LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28 St. Louis Cardinals 31
With the Cardinals down by 25 points in the fourth quarter, quarterback Neil Lomax threw for three touchdowns in a come-from-behind win. One of the touchdowns was to tight end Robert Awalt, the other two to league reception leader J.T. Smith. Donald Igwebuike's potential game-tying 53-yard field goal attempt bounced off the crossbar as time ran out.
The Cardinals came in on a three-game losing streak, while the Buccaneers entered the game leading the league in takeaways. The attendance of 22,449 was the Cardinals' lowest in four years, the team having announced the previous week their plans to move to another city.
Detectives were assigned to guard Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill due to death threats.
Irritation over DeBerg's celebrations after his three touchdown passes provided inspiration to some of the Cardinals, who commented, "he's going to lose his job to Vinny Testaverde in a couple of weeks anyway". Awalt caught nine passes for 124 yards, while Smith caught eight passes for 96 yards. Said coach Perkins of his team's performance, "...they whipped us in every phase of the game. Even down 28–3, they were playing better football than we were".
After the Buccaneers turned three consecutive potential blowout wins into nail-biters, safety Rick Woods said that the team seemed to be playing not to lose instead of playing to win. As an example, he noted that many players turned to see how much time was left on the clock after Cardinals linebacker Niko Noga returned a James Wilder fumble for a touchdown.
The next week, Woods was demoted to the taxi squad. Offensive tackle Rob Taylor suffered a strained medial collateral ligament, and center Randy Grimes was also out for the fourth quarter with a hyperextended knee. "We should have gotten a lot more hurt", Perkins said, and accused his players of allowing positive press coverage to inflate their egos and cloud their judgments.
The 25-point lead, if it had held, would have represented the largest margin of victory in a Buccaneers road win. Instead, it became the largest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL history.
- REFEREE: Pat Haggerty
- UMPIRE: Neil Gereb
- HEAD LINESMAN: Sid Semon
- LINE JUDGE: Dave Hawk
- BACK JUDGE: Banks Williams
- FIELD JUDGE: Bernie Kukar
- SIDE JUDGE: Aaron Pointer
- BUCCANEERS: 0:22-1Q Carrier 5 pass from DeBerg (Igwebuike kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 5:10-2Q Carter 3 pass from DeBerg (Igwebuike kick)
- CARDINALS: 0:20-2Q Gallery FG31
- BUCCANEERS: 9:59-3Q Smith 34 pass from DeBerg (Igwebuike kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 1:51-3Q Smith 3 run (Igwebuike kick)
- CARDINALS: 12:42-4Q Awalt 4 pass from Lomax (Gallery kick)
- CARDINALS: 11:39-4Q Noga 23 fumble recovery (Gallery kick)
- CARDINALS: 8:18-4Q Smith 11 pass from Lomax (Gallery kick)
- CARDINALS: 1:01-4Q Smith 17 pass from Lomax (Gallery kick)
- WR: #81 P. Freeman
- LT: #72 R. Taylor
- LG: #66 G. Yarno
- C: #60 R. Grimes
- RG: #68 R Mallory
- RT: #73 R. Heller
- TE: #86 C. Magee
- TE: #80 S. Holloway
- WR: #87 G. Carter
- QB: #17 S. DeBerg
- FB: #32 J. Wilder
- LE: #78 J. Cannon
- NT: #94 M. Stensrud
- RE: #90 R. Holmes
- LOLB: #51 C. Washington
- LILB: #58 J. Davis
- RILB: #54 E. Randle
- ROLB: #57 W. Moss
- LC: #29 R. Reynolds
- RC: #22 R. Jones
- SS: #33 B. Kemp
- FS: #20 R. Woods
- #25 Bobby Howard, 1 Igwebuike, 5 Garcia, 23 Anderson, 24 Tripoli, 31 Gordon, 35 Smith, 36 Futrell, 50 Turk, 52 Brantley, 56 Walker, 70 Swayne, 75 Kellin, 77 Maarleveld, 79 Goode, 83 Miller, 84 Hill, 89 Carrier, 91 Gant, 93 Sileo
DID NOT PLAY
- 11 Shula, 14 Testaverde, 42 Bartalo
- 39 Austin, 59 Murphy, 74 Powell, 82 Hall, 85 G.Taylor
- BUCCANEERS: Wilder 11-49, Smith 19-48, DeBerg 1-(-1), #25 Bobby Howard 1-(-3), Hill 1-(-10).
- CARDINALS: Mitchell 17-79, Ferrell 9-33, Lomax 4-23, Wolfley 1-2.
- BUCCANEERS: DeBerg 37-23-303-0-3.
- CARDINALS: Lomax 36-25-314-1-3.
- BUCCANEERS: Wilder 6-87, Carter 6-82, Hill 4-56, Smith 3-43, Howard 2-19, Magee 1-11, Carrier 1-5.
- CARDINALS: Awalt 9-124, Smith 8-96, Mitchell 4-58, Holmes 4-36.
- BUCCANEERS: Jones 1-9.
- CARDINALS: none.
- BUCCANEERS: Futrell 3-54, Miller 1-22.
- CARDINALS: Sikahema 3-70, McAdoo 2-51.
- BUCCANEERS: Futrell 1-5.
- CARDINALS: Sikahema 2-12.
- BUCCANEERS: Washington 2-16, Holmes 1-11, Moss 1-9.
- CARDINALS: Greer 1-9.