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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Simple Math

Tampa Bay follows the Tony Dungy formula perfectly, and it adds up to a 41-0 destruction of the Bears


FB Mike Alstott had 71 yards and the Bucs' fifth touchdown

Listen up, class. This is lesson number one in Dungy Math, and it's 95% of the curriculum.

Run the ball. Add play-action for a sub-total of big plays. Subtract your opponent's rushing game and divide him with a strong pass rush. Multiply the score with turnovers.

The bottom line: a Tampa Bay Buccaneers win.

Oh, what a win. The Bucs followed that formula to a 41-0 win over the Chicago Bears in Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

Still, to the 65,569 in attendance, most clad in Buccaneer red, this was not a game to be described by cold, hard math. It was Picasso, Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It was Michael Jordan (who happened to be in attendance as a guest of DT Warren Sapp).

None of those artists were available, so we'll put it this way: Simply, one of the finest performances in Tampa Bay Buccaneer history.

Considering that the game qualified as just the fourth shutout in team history and the largest margin of victory ever for Tampa Bay, you could call it the best ever and not get strenuous arguments.

The Buccaneers hadn't scored over 40 points since the 1980s (a 42-35 win over these same Bears on October 8, 1989). They hadn't shut a team out at home since October 10, 1985, when St. Louis in the NFL still meant the Cardinals, who fell 16-0 at Tampa that day.

They had never beaten a team by more than 38 points, the previous team record for margin of victory, set in a 48-10 win over Atlanta on 9/13/87.

But the effects of Dungy's math just can't be ignored. The Bucs had almost exactly double Chicago's total yardage, 327 to 165. They racked up 21 first downs to the Bears' nine. They allowed just one third-down conversion. For goodness sakes, they ran their streak of not allowing the Bears a touchdown to 14 quarters. The Bucs forced four turnovers, committed none.

The individual mathematicians were just as busy. WR Jacquez Green saw the benefits of effective play-action, catching five passes for 104 yards, his second straight 100-yard game against Chicago. FB Mike Alstott (71 yards) and RB Warrick Dunn (53) each went over 50 rushing yards for the second straight game.

The numbers on defense were just as impressive, beginning on the corners. Amazingly, CB Ronde Barber had 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery to go with his second career touchdown. CB Donnie Abraham had two interceptions and forced the fumble that Barber returned 24 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Despite the bloated final tally, the game was scoreless entering the second quarter. That's where the Bucs began a string of five straight scoring drives. Two second-period marches ended in Martin Gramatica field goals (23 and 47 yards), but the third netted a touchdown when QB Shaun King faked a handoff to Warrick Dunn on third down and sprinted three yards to the corner of the end zone for his first career rushing score.

That's where it started to snowball on Chicago. Abraham and Barber's combination for a touchdown followed just two plays later, and the third quarter began with a 90-yard Buccaneer scoring drive. WR Keyshawn Johnson finished that impressive march with a leaping, 13-yard touchdown catch, his first as a Buccaneer.

Just minutes later, the Bucs had the ball again near midfield and needed only one play, a 58-yard catch and run by Green on a play-action fake, to score again.

In the fourth quarter, the Bucs stayed almost exclusively on the ground but still scored again when Alstott danced around a Conga line of Bears defenders to score from 20 yards out on a simple third-and-one plunge.

Tampa Bay's shutout was preserved late in the fourth quarter when rookie K Paul Edinger missed a 41-yard field goal try. provided quarter-by-quarter wrapups of the action in the GameDay section as the game progressed. Those wrapups, with detailed play coverage, follow.

First Quarter

Neither team scored in the first quarter, a period that saw just 56 yards of total offense. Tampa Bay's defense held tight against bad field position, sacking QB Cade McNown twice and forcing one turnover.

For the second time in two games, Tampa Bay won the roster, and they elected to take the opening kickoff. RB Aaron Stecker took Paul Edinger's kick from eight yards deep in the end zone out to the Bucs' 23.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

On first down, QB Shaun King faked a handoff and threw an intermediate pass to a wide-open Jacquez Green. Unfortunately, the ball went through Green's hands. On second down, a middle screen to RB Warrick Dunn also fell incomplete, and King was sacked by Frankie Smith for a loss of 11 yards on third down. Mark Royals' first punt of the day was caught by Glyn Milburn at the Bears' 41 and Milburn was quickly swarmed over at the 45.

Chicago's First Drive

QB Cade McNown took a shotgun snap on first down and threw a receiver screen on the right side to WR Marcus Robinson, who picked up 11 yards to the Bucs' 44. RB Curtis Enis then barreled straight up the middle for nine yards and the Bears picked up a new set of downs with a two-yard pass to RB James Allen.

Allen started off the second series with a four-yard gain that would have netted nothing if not for a nice spin move by the Bears' back. On second down, CB Ronde Barber timed his middle blitz perfectly and was able to sack McNown with the help of LB Shelton Quarles and DE Marcus Jones for a loss of seven.

A false start penalty made it third-and-17, McNown quickly felt the Bucs' pressure again and threw incomplete over the middle. Brent Bartholomew came on to punt and lofted a high punt that was downed at the Bucs' three thanks to a nice play by rookie LB Brian Urlacher.

Tampa Bay's Second Drive

Backed up against their own goal line, the Bucs handed off to FB Mike Alstott, who gave the team breathing room with a five-yard dance up the middle. Alstott got the ball again on second down but found nowhere to run this time, leading to a third-and-five. King tried to find Keyshawn Johnson on a quick slant but the pass was incomplete and the Bucs had to punt again. This time, kicking from eight yards deep in his own zone, Royals lifted one that Milburn fielded at the Bucs' 47. Milburn actually fumbled the kick but recovered it himself.

Chicago's Second Drive

On first down, Enis tried the right end and found a hole for seven yards before LB Derrick brooks wrapped him up. Enis hit a wall in the middle on second down but bounced outside to pick up two yards, with Quarles preventing the first down. However, Enis got two more on third down for a new set of downs.

Enis got the carry once again on first down and picked up another two yards.

Then, suddenly, here came Barber again. Barber blitzed around the right side this time and got to McNown from the blind side. Barber's sack caused a fumble that Quarles recovered at the Bears' 45.

Tampa Bay's Third Drive

A seemingly innocent two-yard run by Warrick Dunn on first down was actually a spectacular carry, as Dunn reversed field in the backfield and split two Bears defenders. King then took a quick drop on second down and fired a slant on the right side to Green for 10 yards and the Bucs' first first down of the game.

King audibled at the line on the next first down and ended up throwing a rightside screen to Dunn, who gained just one yard before LB Barry Minter forced him out of bounds. King targeted Johnson on second down, but DT Mike Wells deflected the pass at the line of scrimmage, setting up third-and-nine. WR Reidel Anthony tried a fly pattern on the left side, but the pass was well covered by CB Walt Harris.

That left Martin Gramatica lined up for a 50-yard field goal try, which he pushed just right.

Chicago's Third Drive

After the missed field goal, Chicago gained possession at their own 40 and started off with a handoff to Allen. Allen found what looked like a hole on the left side, but CB Brian Kelly made a nice solo tackle to limit Allen to one yard. Enis got the ball on second down, but stumbled while cutting right, allowing the Bucs' defense to catch him for a loss of two. On third-and-11, McNown took a shotgun snap and fired quickly to Allen, who was instantly tackled by Derrick Brooks eight yards short of the marker.

Bartholomew hit another nice hanger, which Williams fielded at the Bucs' 19 and returned one yard under heavy punt coverage.

Tampa Bay's Fourth Drive

On first down, King executed a play-action to Alstott perfectly and rolled right to complete a 19-yard pass to Johnson. Alstott actually got the handoff on the next snap to pick up five yards, but a second-down pass went through the fullback's hands to set up third-and-five. The Bucs' drive stalled again when DE Phillip Daniels got King almost immediately for a five-yard sack. Royals' punt drove Milburn all the way back to the Bears' 11, but Milburn eluded several tacklers to get back to the Bears' 28.

Chicago's Fourth Drive

The Bears brought the first period to an end on an eight-yard catch by TE Alonzo Mayes.

Second Quarter

The good news: Tampa Bay scored on all three of its second-quarter drives, not to mention one of the Bears' possessions. The bad news, at least for awhile: Tampa Bay had no touchdowns at the two-minute warning. No worry. The Bucs finally punched the ball into the end zone on their third drive for a 13-0 lead, then scored again almost immediately on defense. Thanks to three turnovers caused by CB Donnie Abraham, plus a continued strong pass rush, the Bucs kept Chicago's offense well away from its end zone and took a 20-0 lead into the locker room for halftime.

Chicago's First Drive

The Bears started off the second quarter with a delay-of-game penalty but that was better than what they netted on the first real snap. On second-and-seven, the Bears tried one of their patented receiver screens, but Steve White deflected the pass and CB Donnie Abraham hauled the ball in at the Chicago 30 for his 19th career interception.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

Starting at the Bears' 30, the Bucs went into Thunder and Lightning mode. On first down, RB Warrick Dunn escaped a backfield tackle to slice up the middle for seven yards. FB Mike Alstott then ran over several Bears tackles to get five yards and a first down to the Bears' 18.

Next play, Alstott again, and it was another one for his personal highlight reel as he ran headlong into a Bears' tackler in the middle, left that player on the ground and continued on for eight yards down to the 10. Alstott then escaped an ankle tackle on second down long enough to get two yards and a first down at the eight.

The same strategy fell flat on the next two snaps, however, as Alstott got just one yard on first down and lost it back on second down. On third-and-goal, King found nobody open and scrambled up the middle, but he was stopped well short of the end zone by LB Brian Urlacher.

On fourth down, Martin Gramatica tried his second field goal of the day (the first was a 50-yarder, just wide right) and he hit it through from 23 yards out to put the Bucs on the scoreboard first. Tampa Bay 3, Chicago 0.

Chicago's Second Drive

A penalty on the kickoff forced Chicago to open up at their own nine, and they went almost nowhere. On first down, Enis attempted to get around left tackle but was swarmed under by LB Jamie Duncan and others. QB Cade McNown scrambled left under pressure on the next snap and picked up seven yards before being rudely flipped by LB Derrick Brooks. On third down, the pocket collapsed quickly and McNown's passes was nowhere near a Bear target. Brent Bartholomew then kicked to Karl Williams at the Bucs' 44, and Williams lost two yards on the return.

Tampa Bay's Second Drive

Dunn continued to be elusive in the second period, opening the next drive with a six-yard skate around left end. Dunn got two yards on second down and three on third for a Buc first down.

And Alstott continued to pound away, pinballing up the gut on the next first down for eight yards and several broken Bear tacklers. Alstott was met in the backfield by a blitzing Shawn Wooden on second down, but did manage to get back to the line of scrimmage to set up third-and-two. Even with G Randall McDaniel blocking for him on third down, Alstott found the middle clogged again on third down; fortunately, he was able to bounce it outside for four yards and another first down.

King finally dropped back to pass on the next first down and was able to complete a pass downfield to Keyshawn Johnson, but the play was called back by holding.

On first-and-20, Dunn was given the ball but found little room to run, picking up just one. King took a shotgun snap on second down and had TE Dave Moore cutting across the middle, but was unable to hit him as a Bears' defender grabbed King from behind. WR Jacquez Green made an impressive leaping catch on third down that picked up 15 yards, not enough for a first down but enough to give Gramatica another try from 47 yards out. Gramatica nailed it. Tampa Bay 6, Chicago 0.

Chicago's Third Drive

On Gramatica's resulting kickoff, Milburn was spilled at the Bears' 17 by S Eric Vance. McNown's first-down pass was nearly picked off by both Brian Kelly and Damien Robinson. On second down, remove the 'almost.'

For the second time in the second quarter, Abraham was in the right place to haul in a deflected pass, this one a ball that went through RB James Allen's hands. Abraham ran this pick back to the Bears' four-yard line.

Tampa Bay's Third Drive

On first down from the Bears' four, King executed a play-action and looked for a tight end, but the play was well covered. After an eternity in the pocket, King finally fired one towards Patrick Hape, but it was out of Hape's reach. On second down, it was Alstott time again, but the bruising fullback tripped at the line of scrimmage and fell forward for one yard, leading to third-and-three and the two-minute warning.

After the timeout, the Bucs finally found the end zone. On third-and-goal, King faked a handoff to RB Warrick Dunn, who was cutting across the backfield from right to left, then took off himself to the right edge of the end zone, beating the Bears' tacklers to the post. Tampa Bay 13, Chicago 0.

Chicago's Fourth Drive

After an illegal substitution penalty, the Bears tried a screen pass on first-and-15 but lost one yard when Barber caught him immediately. On second down, McNown threw a completion to WR Dez White on the left side and White was immediately met by Abraham. Abraham stripped White of the ball and, as the pigskin lay on the turf, Barber swooped in to pick it up and race 24 yards untouched to the end zone. Tampa Bay 20, Chicago 0.

Chicago's Fifth Drive

The shellshocked Bears looked to escape on their final first-half possession, taking over at their own 18 thanks to a fine kick-coverage tackle by LB Jeff Gooch. The first two snaps were two runs that cancelled each other out, a two-yard run by Curtis Enis and a two-yard loss by Enis. McNown took the ball up the middle by himself for nine yards on third down, and the clock then expired.

Third Quarter

Expanding on the blowout Tampa Bay started near the end of the first half, the Bucs scored two touchdowns and completely shut down the Bears' attack in the third period. The result, after the Bucs finished up a string of five straight scoring drives, was a 34-0 Tampa Bay lead with 15 minutes to play.

Chicago's First Drive

Return man Glyn Milburn brought Martin Gramatica's kickoff from one yard deep all the way to the Bears' 32 before LB Jeff Gooch stopped his progress.

QB Cade McNown started the second quarter by trying the same out pass to WR Marcus Robinson twice. CB Donnie Abraham broke up the first try but Robinson caught the next one for 14 yards. McNown then found nobody open on first down and scrambled left, but he was unable to outrun Derrick Brooks and picked up only two yards. Curtis Enis ran up the middle on second down, but S John Lynch stood him up with a crushing hit and Enis gained nothing. McNown's third-down pass went right into and through the hands of S Damien Robinson.

That forced a Brent Bartholomew punt, which WR Karl Williams fair caught at the Bucs' 10.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

QB Shaun King came out throwing on the Bucs' first drive, zipping a quick out to WR Jacquez Green for seven yards. On second down, FB Mike Alstott went up the middle for eight more, twice going shoulder-pad to shoulder-pad with Bears tacklers and twice winning the battle.

On first down, King tried an intermediate route to Keyshawn Johnson but saw it fall incomplete under suspiciously tight coverage. King went to Johnson over the middle on the next snap, and the Buc receiver spun away from the initial tackle to pick up nine yards. However, the play was nullified by a Bears' defensive holding penalty that carried with it an automatic first down.

From the 29, King executed a nice play-action fake and lofted a deep post route to a streaking Jacquez Green, but it was overthrown.

Undaunted, the Bucs went downfield again, and Williams made an amazing leaping catch over Thomas Smith on the left sideline, despite pass interference on the Bears' defender. That play picked up 27 yards, and the next, a quick out to Patrick Hape, picked up 13 to the Bears' 30 thanks to a key block by Johnson.

On the next snap, King threw a quick screen to RB Warrick Dunn, who made it around the right corner and picked up six yards. The next play was Dunn again, this one a handoff which the speedy back took around the left end and into the Chicago secondary for 13 yards down to the Bears' 13.

At that point, the Bucs finally turned to Johnson in the red zone. Johnson, lined up in the slot, simply zipped off the line, gave CB Thomas Smith a quick inside step, then went around him on the outside and leaped to catch King's throw. Tampa Bay 27, Chicago 0.

Chicago's Second Drive

Starting at their own 25, the Bears tried a screen pass, but DT Anthony McFarland was instantly in McNown's face, and McNown's desperation pass was just out of LB Derrick Brooks' reach. McNown faced stiff pressure again on second down and threw the ball away incomplete. The QB's next pass went directly to WR Marty Booker, but Booker dropped the ball as he heard CB Brian Kelly approaching.

Bartholomew's punt was fair caught by Williams at the Bucs' 42.

Tampa Bay's Second Drive

Drive? What drive? It was one play. QB Shaun King faked a handoff and dropped back with excellent protection. He then threw a perfect strike deep over the middle to Green. Green caught the ball on a dead run, got one key block and streaked down the left sideline for a 58-yard touchdown. Tampa Bay 34, Chicago 0.

Chicago's Third Drive

Charged up by the Bucs' explosion, K Martin Gramatica blasted the next kickoff out of the end zone. The Bears thus started at their own 20 and found no more success, as Tampa Bay forced another three-and-out.

After a false start penalty, McNown threw a pass to Robinson that the Bucs' Robinson dove in front of to knock away. RB James Allen did bust up the middle for 12 yards on second down, but McNown's attempted scramble on third-and-three left him sandwiched between Anthony McFarland and Chidi Ahanotu.

Bartholomew then punted again and Williams found a seam on the outside to pick up 16 yards back to the Bucs' 47.

Tampa Bay's Third Drive

After scoring on five straight possessions, the Bucs' finally hit a roadblock. Dunn made it around the left end for five yards on first down, but got just one up the middle on the next snap. King tried to hit Johnson on a slant on third down, but Smith knocked it away. Royals' punt was almost downed at the one but dribbled into the end zone for a touchback.

Chicago's Fourth Drive

The Bears opened their next drive with a little more success, picking up five yards on a receiver screen to Eddie Kennison. The Bears got a first down on the next snap with a quick five-yard pass to Bobby Engram, despite a de-cleater by Brooks.

That's when the Bears began backing up. On first down, good coverage downfield allowed DT Warren Sapp to sack McNown for 10 yards. After a delay-of-game penalty for five more yards, McNown passed quickly to Engram but he was wrapped up after gaining six yards. With the defense laying off on third-and-19, McNown got a pass to Dez White for nine yards but no first down. Bartholomew lifted a nice, high punt that Williams got back to the Bucs' 35.

Tampa Bay's Fourth Drive

Warrick Dunn ran up the middle for three yards to end the quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The fourth quarter might have seemed uneventful in relation to the second and third periods, but it was just as much of a Bucs domination as the previous 30 minutes. Tampa Bay scored the only touchdown of the final period, finishing off the first home shutout in Tampa since 1985. The final score: Tampa Bay 41, Chicago 0.

Tampa Bay's First Drive

QB Eric Zeier relieved starter Shaun King for the final period and began moving the Bucs downfield. After a false start penalty and Dunn's run for no yards, the Bucs faced a third-and-12, but Zeier converted that with a nice fade-stop pass to WR Jacquez Green. Green got 14 yards and another first down.

Dunn lost one yard on his next carry, but the Bucs got a new set of downs when CB Thomas Smith was called for pass interference at the Bears' 40. Dunn then shot around left tackle for nine yards and got two more on a carry up the middle to the Bears' 29.

FB Mike Alstott picked up four yards on a first-down screen, then bashed for five more on a carry up the middle. On third-and-one, Alstott met some resistance in the backfield but danced away from the tackle. He then eluded three more groups of tacklers and found his way all the way to the end zone for his third touchdown of the season, a 20-yard run. Tampa Bay 41, Chicago 0.

Chicago's First Drive

The Bears finally found some room to move in the fourth quarter with the Bucs trying to prevent the long gain.

On first down, RB James Allen went up the middle for four yards, and he gained nine more on second down up the same route. After a seven-yard pass to Macey Brooks, McNown scrambled up the middle for a 30-yard gain down to the Bucs' 24.

McNown faced a stiff rush on the next snap and threw incomplete. On second down, RB Curtis Enis tried the middle but came up with no gain. The Bucs then called a timeout. After the break, McNown threw complete to Engram but the pass gained no yards before Damien Robinson pushed him out of bounds.

That led to a 41-yard field goal try by Paul Edinger, but he pushed it wide right to keep a goose-egg by 'Bears' on the scoreboard.

Tampa Bay's Second Drive

With the game in hand, some Buc backups got into the action. RB Aaron Stecker got the handoff on first down and dashed up the gut for 13 yards. On the next play, Stecker got 14 more, before being stopped on the next run for no gain at the Bears' 41.

The Bucs got another first down on the next play when Zeier's pass to Karl Williams drew another pass interference penalty on Smith. Stecker met immediate resistance on the next carry and got just one yard. Zeier threw in the direction of rookie TE Todd Yoder on second down, picking up two yards. On third-and-seven, the Bucs false started, leading to third-and-12. The whole stadium knew Stecker was getting the ball on third down, and he was met by the Bears defense in the backfield for a loss of three.

That took the game to the two-minute warning. Mark Royals then punted the ball into the end zone for a touchback.

Chicago's Second Drive

Beginning at their own 20 with just under two minutes to play, the Bears opened with an intermediate pass over the middle, but it fell incomplete. Allen then took a handoff up the middle of the Bucs' prevent defense for 18 yards. On first down, DE Tyoka Jackson got to McNown for an eight-yard sack, but McNown got 11 yards back with a pass to Brooks. McNown went deep on third-and-seven but the ball was incomplete.

On fourth-and-seven, with 31 seconds left, McNown found Allen for eight yards and a first down. However, the game came to an end on the next snap when CB Ronde Barber capped off an outstanding day with his third sack (he shared one with Marcus Jones) as McNown tried to scramble again.

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