have forced 22 turnovers leading to an NFL-best 86 points for an average of 8.6 points per game, a pace that would better last year's impressive numbers. A year ago the Bucs defense forced 31 turnovers, which led to 90 points for an average of 5.6 points per game. Over the last three games, all Buccaneer victories, Tampa Bay has forced eight turnovers leading to 34 points. Over the prior three games - against Washington, Minnesota and Detroit - Tampa Bay's defense had forced just three turnovers, leading to 14 points.
Quarterbacks Second-year pro Shaun King is in his first full season as the starter after starting seven games last season, including two playoff contests. He is 10-5 as a starter in the regular season. Under a new offensive scheme, King has completed 152-of-281 passes (54.1%) for 1,867 yards with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions, tied for second-fewest in the NFC. King, who has thrown nine touchdown passes over the last three games, has also rushed for three scores. Eric Zeier is the backup QB and also have Georgia Tech All-America QB Joe Hamilton.
Running Backs The tandem of FB Mike Alstott and RB Warrick Dunn combined for more than 1,500 yards on the ground last season. Dunn, who leads the Bucs with 498 yards, moved into third place on the club's all-time rushing chart with a team-leading 77 yards at Atlanta. Tampa Bay is 5-1 this season when Dunn rushes for 50 or more yards. Alstott, who ranks second on the squad with 453 yards, has a team-best five rushing scores. NFL Europe Offensive MVP Aaron Stecker has been Dunn's primary backup, while also serving as Tampa Bay's primary kickoff returner. RB Rabih Abdullah, who has seen action on special teams in each of the last five games, is third on the squad with 11 special teams tackles.
Wide Receivers Tampa Bay signed two-time Pro Bowl WR Keyshawn Johnson to an eight-year deal just before the draft and he has not disappointed. Johnson has caught a team-best 46 passes, including 31 for first downs, with five touchdowns, also tops on the team. Johnson notched his first 100-yard receiving game as a Buccaneer against Minnesota and then followed that up by tying his career-high with two TDs at Atlanta. Johnson, who also leads the squad with 592 yards receiving, has scored four touchdowns over the last three games and has a chance to become the club's first 1,000-yard receiver since Mark Carrier in 1989. Jacquez Green, who hauled in his 100th career reception at Atlanta, has emerged as Tampa Bay's big-play receiver and ranks second on the club with 572 yards receiving on 34 catches. Green, who set a career-high with 11 catches (for 131 yards) at Minnesota. Reidel Anthony is second on the team with four TD receptions on only 10 catches (a TD for every 2.5 catches). Karl Williams (99 career catches) and veteran Andre Hastings (226 career receptions) round out the receiving corps.
Tight Ends In his eighth season with the club, Dave Moore is the starter at tight end. His 20 career TD catches rank fifth on the Bucs' all-time list and he has come on strong with 16 catches and two TDs over the last six games. Patrick Hape is in his fourth season with the club as a back-up TE and also sees action in the backfield as Alstott's backup. The Bucs also added rookie free agent Todd Yoder.
Offensive Line The Bucs have a new left side of the line in T Pete Pierson and 11-time Pro Bowler Randall McDaniel, who spent his previous 12 seasons with Minnesota, at LG. Fellow Viking Jeff Christy, a two-time Pro Bowler, is the new C. The right side remains intact with Frank Middleton at RG and Jerry Wunsch at RT. DeMarcus Curry also returns as a back-up tackle on the right side. T George Hegamin has alternated with Pierson on the left side. Todd Washington backs up Christy. Kevin Dogins and second-round pick Cosey Coleman are reserve guards. A few weeks ago against Minnesota, the line paved the way for 413 yards in total offense, including 152 rushing, and gave up just one sack. The Bucs have allowed just 14 sacks after allowing 27 in the first 10 games last season, including only three sacks in the last four games. Tampa Bay has allowed no sacks in three of its 10 games.
Defensive Line The defensive line is anchored by DT Warren Sapp, who earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press last year. Sapp, who is fourth in the NFL with 11.5 sacks this season, is closing in on the team record of 13 sacks by Lee Roy Selmon in 1977. DE Chidi Ahanotu has notched 38 tackles and 2.5 sacks thus far, while DE Steve White has 26 tackles and two sacks on the year. DE Marcus Jones, who ranks second on the squad with 10 sacks this year (fourth in the NFC), has moved into a starting spot opposite Ahanotu and established a club record with four sacks versus Detroit in Week 7. DT Anthony McFarland, who replaced Brad Culpepper, starts alongside Sapp and has totaled 6.5 sacks, 10th in the NFC. DT James Cannida, DE/DT Tyoka Jackson and DE John McLaughlin, who blocked a punt at Atlanta, all provide solid depth.
Linebackers Weak-side LB Derrick Brooks has paced the club with 111 tackles, leading or tying for the team lead in six of the first 10 contests. The three-time Pro Bowler earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after a 16-tackle performance at New England in Week One and scored his first career touchdown on a 34-yard interception return for a score against Minnesota. Starting SLB Shelton Quarles has 42 tackles and third-year pro Jamie Duncan (fourth on team with 54 tackles) has moved into the starting MLB slot, vacated by Hardy Nickerson. Third-round pick Nate Webster, who has 19 tackles, backs up Duncan. Tampa Bay also has Al Singleton, who blocked a punt in the win over Detroit and made his first career start at Atlanta with a career-high 10 tackles. Special teams standout Jeff Gooch, who is tied for the team lead with 14 special teams stops, also serves in a back-up capacity, as does Don Davis (tied with Gooch with 14 special teams tackles).
Secondary All-Pro SS John Lynch, in his fifth year as a starter, ranks second on the squad with 74 tackles on the year. FS Damien Robinson has notched 57 tackles, third-best on the squad, and his three interceptions are second-best on the defense. LCB Donnie Abraham ranks tied for first in the NFL with a team-high six interceptions, including three in the last three games. Abraham also returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown at Minnesota and his 47 tackles is sixth-best on the squad. RCB Ronde Barber has made several big plays, including a fumble return for a score against Chicago and an interception return for a TD versus the Jets. Barber has added 5.5 quarterback sacks and he has notched 51 tackles, fifth-best on the squad. Brian Kelly joins the unit in the nickel set. CB Floyd Young backs up Abraham. Second-year S Dexter Jackson missed the first three games of the season with a left ankle sprain, but has registered 14 tackles. Sixth-round draft pick David Gibson serves as a backup at safety.
Special Teams K Martin Gramatica, who set club records for single-season points (106) and FGs (27) a year ago, has made all 28 of his PATs and is 18-22 on field goals in 2000. He has nailed 12 straight field goals, including three from 50 or more yards in the last two games. He also booted a career-long 55-yarder (tops in the NFL this season) against Detroit and his five field goals of 50-plus yards this year are the best in a single season in club history. His 82 points ranks third in the NFC. P Mark Royals has averaged 44.0 yards per punt this year to rank second-best in the NFC. WRs Hastings (10.0 avg.) and Williams (8.0 avg.) return punts, while RB Stecker (22.8 avg.) and Williams (25.0 avg.) are the Bucs' top kickoff returners.
Tampa Bay saw injuries to K Martin Gramatica (right shoulder sprain), S John Lynch (left thigh bruise) and TE Dave Moore (mild concussion) in last week's win over the Packers. Gramatica and Moore both returned to the game.
Tampa Bay head coach Tony Dungy is in his fifth season with the Bucs, boasting a franchise-best 41-33 regular-season mark (2-2 postseason). Last year the Bucs captured their first NFC Central Division title in 18 years with a franchise-best 11-5 mark. Tampa Bay won eight of its last nine games to secure the crown, aided by a club-record 7-1 home mark. The Bucs also advanced to their second-ever NFC Championship Game. Prior to an 8-8 campaign in 1998, Dungy guided Tampa Bay to a 10-6 record in 1997 and first playoff win since 1979. For his efforts, he was named Professional Coach of the Year by the Maxwell Football Club. Dungy also won the Horrigan Award, given annually by the Pro Football Writers' Association to the NFL's most cooperative head coach. Dungy arrived in Tampa following 15 years as an NFL assistant, the last four as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. He was the Chiefs' DBs coach from 1989-91 and spent the previous eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the last five as defensive coordinator. Dungy played two seasons for the Steelers as a DB before concluding his playing career with the San Francisco 49ers. He paced Pittsburgh with six interceptions in 1978 as the Steelers captured Super Bowl XIII, a 35-31 win over Dallas. Dungy, 45, is a 1976 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he played QB and earned a degree in business administration.
Dick Jauron is in his second season as Bears head coach after four seasons as Jacksonville's offensive coordinator. Jauron helped the Jaguars reach the playoffs in three of his four seasons in Jacksonville, including a berth in the 1996 AFC Championship Game. Prior to his stint in Jacksonville, Jauron spent nine seasons as the DBs coach for the Green Bay Packers. He launched his NFL career as the Buffalo Bills DB coach in 1985. Jauron played eight seasons in the NFL at safety.
Cold Front: It is a topic that inevitably pops up at least once every season. The Bucs own an 0-17 all-time mark in games where the game-time temperature is less than 40 degrees. Tampa Bay has won five times (in 19 tries) when the temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees. Overall the Bucs are 5-31 when the temperature is below 50 degrees.
You Say Red, I Say Green: The Bucs saw an impressive streak come to an end at Atlanta. With QB Shaun King's interception early in the second quarter, the Bucs failed to score inside the red zone for the first time this season under new offensive coordinator Les Steckel (who calls it the Green Zone). Tampa Bay had been 23-23, including 15 touchdowns, prior to the interception by Ray Buchanan in the end zone. In fact, dating back to last season, the Buccaneers had scored on 36 consecutive trips inside the 20, counting both playoff games. The last time Tampa Bay had failed to produce points on a visit inside the 20 was last year's Oakland game (12/19/99).
Despite the end of the streak, the Buccaneers are still 27-29 inside the 20 this season, including 18 touchdowns for a scoring percentage of 93.1% and a touchdown rate of 62.1%. Entering Week 10, Tampa Bay had been the only team in the NFL to have scored on every possession inside the 20.
Last season Tampa Bay scored points on 34 of its 45 trips inside the red zone (75.6%), but only scored a touchdown on 15 of the 45 times (33.3%). In fact, Tampa Bay's 18 touchdowns already surpass last year's total for touchdowns inside the 20 for the entire season.
Rushing to Victory: The Tampa Bay rushing attack has played a big role in the Bucs' recent success. Over the last three games, all Buccaneer victories, the Bucs have piled up 386 yards on the ground (128.7 per game), including 108 Sunday against Green Bay. In the three games prior to the winning streak, the Bucs rushed for just 244 yards (81.3 yards per game). The rushing attack Sunday received a big boost from RB Warrick Dunn, who rushed for a team-high 55 yards on 14 carries, and FB Mike Alstott (9 carries for 38 yards). The Bucs are 5-1 this season when Dunn rushes for 50 or more yards.
Happy 200th: Tampa Bay G Randall McDaniel reached a significant milestone Sunday when he lined up for his 200th career game, including his 180th consecutive start. Overall McDaniel has started 198 games in his 13-year career, ranking fourth among all active NFL offensive linemen. The 180 consecutive starts ranks second only to Tennessee's Bruce Matthews (207) among active NFL players.
Most Games Started, Active NFL Offensive Lineman:
Bruce Matthews, TEN 270 Lomas Brown, NYG 229 Bruce Armstrong, NE 206 Randall McDaniel, TB 198
Most Consecutive Games Started, Active NFL Players:
Bruce Matthews, TEN 207 Randall McDaniel, TB 180
Fearsome Front Four: Tampa Bay's defensive line is on a torrid sack pace this season as the Bucs can boast 42 sacks, just two shy of the club record of 44 set in 1997. Spearheaded by a defensive front four featuring LDE Chidi Ahanotu, DT Warren Sapp, NT Anthony McFarland and RDE Marcus Jones, Tampa Bay's defensive line can boast 34.5 of the club's 42 sacks. The defensive line is anchored by Sapp, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, who has racked up 11.5 sacks to rank third in the NFC. Jones, who was inserted into the starting lineup prior to the season opener, set a club record with a four-sack performance against the Lions and has 10 on the year. In fact, the 21.5 sacks between Sapp and Jones are more than 14 other teams' combined sack totals. The other new starter on the defensive line is McFarland, who in his first season as a starter has registered 6.5 sacks (10th in the NFC) alongside Sapp. Ahanotu, the veteran leader of the defensive front, has nicely solidified the left side, posting 38 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
For Sapp, his current pace (of 18.4 sacks) would put him in some elite company.
NFL Top Sack Seasons by a DT
Keith Millard (Minnesota, '89): 18.0 John Randle (Minnesota, '97): 15.5 Dana Stubblefield (San Francisco, '97): 15.0 Cortez Kennedy (Seattle, '92): 14.0 John Randle (Minnesota, '94): 13.5
Racing Reidel: WR Reidel Anthony has nicely solidified the Buccaneers' third wide receiver spot, hauling in four touchdowns among his 10 receptions this season. His latest score, a 19-yard pass from QB Shaun King, came at the end of the second quarter Sunday, giving the Buccaneers a 14-3 lead over the Packers. Anthony, who ranks second on the team with the four TD receptions, trails only WR Keyshawn Johnson (five TDs) for the team lead. A fourth-year pro from Florida, Anthony is averaging a touchdown every 2.5 catches and is currently seventh on the club's all-time receiving list with 16 career receiving touchdowns.
Notes from the Green Bay Game: For the third time this season (also both Detroit games), Tampa Bay did not allow a quarterback sack…The Bucs defense, which had forced seven turnovers over the last two games, was held without a turnover today before forcing a fumble by LB Al Singleton in the fourth quarter…That fumble, which was recovered by DE Chidi Ahanotu, led to a field goal and a five-point Bucs lead…Tampa Bay has now scored 86 points off 22 opponent turnovers on the year…Last season the Bucs scored 90 points off 31 turnovers…QB Shaun King has now thrown nine TDs and just two INTs over the last three games...King completed 11-of-14 passes for 129 yards and two TDs in the first half Sunday…WR Reidel Anthony caught his fourth touchdown pass of the season, ranking second-best on the squad…Anthony's four TDs have come on just 10 receptions this season…Tampa Bay gained 203 yards in total offense in the first half, its top total since it posted 215 total yards in the first 30 minutes in games at Detroit (9/17) and at New England (9/3)…The 52-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell in the second quarter was the first 50-yarder versus the Bucs since Detroit's Jason Hanson booted a 50-yarder last season (10/31/99)…Tampa Bay has now won three straight at home against Green Bay for the first time in series history…The Bucs have now won eight of their last 10 NFC Central games…Tampa Bay has also won eight of its last nine home divisional games.
A Special Effort: Tampa Bay's kickoff coverage has vastly improved over the last month, currently ranking fourth in the NFC with a average 26.3 opponent drive start after 10 games. In Tampa Bay's last two wins (Atlanta and Green Bay), opponents have averaged just 18.0 yards per kickoff return. Tampa Bay has improved from an average opponent drive start each week, improving from the 28.5-yard line entering Week 9, to the 26.7-yard line after stifling Falcons' KR Tim Dwight in Week 10, to the 26.3-yard line after Sunday's victory over Green Bay.
Well Dunn: RB Warrick Dunn has overcome an injury-plagued 1999 season to become the Bucs' top running threat under Les Steckel's new offensive scheme. Dunn, who has split the workload with All-Pro Mike Alstott, has regained his form from a 1998 season, in which he rushed for 1,026 yards (4.2 avg.). He became just the fifth 1,000-yard rusher in franchise history that season. Last season Dunn caught a team-leading 64 passes for 589 yards and two TDs, even though he was hampered by a nagging hamstring strain through training camp. This season a healthy Dunn has paid dividends to an ever-improving Bucs' running game. Dunn leads the Bucs with 498 yards on 124 carries (4.0 avg.) and one TD. His one-yard TD run at Detroit (9/17) marked his first score since a 27-24 win over Minnesota (11/1/98) in Week 8. Dunn also has racked up 23 receptions for 206 yards (9.0 avg.). In his last four games, Dunn has rushed for 267 yards on 51 carries (5.2 avg.), averaging 66.8 yards per contest. With his 77 yards rushing at Atlanta, Dunn moved into third place on the all-time rushing list (he now has 3,118 yards), passing Ricky Bell (3,057) and Reggie Cobb (3,061).
Marvelous Moore: TE Dave Moore has shown a penchant for catching touchdown passes and that trend has taken form in the last few weeks. Moore has scored touchdowns in two of the last three games, including a one-yard reception from QB Shaun King at Atlanta for the first points of the game. Moore, who had just three catches and one touchdown in Tampa Bay's first four games, has responded with 16 catches and two TDs over the last six games. Moore grabbed three passes for 57 yards Sunday against Green Bay despite missing significant action due to a mild concussion. In his career, Moore owns a touchdown once every 6.70 catches (134 receptions, 20 TDs). The 20 career touchdowns account for an astounding 14.9 percent of his 134 career catches, the highest scoring rate in club history for players with a minimum of 40 receptions. His ratio of touchdowns to catches is even better this season as he has grabbed three scores among his 19 receptions (1 in every 6.33 catches). In addition, the 20 touchdowns rank fifth all-time in franchise history.
Donnie on the Spot:: CB Donnie Abraham has been around the football all season, and the last few games have been no different. Abraham, who ranks tied for first in the NFL with six interceptions this season, has three picks over the last three games. His two interceptions on consecutive drives at Atlanta tied a career-high and marked the second time this season (also vs. Chicago on Sept. 10) that he picked off two passes in the same game. Abraham needs one interception to tie his career-high of seven established last year. Abraham's success against Atlanta should come as no surprise. He also had two interceptions in last year's 19-10 victory over the Falcons in Tampa.
Key to the Offense: WR Keyshawn Johnson has paid big dividends over the last few weeks, notching four touchdown catches over the last three games. Johnson had five catches for 51 yards and one TD Sunday against Green Bay. His teams are 16-4 over the last three seasons when he scores a touchdown. With his TD catch, Johnson continued his streak of at least one catch in every game (74 games, including two playoff contests) of his NFL career. Two weeks ago at Atlanta, Johnson equaled his career-high with two touchdown catches from QB Shaun King. In addition, Johnson's 121 yards versus Minnesota (10/29) marked his first 100-yard game as a Buccaneer.
Home Sweet Home: Raymond James Stadium has not been friendly to Bucs opponents since it opened its doors in 1998. Tampa Bay is 16-5 at home in the regular season at RJS, including a 10-2 mark versus the NFC Central. That 10-2 mark includes wins in eight of its last nine divisional games at home.
Bucs at Home Since 1998…
…vs. Chicago: 3-0 …vs. Detroit: 1-2 …vs. Green Bay: 3-0 …vs. Minnesota : 3-0 …vs. Rest of NFC: 3-1 …vs. AFC: 3-2
Head Coach Tony Dungy on K Martin Gramatica: "We feel like everytime he goes out there, he is going to make it. Martin does an exceptional job for us, seems like the bigger the kick, the more confidence he has got, and we are fortunate to have him."