LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21 Atlanta Falcons 24
The Buccaneers driving into a possible franchise-best winning streak at five hadn't lost a Sunday game in months. A game highlight came when Warren Sapp actually scored on an interception return when a screen pass from Jeff George went awry, but the Falcons followed up with three scoring strikes putting the Falcons back in control.
Instead of tieing the streak at five the Buccaneers tumbled out of first place for the first time in two weeks. At the midpoint of its season, Tampa Bay is 5-3, a half-game behind first-place Packers and Bears (both 5-2) in the NFC Central. "We played four tight games and pulled them all out, and now we've got to deal with playing a tight one and not coming out on top," Buccaneers safety John Lynch said. "I think it will be a big test to see how we respond. We played well on defense, but I guess we didn't play well, because we gave up the big plays, and we haven't done that all year. That hurts."
And how. The Falcons' run-and-shoot offense usually nickel and dimes its way down the field using short, underneath passes. But Atlanta struck for three long Jeff George touchdown passes - 62 yards to receiver/running back Eric Metcalf, and 32 and 30 yards to receiver Bert Emanuel - and won it on Morten Andersen's 30-yard field goal with 7:18 remaining. "We feel lousy, and that's the way you feel when you're used to winning," said Buccaneers coach Sam Wyche, whose team would have matched the '79 Bucs' five-game winning streak. "The Falcons won this ballgame because they made big plays with a tremendous quarterback and great receivers. This is one of the heartbreakers in a long season.".
- REFEREE: Bernie Kukar
- UMPIRE: John Keck
- LINE JUDGE: John Alderton
- SIDE JUDGE: Jon Bible
- HEAD LINESMAN: Aaron Pointer
- BACK JUDGE: Dick Creed
- FIELD JUDGE: Bill Leavy
- REPLAY OFFICAL: Not Documented
- BUCCANEERS: 2:11-1Q Sapp 5 interception return (Husted kick)
- FALCONS: 14:49-2Q Metcalf 62 pass from George (Andersen kick)
- FALCONS: 8:33-2Q Emanuel 32 pass from George (Andersen kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 4:11-2Q Rhett 1 run (Husted kick)
- FALCONS: 10:56-3Q Emanuel 30 pass from George (Andersen kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 7:14-3Q Rhett 2 run (Husted kick)
- FALCONS: 7:18-4Q Andersen FG30
- QB: #12 T. Dilfer
- LT: #74 P. Gruber
- LG: #60 J. Pyne
- C: #61 T. Mayberry
- RG: #62 I. Beckles
- RT: #76 S. Dill
- TE: #81 J. Harris
- WR: #82 A. Harper
- WR: #80 L. Dawsey
- FB: #83 D. Moore
- RB: #32 Rhett
- LE: #94 T. McIntosh
- LT: #73 B. Culpepper
- RT: #71 S. Dotson
- RE: #75 E. Curry
- DB: #45 T. Stargell
- MLB: #56 H. Nickerson
- DB: #21 McGruder
- LCB: #35 M. Mayhew
- RCB: #39 C. Dimry
- SS: #47 J. Lynch
- FS: #23 T. Bouie
- 1 Roby, 5 Husted, 11 Weldon, 25 Johnson, 26 Abraham, 27 Bussey, 28 Buckley, 29 Gant, 37 Ellison, 41 Edmonds, 51 Marts, 52 Rouse, 53 Brady, 55 Brooks, 67 Sullivan, 69 Pierson, 72 Ahanotu, 77 Wheeler, 85 Hawkins, 86 Armstrong, 88 Copeland, 93 DuBose, 99 Sapp
DID NOT PLAY
- 15 Philcox, 22 Everett, 44 Booty, 54 Stephens, 65 Ingram, 70 McRae, 87 Thomas, 95 Powe
- BUCCANEERS: Rhett 23-88, Dilfer 1-1.
- FALCONS: Heyward 16-69, Anderson 8-56, George 2-(-2), Metcalf 1-(-2).
- BUCCANEERS: Dilfer 28-14-177-0-0.
- FALCONS: George 37-24-295-1-3.
- BUCCANEERS: Harper 6-72, Harris 4-53, Hawkins 2-20, Copeland 1-23, Rhett 1-9.
- FALCONS: Emanuel 9-121, Metcalf 4-106, Heyward 4-24, Birden 3-15, Preston 2-19, Anderson 1-5, Spencer 1-5.
- BUCCANEERS: Sapp 1-5.
- FALCONS: none
- BUCCANEERS: Buckley 2-29, Edmonds 1-23, Ellison 1-6.
- FALCONS: Preston 3-58.
- BUCCANEERS: Edmonds 1-15.
- FALCONS: Metcalf 4-25.
- BUCCANEERS: Ahanotu 1-9, Sapp 1-5, Dotson 1-4, Nickerson 0.5-4.5, Rouse 0.5-4.5
- FALCONS: Geathers 1-8.