WON - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 Denver Broncos 10
The Buccaneers defense held on to a 17-10 win over the Broncos. One of the biggest win in three seasons for the Buccaneers.
The second victory in three weeks by the Buccaneers (5-10), ended a 20-game losing streak by the Buccaneers to AFC teams on the road. "We beat the Denver Broncos today on your turf, in your house with a healthy team, and we weren't healthy and we kicked your butt," Sam Wychesaid, directing his comments to a Denver reporter. "You need more? And I wish it well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."
Craig Erickson, who fumbled but recovered twice on the first possession, overcame an interception and two other certain pickoffs that were dropped by safeties Dennis Smith and Steve Atwater. Erickson gained control of himself passing for 176 yards and two touchdowns, avoiding a sack by Shane Dronett to find tight end Dave Moore in the end zone. The Bucs also got some help from the officials (who blew one call), Hawkins (eight catches for 105 yards) and the special teams (forced two turnovers).
Buccaneer cornerback Roger Jones recovered a fumble and made a touchdown-saving tackle on a 54-yard punt return by Glyn Milburn. Jones also forced the first turnover when he appeared to have interfered on a fair catch signaled by Milburn in the third quarter. But Milburn fumbled on the play, and Jones recovered to set up the Bucs second touchdown - a 14-yard TD pass from Erickson to Hawkins.
A Broncos field goal reduced the lead to 17-10. Martin Mayhew stripped the ball from Cedric Tillman after a 15-yard completion and safety Joe King recovered to end the drive at the Buccaneers 26 with 10:35 left in regulation play.
John Lynch forced Milburn to fumble a return at mid-field, and Barney Bussey pounced on it. The play set up a 41-yard field-goal attempt by Michael Husted that would have given the Buccaneers a 10-point lead with 5:13 to play. But Husted's attempt was wide right.
Elway began hi drive by completing a 40-yard pass to Marshall. The Buccaneers shifted out of a prevent zone defense and went back to man-to-man and rushing four down-linemen, ruining Elway's opportunity.
- REFEREE: Jerry Markbreit
- UMPIRE: Chad Brown
- LINE JUDGE: Dale Orem
- SIDE JUDGE: Howard Slavin
- HEAD LINSMAN: Terry Gierke
- FIELD JUDGE: Don Hakes
- BACK JUDGE: Ken Baker
- BRONCOS: 05:25-1Q Rivers 5 run (Elam kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 14:53-2Q Moore 19 pass from Erickson (Husted kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 00:32-2Q Husted FG48
- BUCCANEERS: 11:58-3Q Hawkins 14 pass from Erickson (Husted kick)
- BRONCOS: 06:34-3Q Elam FG24
- WR: #28 C. Buckley
- LT: #74 P. Gruber
- LG: #66 B. Reimers
- C: #61 T. Mayberry
- RG: #70 C. McRae
- RT: #76 S. Dill
- TE: #82 R. Hall
- WR: #88 H. Copeland
- QB: #07 E. Erickson
- FB: #46 V. Workman
- RB: #34 R. Cobb
- LE: #92 S. Price
- NT: #77 M. Wheeler
- UT: #71 S. Dotson
- RE: #98 R. Seals
- LLB: #54 J. Williams
- MLB: #56 H. Nickerson
- DB: #27 B. Bussey
- LCB: #29 R. Reynolds
- RCB: #35 M. Mayhew
- SS: #23 M. Carter
- FS: #41 J. King
- 4 Stryzinski, 5 Husted, 21 Mack, 24 Jones, 33 Royster, 36 Paul, 43 Harris, 44 Anderson, 47 Lynch, 51 Thomas, 53 Brady, 55 Brownlow, 67 Sullivan, 72 Taylor, 79 Love, 83 Moore, 84 Wilson, 85 Hawkins, 87 Thomas, 90 Ahanotu, 93 DuBose, 96 Wilson
DID NOT PLAY
- 11 Weldon
- 13 Vlasic, 20 Gray, 50 Burnette, 73 Adams, 75 Curry, 86 Armstrong, 89 Collins, 91 Hall
- BUCCANEERS: Cobb 25-42, Erickson 6-16, Workman 5-7.
- BRONCOS: Delpino 12-38, Milburn 4-31, Rivers 4-27, Bernstine 2-10, Elway 1-4
- BUCCANEERS: Erickson 30-14-176-1-2.
- BRONCOS: Elway 41-26-225-0-0.
- BUCCANEERS: Hawkins 8-105, Workman 3-22, Copeland 1-21, Moore 1-19, Wilson 1-9.
- BRONCOS: Sharpe 6-65, Tillman 5-42, Kimbrough 4-40, Delpino 3-15, Milburn 3-2, Marshall 2-49, Johnson 2-8, Bernstine 1-4.
- BUCCANEERS: none.
- BRONCOS: Wyman 1-9.
- BUCCANEERS: none.
- BRONCOS: Delpino 1-20.
- BUCCANEERS: Hawkins 2-29.
- BRONCOS: Milburn 5-84.
- BUCCANEERS: Seals 1-0.
- BRONCOS: Fletcher 2-5.