LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 New Orleans Saints 26
BUCCANEERS SUPER BOWL SEASON - Game 01: Jon Gruden's era in Tampa Bay began at home against new division rival, the New Orleans Saints, a team they'd soundly beaten the year before. Though heralded for his offensive expertise, the Buccaneers offense sputtered and was anemic for the first three quarters. The Saints held a 20–10 lead late in the fourth quarter, while Tampa Bay's offense had only 161 yards through three periods, and quarterback Brad Johnson was sacked three times, on a hot, humid 90° afternoon.
With just under three minutes remaining, Brad Johnson led the Buccaneers on touchdown drive to narrow the score to 20–17. In the final two minutes, the offense finally performed, as Johnson drove the Buccaneers to the Saints 34-yard line. Tampa Bay faced 4th down with 23 seconds to go and counting, and no timeouts remaining. Martín Gramática hurried onto the field and kicked a game-tying field goal as time expired, and forced overtime.
Tied 20–20 in the overtime period, Tampa Bay received, and quickly drove to the Saints 39-yard line. With the choice of a field goal attempt of over 55 yards, Gruden elected to punt. The teams traded possession twice, and with just over 4 minutes remaining in the overtime, Tampa Bay was pinned back at their own 5-yard line. Tom Tupa attempted to punt on 4th down from the endzone, but Fred McAfee was unblocked. Tupa avoided the tackle, and attempted a desperation shovel pass to John Howell from his non-throwing arm. The ball was intercepted by James Allen, standing in the confines of the endzone, and the Saints were credited with a game-winning touchdown.
- REFEREE: Dick Hantak
- UMPIRE: Carl Madsen
- HEAD LINESMAN: George Hayward
- LINE JUDGE: Darryll Lewis
- SIDE JUDGE: Mike Weatherford
- BACK JUDGE: Don Dorkowski
- FIELD JUDGE: Jim Saracino
- REPLAY OFFICAL: NOT DOCUMENTED
- VIDEO OPERATOR: NOT DOCUMENTED
- SAINTS: 8:13-1Q Carney FG28
- SAINTS: 0:24-1Q Carney FG41
- BUCCANEERS: 13:20-2Q Gramatica FG52
- SAINTS: 4:02-2Q Williams 32 pass from Brooks (Carney kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 11:34-3Q McCardell 4 pass from Johnson (Gramatica kick)
- SAINTS: 8:36-3Q Stallworth 41 pass from Brooks (Carney kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 2:41-4Q Jurevicius 11 pass from Johnson (Gramatica kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 0:00-4Q Gramatica FG41
- SAINTS: 2:50-OT Allen 0 interception return
- WR: #19 K. Johnson
- WR: #83 J. Jurevicius
- LT: #72 R. Oben
- LG: #71 K. Jenkins
- C: #62 J. Christy
- RG: #77 T. Washington
- RT: #74 C. Green
- WR: #87 K. McCardell
- QB: #14 B. Johnson
- RB: #32 M. Pittman
- WR: #86 K. Williams
- LDE: #94 G. Spires
- LDT: #99 W. Sapp
- RDT: #92 A. McFarland
- RDE: #97 S. Rice
- MLB: #53 S. Quarles
- WLB: #55 D. Brooks
- LCB: #25 B. Kelly
- RCB: #20 R. Barber
- SS: #47 J. Lynch
- FS: #34 D. Jackson
- DB: #26 D. Smith
- 7 Gramatica, 9 Tupa, 22 Gibson, 23 Phillips, 27 Stecker, 34 Stephens, 35 Ivy, 38 Howell, 40 Alstott, 43 Cook, 45 Solwold, 51 Singleton, 52 Webster, 56 Nece, 65 Hochstein, 75 Brown, 80 Yoder, 81 Battaglia, 85 Dilger, 91 Darby, 96 Wyms
DID NOT PLAY
- 11 Johnson, 98 Smith
- 10 King, 30 Barnes, 31 Wansley, 60 Coleman, 67 Walker, 82 Walker, 84 Barlow, 90 Gurley
- BUCCANEERS: 12-50, Alstott 6-11, B.Johnson 3-11.
- SAINTS: McAllister 31-109, Brooks 3-9.
- BUCCANEERS: B.Johnson 52-28-278-0-2, Tupa 1-0-0-1-0.
- SAINTS: Brooks 42-24-260-1-2
- BUCCANEERS: McCardell 6-63, K.Johnson 5-76, Pittman 5-31, Alstott 4-48, Jurevicius 4-37, Dilger 1-7, Yoder 1-10, Stephens 1-6.
- SAINTS: Horn 8-108, Stallworth 4-63, McAllister 4-12, Smith 3-6, Pathon 2-15, Williams 1-32, Sloan 1-12, Reed 1-12.
- BUCCANEERS: Brooks 1-23.
- SAINTS: Allen 1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: Stecker 4-118, Smith 1-25.
- SAINTS: Lewis 3-52.
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 5-29.
- SAINTS: Lewis 3-48.
- BUCCANEERS: Sapp 1-6, Darby 0.5-2, Spires 0.5-2.
- SAINTS: Knight 1-7, Whitehead 1-7, Grant 1-3.