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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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One Step Back

The Bucs’ 2003 pattern continued Sunday – an impressive win followed by a deflating loss, this one a 17-14 decision to the Saints in which the Bucs committed six turnovers


RB Michael Pittman's 26-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter helped the Bucs rally for a tie, but John Carney won it with a 47-yard field goal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers thought they could turn over a new leaf against the New Orleans Saints. Instead, they simply turned it over, giving the ball away six times in a 17-14 loss to the visiting Saints.

The Bucs also failed to reverse two other disturbing trends. So far Tampa Bay has been unable to put together a strong showing in consecutive games or establish their usual home field dominance. The Bucs have alternated wins and losses through their first eight games and are 1-3 at Raymond James Stadium.

Tampa Bay has lost three in a row to New Orleans since the two teams were paired in the NFC South last year. Reminiscent of their season-opening loss to the Saints last season, the Bucs stumbled through three quarters, then tied the game near the end of regulation, only to lose in the end. QB Brad Johnson directed drives of 97 and 71 yards in the game's final eight minutes to tie the game at 14-14, but Buc nemesis Aaron Brooks used the last two minutes to guide the Saints into Tampa Bay territory. John Carney, who had previously missed a 39-yard try, hit a 47-yard field goal at the end to win it.

The Bucs, who posted 362 yards and 21 first downs to the Saints' 257 and 10, dropped to 4-4 and missed out on a chance to gain a game on the Carolina Panthers, who lost at Houston. The Bucs travel to Carolina next weekend. The Saints improved to 4-5.

It was a disappointing afternoon for the Buccaneers in almost every respect, including the ever-worsening injury front. Already playing with two starters on injured reserve – FB Mike Alstott and CB Brian Kelly – and five players inactive due to injury – T Roman Oben, WR Joe Jurevicius, S John Lynch, S John Howell and CB Hank Poteat – the Bucs lost S Jermaine Phillips to a broken arm and LB Ryan Nece to an ankle sprain.

By the fourth quarter, the Bucs were using David Gibson at strong safety. Gibson was signed on Thursday. Still, the defense came up with two important three-and-outs in the game's final six minutes to keep the Bucs in the game.

The biggest problem for the Bucs, however, was its tendency to be too generous of hosts. Tampa Bay committed a season-high six turnovers, including a third-quarter interception that was returned by CB Ashley Ambrose 73 yards for a touchdown, the game's killing blow. Each one of the Bucs' turnovers came in New Orleans' end, as the Bucs netted no points off their first five drives inside the Saints' 35.

"I'm very disappointed in the outcome of the game and I congratulate New Orleans," said Head Coach Jon Gruden. "We mishandled some balls, had some turnovers, missed a short field goal. When you're playing in the NFL, those kinds of things will kill you."

The Bucs' six turnovers nearly matched the eight they had through the season's first seven games. It was also their most giveaways in a single game since November 14, 1999, when they coughed it up six times against Kansas City. That was also the last time Tampa Bay lost four fumbles in a single afternoon. The Bucs won that game, however, 17-10.

The Bucs were trailing 14-0 when Mitch Berger dropped a punt down at Tampa Bay's three. In Tampa Bay's 28-year history, they had previously driven 97 yards for a touchdown on just one occasion. That won was also directed by Johnson during a big comeback that ultimately failed in a 31-28 loss at Tennessee.

Johnson bucked the odds by once again driving his team 97 yards for a touchdown, hitting on six consecutive passes sandwiched around one run, including a 26-yard touchdown toss to RB Michael Pittman.

Just when the Bucs offense was feeling confident, however, the Bucs' fifth turnover appeared to seal the deal for New Orleans. Tampa Bay forced a three-and-out but CB Tim Wansley fumbled on the ensuing punt. However, the Bucs' defense held again and John Carney missed on a 39-yard field goal attempt.

Johnson went to work again, driving the Bucs 71 yards on seven plays, including a 26-yard screen pass to little-used RB Thomas Jones. Four plays later, on fourth-and-10, Johnson knew he had a free play thanks to an offside flag and used it to throw one of his most impressive passes of the season, a 30-yard touchdown pass to WR Keenan McCardell between two defenders.

McCardell's outstanding season continued, as he tied his career high with his sixth touchdown of the season (including one on a fumble return against Indianapolis.) Since joining the Buccaneers in 2002, McCardell has nine touchdowns in 11 regular season games in Raymond James Stadium.

Just as notably, WR Keyshawn Johnson was significantly involved in the offense, catching a season-high 10 passes for 124 yards. It was his 11th 100-yard game as a Buccaneer and the 18th of his NFL career.

The Saints controlled the action for three quarters, establishing the run early with RB Deuce McAllister, who had 63 rushing yards in the first quarter. McAllister finished with 110 yards on 26 carries, crossing the century mark for the sixth consecutive week. QB Aaron Brooks also had a typical day against the Buccaneers, completing just 13 of 29 passes for 142 yards but making just enough big plays to win the game.

Two of those big plays cam on the game-winning drive, a 17-yard slant to WR Michael Lewis on third-and-one and a 13-yard sideline pass to TE Boo Williams two plays later, as the Bucs brought a big blitz.

Brad Johnson also finished with typical numbers, disregarding his two interceptions, one of which came on a tipped ball. Johnson completed 27 of 46 passes for 333 yards, two touchdowns and those two picks. However, he was sacked a season-high four times and hurried on several occasions.

The first interception also led immediately to a Saints touchdown. After DE Charles Grant tipped a pass that Ambrose caught at the Bucs' 38, Brooks went up top to WR Michael Lewis on first down for a 38-yard touchdown in the second quarter, the only score of the first half.

Lewis was expected to be a return threat, but he picked up nicely for the inactive Donte' Stallworth. That touchdown was the first of his career on a reception.

Johnson was working behind a scrambled offensive line. Roman Oben, the usual starter at left tackle was held out due to a fractured hand after struggling to compensate for that injury last week against Dallas. In response, Gruden moved Kenyatta Walker back to the left side, where he started all 16 games as a rookie in 2001. Cornell Green, who had been inactive for the first seven games, started at right tackle. Jason Whittle, struggling through shoulder and ankle injuries, couldn't start, forcing the Bucs to move Cosey Coleman to right guard and play Kerry Jenkins at left guard. After the game, Gruden admitted that the line struggled but placed blame for the loss elsewhere.

The Bucs had two solid opportunities to answer before halftime, but ended both drives with unfortunate mistakes. Consecutive passes of 16 yards to K. Johnson and 11 yards to Pittman got the Bucs down to the 20, but Pittman fumbled at the end of his gain and LB Derrick Rodgers recovered for the Saints. A Simeon Rice sack helped the Bucs get the ball right back, but the next drive ended on a 36-yard field goal try that Martin Gramatica surprisingly missed to the left.

Tampa Bay was thus held scoreless in the first half for the first time since Week Two, when they rallied to tie Carolina, 9-9, in regulation but lost in overtime, 12-9.

Special teams were a mixed bag for the Buccaneers on this day. Punter Tom Tupa was outstanding, booming long punts when the Bucs needed them, angling others away from Lewis and dropping several shorter ones inside or near the 20. Tampa Bay also thwarted a fake field goal attempt in the first quarter. However, Gramatica's missed kick was a downer going into halftime, and the Saints came out of that intermission with a successful onside kick. And Wansley's fumble ended the Bucs' comeback hopes.

Pittman finished the day with 97 combined yards split almost evenly between 48 rushing yards and 49 receiving yards. For the defense, DE Simeon Rice recorded four tackles, a sack and two passes defensed and LB Derrick Brooks got the Bucs' only takeaway with a third-quarter interception.

Notes: The Buccaneer defense has tied the all-time NFL record for consecutive games with at least one sack. When DE Simeon Rice dropped QB Aaron Brooks for a nine-yard loss in the second quarter, he extended the Bucs' streak to 68 games, matching the run made by the Dallas Cowboys from 1976-80. It was Rice's ninth sack of the year. … The Bucs also pushed their streak of consecutive games with at least one takeaway to an even 50 when Derrick Brooks made an acrobatic interception in the third quarter. That streak is the second longest in the NFL since 1983; the longest is Philadelphia's 71 from 1985-90. … One week after taking over fourth place on the Bucs' all-time reception list with his 280th catch in a Tampa Bay uni, WR Keyshawn Johnson jumped up to third place with his seventh reception against the Saints. Johnson shot past Kevin House (286) and finished with on the day, as a Buccaneer. … T Roman Oben was inactive, breaking his streak of 103 consecutive games played. … Brad Johnson's touchdown pass to RB Michael Pittman in the fourth quarter was his 50th in 37 games as a Buccaneer. Only four other quarterbacks in team history threw 50 or more touchdown passes – Vinny Testaverde (77), Doug Williams (73), Trent Dilfer (70) and Steve DeBerg (61) – and all of them played in at least 64 games as a Buccaneer. Johnson is also the only one of the five whose stat line includes more touchdown passes than interceptions. … With his 22-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, RB Aaron Stecker took over the Buccaneers' all-time lead in that category. Stecker ran back two kicks on the day for 34 yards and now has career marks of 93 returns for 2246 yards, moving him past Reidel Anthony (2,232 yards) into first place.

Injury Updates: Bucs S Jermaine Phillips sustained a fractured left forearm in the third quarter and will be out four to six weeks. LB Ryan Nece sustained a sprained right ankle in the second half and did not return. RB Michael Pittman suffered from right hamstring cramps in the fourth quarter but was able to return.

Quarter Reports: During Sunday's game, provided game updates at the end of each quarter. Those updates follow to offer a closer look at the game's key plays.

First Quarter Update

The first quarter was one of missed opportunities, as both teams moved the ball somewhat effectively on offense but neither could quite get into scoring range. The Saints were obviously intent on establishing the run, and RB Deuce McAllister had 63 rushing yards in the first quarter. The Bucs were more interested in passing, throwing on seven of 10 plays.

New Orleans won the toss and elected to receive, sending dangerous return man Michael Lewis back to kick. Lewis almost found a seam, but S David Gibson, just re-signed on Wednesday, combined with Tim Wansley to make the tackle at the Saints' 29.

The Saints predictably started out with a Deuce McAllister run and immediately got six yards up the middle. Going without a huddle, the Saints gave it to McAllister again on second down but he was stopped by S Jermaine Phillips a yard short of the sticks. On third-and-one, McAllister barreled over right guard for four more and a first down at the 42.

McAllister's fourth straight carry picked up two yards but was stopped quickly by DE Simeon Rice. On second down, QB Aaron Brooks dropped back for the first time but DT Anthony McFarland's pressure up the middle forced a throwaway. On third-and-eight, Brooks scrambled right and found Lewis open on the right sideline for a gain of 14. S Dwight Smith knocked Lewis out of bounds at the Bucs' 42 with a hard hit.

McAllister got his third straight first-down carry from there and picked up just two yards, stopped by McFarland and LB Shelton Quarles. McAllister worked hard to get around the left corner on a second-down pitch, gaining five tough yards. A false start erased that gain and made it third-and-eight, but another one actually worked to the Saints' benefit. Brooks went down in apparent sack but the play didn't count thanks to the penalty. A dumpoff pas to McAllister on third-and-13 picked up just four yards and Mitch Berger's punt went into the end zone for a touchback.

Tampa Bay passed on first down, working WR Keyshawn Johnson open on the right sideline and hitting him with a six-yard pass. QB Brad Johnson went the other way on second down, hitting TE Ken Dilger on the left sideline for six more. On first down, the Saints blitzed from the left side but the Bucs picked it up and RB Michael Pittman went over the right side for a gain of seven. Pittman was inadvertently tripped up by a teammate on second down but still fell forward for one yard. A false start penalty made it third-and-seven, and Johnson was sacked on third down by blitzing LB Darrin Smith.

The Bucs thus had to punt from their own 25 and Tom Tupa blasted a kick that carried 60 yards in the air to Lewis, who returned it 11 yards to the Saints' 26. McAllister, however, got the Saints right back into Buccaneer territory, bursting out into the open and cutting twice on his first-down carry to pick up 37 yards. Wansley eventually tackled him at the Bucs' 37.

A play-action on the next snap failed to fool the Bucs, who forced Brooks into a desperation heave out of bounds. After McAllister's four-yard rumble up the middle, DE Ellis Wyms nearly sacked Brooks, forcing another incompletion. John Carney came on to try a 52-yard field goal, though in fact it was a fake. Berger, the holder, rolled right and tried to run, then threw an incomplete pass when the defenders came up to meet him. Tampa Bay thus took over at its own 34.

Brad Johnson dropped back on first down again and his eventual target was again Keyshawn Johnson, whom he found over the middle after looking in three different directions. After a timeout, the Bucs came back with a winner of a play, as the two Johnsons hooked up again for a 24-yard gain. K. Johnson made a leaping grab near the right sideline, landing on his side at the Saints' 33.

A two-yard run by Pittman and a false start by the back put the Bucs into a second-and-13, and it became third-and-13 when RB Aaron Stecker fell down as a pass was headed in his direction. The Bucs had to punt from the 38 after Johnson's third-down pass went over WR Keenan McCardell's head and out of bounds. Tupa's second punt was much shorter than his first, but just as effective, as it hugged the right sideline and bounced inside the five, where WR Charles Lee made a great, diving play to keep it from getting into the end zone.

That play was erased by a penalty, but the end result was the same when Lewis fair caught Tupa's next punt at the same yard line.

The Saints thus had to start at their own four, and they got out of trouble with a 10-yard slant to WR Joe Horn. That brought the first quarter to an end.

Second Quarter Update

The second quarter titled to New Orleans favor thanks to a pair of Buccaneer turnovers. The first one set up the only score of the second half and the second one ended a serious Buccaneer scoring threat. When Martin Gramatica's field goal try at the buzzer sailed wide left, the Bucs went into halftime trailing 7-0.

The second quarter opened with the Saints at their own 14. On first down, QB Aaron Brooks gave it to RB Deuce McAllister on a draw play, but CB Tim Wansley impressively fought through a block to drop the back for no gain. After a dumpoff over the middle to McAllister for a gain of five, Brooks took it himself up the middle, picking up 16 yards out to the 34. DE Greg Spires pressured Brooks' next throw into an incompletion, and McAllister got just three up the middle on second down. The Saints picked up a blitz well on second down, but Brooks' pass to Horn was too low and incomplete, forcing a punt.

After Karl Williams' 12-yard return, the Bucs got started again at their own 23. However, RB Michael Pittman tripped on his first down carry and got just two yards and Brad Johnson's second-down pass was behind WR Keyshawn Johnson. The next pass was deflected at the line by DE Charles Grant and eventually intercepted by CB Ashley Ambrose at the Bucs' 38.

The Saints needed just one play to turn that takeaway into a score. From the shotgun, Brooks through deep over the middle to WR Michael Lewis, who leaped at the goal-line to make a 38-yard touchdown catch. LB Shelton Quarles arrived just a second too late and the Bucs were down, 7-0, with 11 minutes to go in the first half.

The Bucs' next drive was a deflating three-and-out. An out to K. Johnson was incomplete, after which RB Michael Pittman got six yards up the middle. On third-and-four from the 36, B. Johnson couldn't quite connect with Pittman on a short pass over the middle, forcing a punt that Tom Tupa angled out of bounds at the Saints' 21.

The Bucs' defense responded with a big play, as DE Simeon Rice swarmed over Brooks for a nine-yard sack. Warren Sapp's quick pressure on second down forced Brooks to hurriedly throw an incompletion at McAllister's feet. The Saints played it safe on third-and-19, giving it to McAllister for a gain of five. A good punt put the Bucs at their own 41.

Pittman went off right tackle on first down for a gain of four, and a sideline pass to RB Aaron Stecker picked up five more. On third-and-one, Pittman powered over left guard for just enough to move the sticks, a fact confirmed by a measurement. Two plays later, on second-and-eight, Pittman provided B. Johnson with the block he needed to have time to hit K. Johnson on the left hash marks for a gain of 16 down to New Orleans' 31.

Unfortunately, the Bucs' drive ended badly on the next play. Pittman caught a crossing pass over the middle and made a nice move to get 11 yards, but he lost the ball making a spin move and LB Derrick Rodgers recovered for the Saints at the 21.

Brooks' first-down pass was incomplete, and McAllister was stopped by Quarles in the middle after a gain of just two. A blitz on third down forced Brooks to hurry and his pass to Joe Horn was too high to bring down.

The Bucs got the ball right back at their own 46 and came quickly back to the line. A play-action got TE Ken Dilger open on the right, but Johnson overthrew him. Pittman got around the left end enough for four yards on second down. On third-and-six, B. Johnson got the ball off just before he was buried by Grant and K. Johnson made a fine running catch to pick up 11 yards and a first down at the Saints' 39.

K. Johnson was also hurt on the play, and the Bucs used just one wide receiver on the next play. B. Johnson found that man, however, hitting WR Keenan McCardell on the left side for a gain of 13. The two-minute warning arrived with the Bucs holding a first down at the Saints' 26.

An Aaron Stecker run lost a yard on first down, but Johnson hit McCardell again on the left sideline for a gain of 13 to the Saints' 14. Johnson tried to hit Yoder in the end zone on first down but the pass was too high to corral between two cover men. Johnson was then sacked by Willie Whitehead on second down for a loss of seven. On third-and-17, Johnson was hurried into a quick pass to Pittman and it was good for just four yards. Martin Gramatica came on to try a 36-yard field goal but he hooked it left.

Third Quarter Update

The third quarter was a struggle for 14 minutes and a disaster in the closing seconds for Tampa Bay. Two more turnovers doomed the Bucs' to a 14-0 deficit heading into the final period. The first killed another Tampa Bay scoring drive and the second resulted in a New Orleans touchdown.

The Bucs got the opening kickoff, or were supposed to. Instead, the Saints surprised them with an onside kick straight up the middle and it worked, with New Orleans recovering at their own 44.

RB Deuce McAllister got the carry on first down, picking up four yards off left guard. McAllister cut diagonally to right tackle on second down and got three more, setting up third-and-three from the Saints' 48. A similar play on third down failed when DE Greg Spires and LB Derrick Brooks combined to stop McAllister at the 50. Karl Williams fair caught the resulting punt at the Bucs' 19.

The Bucs didn't have the ball for long. RB Michael Pittman got three yards off right guard on first down and Brad Johnson's second-down pass by TE Ken Dilger was nearly intercepted by CB Fred Thomas. A third-down out-and-up pass to FB Jameel Cook was well-covered and incomplete. New Orleans took over at their own 40 after a block-in-the-back flag was surprisingly picked up.

The Saints gave it to McAllister on first down but S Jermaine Phillips dropped him in the backfield for a loss of two. DE Simeon Rice batted down Aaron Brooks' next pass, which was intended for FB Terrelle Smith. On third-and-12, Brooks hit WR Joe Horn on a deep slant, but CB Ronde Barber dropped Horn a yard short of midfield. The Saints went for it on fourth down and DE Ellis Wyms stood McAllister up over the middle, stopping him inches short.

Tampa Bay thus took over just inside New Orleans territory but backed up to midfield on a pitch left to Pittman. WR Keyshawn Johnson made a fantastic sliding catch of a slant pass thrown behind him, giving the Bucs a first down at the 37, but Brad Johnson's next pass was incomplete in Pittman's direction. Johnson was flushed from the pocket on second down but he was able to get around the corner for a gain of nine. On third-and-one from the 28, Johnson and Johnson hooked up again, with the receiver again sliding to the ground to make a great, five-yard catch.

Pittman got five yards up the middle on the next snap, down to the 18, but a well-designed screen pass got just one when S Tebucky Jones got around G Kerry Jenkins' block. On the next play, the Bucs gave it away again, as Johnson was sacked from behind by DE Willie Whitehead, losing the ball. Roger Knight recovered for the Saints at the New Orleans 20.

McAllister got four yards off right tackle on first down and Rice again batted down a Brooks pass on second down. Brooks bought time with a scramble on third down, however, and he hit Horn for a gain of 14 on the right sideline. From the 38, the Saints backed up five yards due to an illegal motion penalty and CB Tim Wansley broke up an attempted first-down pass to Horn. However, it was third-and-two after a 13-yard gash up the middle by McAllister, and Brooks easily converted that with a scrambling pass to McAllister at the Bucs' 49.

A sweep left lost a yard thanks to LB Nate Webster, and the Bucs got their first takeaway on the next play thanks to LB Derrick Brooks. Brooks reached behind him to deflect a pass intended for TE Ernie Conwell and hauled in the deflection. Brooks got the ball back into Saints territory but a taunting penalty on CB Ronde Barber pushed Tampa Bay back to their own 39.

A quick pass to K. Johnson was dropped on first down, but the Bucs got into Saints territory on the next play thanks to a pass interference penalty on Jones. The flag also erased an apparent interception, giving the Bucs a first down at the Saints' 34. However, two plays later, CB Ashley Ambrose picked off another pass, this one intended for TE Will Heller, and returned it 73 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.

Fourth Quarter Update

An impressive comeback by the Buccaneers went for naught when New Orleans won on a 48-yard field goal by John Carney with eight seconds to play. Tampa Bay had put together drives of 97 and 71 yards to tie the game at the two-minute mark, but couldn't stop one last drive by the Saints. The Bucs lost despite out-gaining the Saints, 354 yards to 257, thanks mostly to six Tampa Bay turnovers.

Going without a huddle for a few plays, the Bucs got quickly into New Orleans territory. The first play of the fourth quarter was an 11-yard pass underneath to WR Keyshawn Johnson. The next snap was a sideline pass to Todd Yoder on which the tight end made a nice, leaping catch, spun out of a tackle and rumbled down the sideline for 20 yards to the Saints' 41.

However, the drive then ran into a snag. After a four-yard run by Michael Pittman and a two-yard screen pass to the same man, QB Brad Johnson threw a third-down pass over RB Thomas Jones' head. The Bucs went for it on fourth down but it failed when Johnson was sacked by DE Willie Whitehead for a loss of three.

The Bucs' defense quickly got the ball back, though the clock had ticked down to 11 and a half minutes after the Saints' three plays. LB Shelton Quarles stopped RB Deuce McAllister after a gain of one and CB Ronde Barber had good coverage on WR Michael Lewis on a deep pass down the left sideline. On third-and-10, DT Warren Sapp pressured QB Aaron Brooks into a throwaway. Unfortunately, Mitch Berger blasted a 58-yard punt that landed at the three and bounced straight in the air, where it was downed by the Saints.

An offsides penalty helped put the Bucs in second-and-five, and Johnson fired a third-down strike to WR Keenan McCardell for a first down at the Bucs' 15. Brad Johnson then caught New Orleans in the middle of a personnel change, simply tossing a short pass to Keyshawn Johnson that the receiver carried up the sideline for 23 yards.

WR Karl Williams came back to make a first-down catch at the Bucs' 48, moving the sticks again. Johnson's next pass was tipped at the line but an alert Williams ran under the deflection for a nine-yard reception. Pittman took it up the middle on a quick-snap carry to gain a first down at the Saints' 39.

Another pass to McCardell over the middle got 13 more yards, and the Bucs finally got in the end zone on the next play. Pittman found himself wide open in the middle of the field and Johnson hit him on the run. The back did the rest, eluding several Saints inside the five to score on a 26-yard catch.

The Bucs' defense then got the stop it needed, thanks in large part to DT Warren Sapp. Sapp stopped McAllister after a gain of two yards on first down, and LB Shelton Quarles did the same on second down. Pressure from Sapp caused Brooks to throw his deep pass to Michael Lewis too high.

However, CB Tim Wansley fumbled away the ensuing punt, with Kevin Houser recovering from for the Saints at the Bucs' 27.

McAllister broke two tackles to get seven yards around right end. However, his next two carries lost a yard, as DT Anthony McFarland made two big stops. John Carney then missed a 39-yard field goal, hooking it left.

The Bucs thus took over at their own 30 with 3:53 left in the game. Pittman got just two yards on an audibled run up the middle, but Johnson hit Pittman for 10 yards on second down. On the next snap, the Bucs ran a well-designed screen pass to RB Thomas Jones, who weaved between tacklers for a gain of 29.

Three incompletions put the Bucs in a fourth-and-10 hole at the Saints' 30 with 2:17 remaining. However, the Bucs converted that situation and scored on the next play, as Johnson threaded a stunning pass to McCardell as he ran down the left sideline. McCardell caught the pass just as he crossed the goal-line on a 30-yard touchdown catch.

The Saints started at their own 28 and got a four-yard gain on a short pass to Horn. Brooks then hit WR Jerome Pathon for five and Lewis for 17 on a deep slant to the Bucs' 46. A screen pass to McAllister got just two, but Brooks hit TE Boo Williams through the teeth of a blitz, gaining 13 yards down to the Bucs' 31.

With 49 seconds left, a draw to McAllister was stopped after a gain of two. Good coverage forced Brooks into a throwaway with 18 seconds left, prompting the Saints to bring on Carney to try a 48-yard shot. The Bucs called one timeout to 'ice' Carney, but it did no good as the veteran kicker calmly nailed it between the uprights.

The Bucs had time for one play from their, and they threw a short pass that then was lateraled through about seven players, including QB Brad Johnson and G Cosey Coleman.

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