WON - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 Buffalo Bills 23
***HISTORIC MARKER*** Doug Williams became the first Buccaneer quarterback to pass the 12,000 career yard mark, while Kevin House became the first Buccaneer receiver with 2,000 career yards. Booker Reese recorded his first NFL sack.
Playing against the NFL's top-ranked defense, the Buccaneers took the lead twice on drives of 77 and 88 yards. Doug Williams completed 20 of 36 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns.
Bill Capece missed a field goal that would have tied Garo Yepremian's club record of seven straight, then later suffered a dislocated shoulder. Melvin Carver's 89 rushing yards in his first NFL start were a season high for Buccaneer running backs. Carver caught a 2-yard Doug Williams touchdown pass, and ran 13 yards for another touchdown. Gordon Jones caught his first touchdown of the season. An interference penalty on Bill Simpson put the Buccaneers in position for a field goal that gave Tampa Bay a 10–9 halftime lead. Simpson later caught one of Williams' three interceptions, setting up a 24-yard touchdown drive. Eugene Marve caught the second in the Buffalo end zone, causing Williams to be booed.
The first quarter included a play on which four separate penalties were called, three interceptions (two by Williams), a fake field goal, a missed extra-point, a 50-yard kickoff return, and two occasions on which Buffalo chose to run a play instead of punting on fourth down.
Buccaneer special teams allowed 138 yards in kickoff returns. The Bills scored on two runs by Leaks, and one by quarterback Joe Ferguson. Ferguson threw three interceptions, including Hugh Green's first of the season. Buffalo had the ball in field goal range in the final minute, but the win was preserved when Lee Roy Selmon forced a fumble by Bills fullback Roosevelt Leaks at the Buccaneer 18 with 36 seconds to play, on the same double-safety blitz which had caused a key fumble in the Dolphins game.
On Tampa Bay's final possession, Carver's habit of quickly laying the ball down after being tackled nearly became a problem when he was tackled at the Tampa Bay 18 with 24 seconds left. The Bills mistook this for a fumble and began to celebrate, until the officials ruled that the ball was dead.
- REFEREE: Fred Silva
- UMPIRE: John Leimback
- LINE JUDGE: Vern Marshall
- HEAD LINESMAN: Norm Kragseth
- BACK JUDGE: Jim Kearney
- FIELD JUDGE: Don Orr
- SIDE JUDGE: Dave Parry
- BILLS: 12:52-1Q Leaks 8 run (kick failed)
- BUCCANEERS: 04:36-1Q Carver 2 pass from Williams (Capece kick)
- BILLS: 01:00-2Q Herrera FG49
- BUCCANEERS: 00:00-2Q Capece FG27
- BILLS: 09:57-3Q Leaks 3 run (Herrera kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 04:16-3Q Jones 2 pass from Williams (Capece kick)
- BILLS: 14:00-4Q Carver 13 run (Capece kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 04:05-4Q Ferguson 10 run (Herrera kick)
- WR: #84 G. Jones
- LT: #75 D. Reavis
- LG: #72 R. Snell
- C: #79 S. Wilson
- RG: #61 G. Roberts
- RT: #62 S. Farrell
- TE: #88 J. Giles
- WR: #89 K. House
- QB: #12 D. Williams
- FB: #32 J. Wilder
- WB: #82 J. Bell
- LE: #65 D. Stalls
- NT: #76 D. Logan
- RE: #63 L. Selmon
- LOLB: #59 A. Hawkins
- LILB: #56 C. Johnson
- RILB: #52 S. Brantley
- ROLB: #53 H. Green
- LCB: #41 N. Thomas
- RCB: #40 M. Washington
- SS: #20 N. Colzie
- FS: #34 C. Brown
- 1 Morton, 3 Capece, 9 Swider, 21 Holt, 22 Smith, 24 Morris, 28 Carver, 30 Barrett, 33 Cotney, 44 Middleton, 51 Nafziger, 54 Wood, 57 Leonard, 58 Davis, 66 Reese, 68 Yarno, 78 Cannon, 83 T Bell, 86 Obradovich, 87 Carter, 90 White
DID NOT PLAY
- 11 Golsteyn, 15 Quinn, 26 Owens, 73 Hannah, 74 Sanders, 81 Tyler
- BUCCANEERS: Carver 20-89, Wilder 8-25, Williams 7-24.
- BILLS: Leaks 13-62, Cribbs 13-49, Ferguson 3-23, Brown 2-20, Kofler 1-12.
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 36-20-204-3-2.
- BILLS: Ferguson 25-17-168-3-0.
- BUCCANEERS: Wilder 9-58, House 4-69, Giles 2-31, Jones 2-28, Carter 1-9, Obradovich 1-7, Carver 1-2.
- BILLS: Cribbs 4-16, Butler 3-42, Brammer 3-22, Piccone 2-38, Leaks 3-17, Barnett 1-22, Lewis 1-11.
- BUCCANEERS: Colzie 1-13, Washington 1-13, Thomas 1-0.
- BILLS: Freeman 1-14, Simpson 1-3, Marve 1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: Morton 4-67, Yarno 1-14.
- BILLS: Mosley 4-138.
- BUCCANEERS: T.Bell 1-7.
- BILLS: Holt 1-6, Hooks 1-1.
- BUCCANEERS: Reese 1-16.
- BILLS: none.