LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34 New Orleans Saints 44
The Saints, having achieved their first winning record in team history, clinched their first-ever playoff spot by defeating the Buccaneers 44–34.
The Saints led the game for good after two early Vinny Testaverde fumbles deep in Buccaneer territory. Testaverde was given the starting job over Steve DeBerg, a change that was not revealed until gametime. "(Perkins) didn't want to give the Saints time to prepare for anything new", said Testaverde. In the second half, Testaverde made the Saints nervous by rallying the Buccaneers to score on four consecutive possessions.
Mark Carrier's 212 yards on eight receptions set a team record, and Bruce Hill contributed 73 yards on five receptions. The rally lifted team spirits. "There's definitely some light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a train", said Perkins. The rally came after a turbulent halftime, in which Ron Heller urged his teammates not to quit. Ray Perkins, hearing only the word "quit", punched Heller in the head, breaking his thumb on Heller's helmet.
The Saints' first playoff-clinching win came on the tenth anniversary of the Buccaneers' first victory in franchise history, also a road game against the Saints.
- REFEREE: Jerry Markbreit
- UMPIRE: Bob Wagner
- SIDE JUDGE: Bill Quinby
- HEAD LINESMAN: Paul Weidner
- BACK JUDGE: Ben Tompkins
- FIELD JUDGE: Jack Vaughan
- LINE JUDGE: Bob Beeks
- SAINTS: 11:19-1Q Tice 8 pass from Hebert (Andersen kick)
- SAINTS: 8:51-1Q Tice 6 pass from Hebert (Andersen kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 2:31-1Q Testaverde 1 run (Igwebuike kick)
- SAINTS: 10:56-2Q Mayes 7 run (Andersen kick)
- SAINTS: 7:40-2Q Hilliard 3 run (Andersen kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 2:13-2Q Igwebuike FG37
- SAINTS: 10:56-3Q Andersen FG40
- SAINTS: 8:11-3Q Mayes 2 run (Andersen kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 5:20-3Q Carrier 37 pass from Testaverde (Igwebuike kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 0:25-3Q Igwebuike FG43
- SAINTS: 11:43-4Q Andersen FG24
- BUCCANEERS: 9:49-4Q Hill 12 pass from Testaverde (Igwebuike kick)
- SAINTS: 3:34-4Q Andersen FG32
- BUCCANEERS: 1:56-4Q Howard 2 run (Igwebuike kick)
- WR: #89 M. Carrier
- LT: #73 R. Heller
- LG: #66 G. Yarno
- C: #60 R. Grimes
- RG: #68 R. Mallory
- RT: #77 J.D. Maarleveid
- WR: #87 G. Carter
- TE: #86 C. Magee
- WR: #35 J. Smith
- QB: #14 V. Testaverde
- RB: #32 J. Wilder
- LE: #70 H. Swayne
- NT: #94 M. Stensrud
- RE: #95 C. Jarvis
- LOLB: #56 J. Walker
- LILB: #58 J. Davis
- RILB: #54 E. Randle
- ROLB: #51 C. Washington
- LC: #29 R. Reynolds
- RC: #22 R. Jones
- SS: #33 B. Kemp
- FS: #28 R. Isom
- 1 Igwebuike, 5 Garcia, 17 DeBerg, 23 Anderson, 24 Tripoli, 25 Howard, 36 Futrell, 37 Hunter, 42 Bartalo, 50 Turk, 52 Brantley, 57 Moss, 59 Murphy, 71 Cooper, 79 Goode, 81 Freeman. 82 Hall, 84 Hill, 85 G.Taylor, 91 Gant, 93 Sileo, 99 McHale
DID NOT PLAY
- 11 Shula
- 31 Gordon, 38 Evans, 78 Cannon, 83 Miller, 90 Holmes
- BUCCANEERS: Smith 8-31, Wilder 6-30, Testaverde 5-19, Hill 1-9, Hunter 1-6, Howard 1-2.
- SAINTS: Hilliard 16-62, Mayes 21-55.
- BUCCANEERS: Testaverde 47-22-369-2-2.
- SAINTS: Hebert 24-16-255-0-2.
- BUCCANEERS: Carrier 8-212, Hill 5-73, Wilder 4-33, Carter 2-25, Hall 1-12, Howard 1-8, Magee 1-6.
- SAINTS: Hill 3-27, Martin 2-101, Pattison 2-51, Word 2-25, Jones 2-20, Tice 2-14, Hilliard 1-12, Benson 1-5, Mayes 1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: none
- SAINTS: Jackson 1-4, Waymer 1-0..
- BUCCANEERS: Futrell 3-81.
- SAINTS: Gray 3-73, Hilliard 2-43, Jordan 1-12.
- BUCCANEERS: Futrell 2-24.
- SAINTS: Gray 2-130
- BUCCANEERS: Jarvis 1-7.
- SAINTS: Swilling 1-8, Wilks 1-5, Warren 1-4.