WON - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 Atlanta Falcons 07
The Buccaneers faced their heated division rival for the first time this season, at the Georgia Dome. The Buccaneers dominated, and enjoyed the return of Michael Pittman from injury. Atlanta started quarterback Byron Leftwich. Atlanta suffered four turnovers, and 11 penalties for 105 yards in the loss.
In the first quarter, both teams traded punts on their opening drive. On Tampa Bay's second drive, Pittman caught an 11-yard pass but fumbled and it was recovered by Keith Brooking. An instant replay challenge upheld the ruling on the field. On the very next play, Byron Leftwich was hit as he released the ball, and it was intercepted by Barrett Ruud, who returned the ball to the 28-yard line. Tampa Bay drove 72 yards in three plays, as Joey Galloway caught a 44-yard touchdown.
In the second quarter, Leftwich was sacked from behind and fumbled the ball. Ronde Barber picked up the ball, and ran 41 yards for Tampa Bay's second touchdown. On Atlanta's next drive, Warrick Dunn fumbled at the 45-yard line. Atlanta challenged the ruling, and the call on the field was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass. The following play, Roddy White fumbled, and Brian Kelly recovered for Tampa Bay. He lateraled to Cato June, who then lost the ball. Despite an instant replay challenge by Tampa Bay, the ruling on the field was upheld. Atlanta, however, was unable to move down the field, and Tampa Bay took a 14–0 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, Tampa Bay added a field goal, then Gaines Adams chopped Leftwich's arm as he threw and his floating pass was intercepted by Chris Hovan (later in the week NFL officials revised the play to a sack & fumble recovery). Tampa Bay quickly scored another touchdown catch by Alex Smith. In the fourth quarter, Earnest Graham took over the offense for Tampa Bay, rushing 102 yards total, and a touchdown score. Atlanta avoided the shutout, replacing Leftwich with Joey Harrington, and scored a touchdown with 1:10 to go.
- REFEREE: Walt Coleman
- UMPIRE: Jeff Rice
- HEAD LINESMAN: Wayne Mackle
- LINE JUDGE: Ron Phares
- SIDE JUDGE: David Wyant
- BACK JUDGE: Richard Reels
- FIELD JUDGE: Steve Zimmer
- REPLAY OFFICAL: Bob McGarth
- VIDEO OPERATOR: Clayton Judge
- BUCCANEERS: 7:43-1Q Galloway 44 pass from Garcia (Bryant kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 10:42-2Q Barber 41 fumble return (Bryant kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 6:35-3Q Bryant FG23
- BUCCANEERS: 4:51-3Q Smith 21 pass from Garcia (Bryant kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 14:53-4Q Graham 26 run (Bryant kick)
- FALCONS: 1:10-4Q Jennings 7 pass from Harrington (Andersen kick)
- WR: #84 J. Galloway
- LT: #70 D. Penn
- LG: #78 A. Sears
- C: #76 J. Wade
- RG: #75 D. Joseph
- RT: #65 J. Trueblood
- TE: #81 A. Smith
- TE: #86 J. Stevens
- QB: #07 J. Garcia
- RB: #34 E. Graham
- FB: #35 B. Askew
- LE: #93 K. Carter
- DT: #95 C. Hovan
- DT: #71 J. Haye
- RE: #90 G. Adams
- MLB: #51 B. Ruud
- WLB: #55 D. Brooks
- LCB: #20 R. Barber
- RCB: #31 P. Buchanon
- SS: #23 J. Phillips
- FS: #28 T. Jackson
- DB: #25 B. Kelly
- 3 Bryant, 5 Gradkowski, 9 Bidwell, 17 Spurlock, 19 Hilliard, 22 Davis, 26 Allen, 32 Pittman, 39 Pearson, 44 Storer, 48 Economos, 54 Chukwurah, 56 Nece, 57 Hayward, 58 Black, 59 June, 68 Lehr,69 Davis, 80 Clayton, 85 Stovall, 88 Becht, 91 White, 98 Sims
DID NOT PLAY
- 12 McCown, 29 Bennett, 37 Ratliff, 50 Trotter, 72 Buenning, 87 Heinrich, 94 Spires, 96 Peterson
- BUCCANEERS: Graham 17-102, Pittman 10-44, Garcia 2-5, Gradkowski 2-(-2).
- FALCONS: Dunn 15-32, Snelling 2-13, Norwood 2-4.
- BUCCANEERS: Garcia 20-10-159-0-2, Gradkowski 1-1-2-0-0.
- FALCONS: Leftwich 28-15-106-2-0, Harrington 20-16-139-0-1.
- BUCCANEERS: Smith 3-51, Galloway 2-63, Pittman 2-17, Hilliard 1-14, Askew 1-8, Graham 1-6, Storer 1-2.
- FALCONS: Jenkins 9-73, Dunn 8-40, White 4-28, Crumpler 3-28, Robinson 2-43, Jennings 2-11, Norwood 2-10, Mughelli 1-12.
- BUCCANEERS: Ruud 1-5, Hovan 1-3.
- FALCONS: none
- BUCCANEERS: Spurlock 1-21, Buchanon 1-(-1).
- FALCONS: Norwood 5-110, Babineaux 1-8.
- BUCCANEERS: Jennings 3-14, Harris 1-1.
- FALCONS: Jennings 3-14, Harris 1-1.
- BUCCANEERS: White 2-6, Adams 1-7, Hovan 1-6.
- FALCONS: Abraham 1-5.