LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21 Pittsburgh Steelers 24
Late-game confusion left the Buccaneers one play away from defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, as quarterback Doug Williams spiked the ball to stop the game clock on fourth down.
Late in the second quarter, Scot Brantley had a clear shot at intercepting a Terry Bradshaw pass, but Richard Wood stepped in front and tipped it into Lynn Swann's hands. It became the game-winning touchdown. The game ended with a Buccaneer rally that died with 23 seconds left. Believing that Tampa Bay had gotten a first down on the previous play, Doug Williams spiked the ball to stop the game clock on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Steelers.
The Buccaneers did have one remaining time out, but had been reserving it for a field goal attempt. Certainty that the officials had indicated first down kept team captain Dave Reavis from calling for a measurement, which also would have stopped the game clock. All Buccaneers and several Steelers believed that an official had said that it was first down, while the stadium scoreboard still read third down and 10. Some Steelers thought that Jimmie Giles had misinterpreted an official's sarcastic response to Giles' question of whether it was first down, while Pittsburgh assistant coach George Perles insisted that Williams never spiked the ball at all, but simply underthrew Isaac Hagins. It was largely believed that the Buccaneers had outplayed the Steelers, despite the loss.
Aside from the touchdown to Swann, the Pittsburgh offense was ineffective. Bradshaw completed just 11 passes for 100 yards and was replaced by Cliff Stoudt in the fourth quarter. The other seventeen of the Steelers' points were the result of special teams breakdowns. The feared Pittsburgh defense was held to a single sack and only one interception. On one play, all eleven Steeler defenders blitzed Williams, leaving Giles open for a 12-yard touchdown reception.
Williams had one of his best performances to date, passing for 302 yards and rushing for 67 more. Williams also threw touchdown passes to Ricky Bell and Kevin House.
Steelers receiver John Stallworth fractured his left foot during the game
- REFEREE: Fred Wyant
- UMPIRE: Tom Hensley
- LINE JUDGE: Wilson Gosier
- HEAD LINESMAN: Ed Marion
- BACK JUDGE: Dick Ferguson
- FIELD JUDGE: Fred Swearingen
- SIDE JUDGE: Vince Jacob
- STEELERS: 09:28-1Q Bahr FG48
- STEELERS: 08:19-1Q Winston recovered blocked punt in the endzone (Bahr kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 04:15-1Q House 26 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)
- STEELERS: 03:32-2Q Thornton 1 run (Bahr kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 05:24-2Q Giles 12 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)
- STEELERS: 00:03-2Q Swann 20 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 01:20-3Q Bell 8 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)
- WR: #84 G. Jones
- LT: #75 D. Reavis
- LG: #68 G. Yarno
- C: #50 S. Wilson
- RG: #72 R. Snell
- RT: #73 C. Hannah
- TE: #88 J. Giles
- WR: #81 I. Hagins
- QB: #12 D. Williams
- RB: #42 R. Bell
- RB: #43 J. Eckwood
- LE: #77 B. Kollar
- T: #76 D. Logan
- RE: #63 R. Selmon
- LOLB: #57 D. Lewis
- SILB: #58 D. Selmon
- WILB: #54 R. Wood
- ROLB: #56 C. Johnson
- LCB: #25 C. Jordan
- RCB: #40 M. Washington
- SS: #33 M. Cotney
- FS: #34 C. Brown
- 1 Yepremian, 16 Blanchard, 20 Colzie, 27 T Davis, 28 G Davis, 36 Berns, 38 J Davis, 41 Thomas, 46 Reece, 52 Brantley, 55 Brown, 59 Hawkins, 62 Leonard, 65 Stalls, 69 Austin, 78 Radford, 80 Samuels, 82 Shumann, 86 Obradovich, 89 House
DID NOT PLAY
- 14 Fusina, 74 Sanders, 79 Lewis
- BUCCANEERS: Bell 22-68, Eckwood 6-6, Williams 1-1.
- STEELERS: Bleier 17-78, Thornton 10-32, Davis 4-18, Hawthorne 3-8, Stoudt 1-0, Bradshaw 1-(-1).
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 45-21-302-1-3.
- STEELERS: Bradshaw 26-11-100-1-1.
- BUCCANEERS: Giles 6-128, House 3-58, Eckwood 3-38, Jones 3-30, Hagins 2-25, Bell 2-3, Shumann 1-17, J.Davis 1-3.
- STEELERS: Bleier 3-26, Stallworth 2-34, Thornton 2-2, Swann 1-20, Smith 1-14, Grossman 1-9, Cunningham 1-(-5).
- BUCCANEERS: Brantley 1-6.
- STEELERS: Shell 1-7.
- BUCCANEERS: G.Davis 4-76.
- STEELERS: R.Davis 3-59, Pollard 1-23.
- BUCCANEERS: Reece 6-22.
- STEELERS: Bell 4-54.
- BUCCANEERS: L.Selmon 1-6.
- STEELERS: Greene 1-8.