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Sunday, January 19, 2003 - Philadelphia Eagles vs. BuccaneersFan BUCS helmet Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, January 19, 2003 - BuccaneersFan BUCS classic helmet

Sunday, January 19, 2003 - Away Game

WON - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 Philadelphia Eagles 10

POST-SEASON: NFC Championship Game

Tampa Bay Buccaneers won on the road for the first time in playoff history, and in temperatures below 32 °F (0 °C), in the last football game played at Veterans Stadium. The Eagles were heavy favorites at home going into the game. The Eagles had beaten the Buccaneers four consecutive times, in the wild card round the two previous seasons, and also during regular-season games in 2001 and 2002. During the two playoff losses, both at Veterans Stadium, Tampa Bay had failed to score a single touchdown.

Eagles running back Brian Mitchell returned the opening kickoff 70 yards, setting up a 20-yard touchdown run by Duce Staley less than a minute into the game. The Buccaneers responded with Martín Gramática's 48-yard field goal on their ensuing drive. At the end of Philadelphia's next possession, Lee Johnson's punt pinned the Buccaneers back at their own 4-yard line. But Tampa Bay stormed 96 yards and scored with Mike Alstott's 1-yard touchdown run to take the lead. The key play on the drive was a 71-yard completion from Brad Johnson to Joe Jurevicius on third down and two from their own 24-yard line.

David Akers tied the score, 10–10, with a 30-yard field goal midway through the second quarter, but the Buccaneers responded with an 80-yard, 12-play drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Brad Johnson to Keyshawn Johnson.

With time running out in the half, Donovan McNabb led the Eagles to the Tampa Bay 24-yard line, only to lose a fumble while being sacked by his high school teammate Simeon Rice, who stripped the ball away and recovered it himself.

On the Eagles' first drive of the third quarter, McNabb lost another fumble due to a tackle from defensive back Ronde Barber, and Bucs lineman Ellis Wyms recovered it. Later on, with 1:02 left in the third period, Gramatica's 27-yard field goal increased the Tampa Bay lead to 20–10. In the fourth quarter, the Eagles managed to drive 73 yards to Tampa Bay's 10-yard line, but Barber intercepted McNabb's pass with 3:12 left in the game and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown, clinching a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.

This was the last Eagles game ever played at Veterans Stadium which was demolished shortly thereafter.

GAMEDAY BRIEF

  • WEATHER: Cloudy - 26°F. - Humidity 48% - Wind W.N.W. 14 mph Wind Chill 16°F.
  • OFFICALS
    • REFEREE: Terry McAulay
    • UMPIRE: Carl Paganelli
    • HEAD LINESMAN: Gary Slaughter
    • LINE JUDGE: Gary Arthur
    • SIDE JUDGE: Tom Fincken
    • BACK JUDGE: Kirk Dornan
    • FIELD JUDGE: Al Jury
    • REPLAY OFFICIAL: Bob Mantooth
    • VIDEO OPERATOR: Terry Poulos
    SCORING
    • EAGLES: 14:08-1Q Staley 20 run (Akers kick)
    • BUCCANEERS: 10:01-1Q Gramatica FG48
    • BUCCANEERS: 00:40-1Q Alstott 1 run (Gramatica kick)
    • EAGLES: 08:04-2Q Akers FG30
    • BUCCANEERS: 02:28-2Q KJohnson 9 pass from BJohnson (Gramatica kick)
    • BUCCANEERS: 01:02-3Q Gramatica FG27
    • BUCCANEERS: 03:12-4Q Barber 92 interception return (Gramatica kick)
    STARTERS OFFENSE
    • WR: #19 K. Johnson
    • LT: #72 R. Oben
    • LG: #71 K. Jenkins
    • C: #62 J. Christy
    • RG: #60 C. Coleman
    • RT: #67 K. Walker
    • TE: #85 K. Dilger
    • WR: #87 K. McCardell
    • QB: #14 B. Johnson
    • RB: #32 M. Pittman
    • WR: #83 J. Jurevicius
    STARTERS DEFENSE
    • LE: #94 G. Spires
    • DT: #99 W. Sapp
    • NT: #91 C. Darby
    • RE: #97 S. Rice
    • SLB: #51 A. Singleton
    • MLB: #53 S. Quarles
    • WLB: #55 D. Brooks
    • LCB: #25 B. Kelly
    • RCB: #20 R. Barber
    • SS: #47 J. Lynch
    • FS: #34 D. Jackson
    SUBSTITUTIONS
    • 7 Gramatica, 9 Tupa, 23 Phillips, 26 Smith, 27 Stecker, 30 Barnes, 35 Ivy, 38 Howell, 40 Alstott, 43 Cook, 52 Webster, 58 Golden, 66 Benjamin, 74 Green, 75 Brown, 77 Washington, 80 Yoder, 86 Williams, 88 Dudley, 93 Claybrooks, 95 Warner, 96 Wyms
    DID NOT PLAY

    • 11 Johnson
    INACTIVE
    • 10 King, 31 Wansley, 64 Goodspeed, 84 Barlow, 89 Crawford, 90 Gurley

    INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

    RUSHING
    • BUCCANEERS: Alstott 17-25, Pittman 8-17, Stecker 1-9, B.Johnson 6-(-2).
    • EAGLES: Staley 13-58, McNabb 3-17, Westbrook 2-5, Levens 3-0.
    PASSING
    • BUCCANEERS: B.Johnson 33-20-259-1-1.
    • EAGLES: McNabb 49-26-243-1-0.
    RECIEVING
    • BUCCANEERS: Pittman 5-53, McCardell 5-37, Dilger 3-41, K.Johnson 3-40, Jurevicius 1-71, Williams 1-7, Dudley 1-7, Stecker 1-3.
    • EAGLES: Lewis 6-65, Staley 6-26, Freeman 5-66, Thrash 4-23, Pinkston 3-51, Westbrook 1-8, Martin 1-4.
    INTERCEPTIONS
    • BUCCANEERS: Barber 1-92.
    • EAGLES: Taylor 1-1.
    KICK RETURNS
    • BUCCANEERS: Stecker 2-33.
    • EAGLES: Mitchell 4-125, Whiting 1-4, Sletchta 1-0, Thrash 0-3.
    PUNT RETURNS
    • BUCCANEERS: Williams 2-8.
    • EAGLES: Mitchell 4-34.
    SACKS
    • BUCCANEERS: Rice 1-6, Barber 1-5.
    • EAGLES: none.

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