WON - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21 Minnesota Vikings 13
***HISTORIC MARKER*** The Buccaneers set several team records which still stand, including most passing attempts, completions, and first downs, and Dana Nafziger's 6 special teams tackles.
A Saturday-evening game left the Buccaneers as the first winners of the 1981 season.
The Buccaneers scored on a 55-yard pass from Doug Williams to Kevin House, and a 10-yard Williams run. The Buccaneers' rushing attack struggled, although Jerry Eckwood had an apparent 39-yard touchdown run that was called back due to penalty. Williams was held to 8 completions on 22 attempts for only 108 yards, but was able to lead a 76-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter, after the Vikings had closed to within 7–6 on a pair of Rick Danmeier field goals.
The Vikings answered with a 72-yard drive of their own that ended in a 4-yard Steve Dils touchdown pass to Joe Senser. With Tampa Bay holding a 14–13 lead, Neal Colzie sealed the victory by returning his second interception of the day 82 yards for a touchdown, preventing the Vikings' potentially game-winning field goal attempt. McKay later said, "Neal pulled us out of the fire. As I was watching him run it back, I could only think how glad I was we picked him up last year". Dils passed for 361 yards on 62 attempts, still the most pass attempts against the Buccaneers in a game.
- REFEREE: Fred Silva
- UMPIRE: Ralph Morcroff
- LINE JUDGE: Vern Marshall
- HEAD LINESMAN: Frank Glover
- BACK JUDGE: Jim Kearney
- FIELD JUDGE: Don Orr
- SIDE JUDGE: Dave Parry
- BUCCANEERS: 05:32-1Q House 55 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)
- VIKINGS: 10:41-3Q Danmeier FG45
- VIKINGS: 00:33-3Q Danmeier FG25
- BUCCANEERS: 13:17-4Q Williams 10 run (Yepremian kick)
- VIKINGS: 02:29-4Q Senser 4 pass from Dils (Danmeier kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 00:21-4Q Colzie 82 interception return (Yepremian kick)
- WR: #84 G. Jones
- LT: #72 R. Snell
- LG: #68 G. Yarno
- C: #50 S. Wilson
- RG: #61 G. Roberts
- RT: #74 G. Sanders
- TE: #88 J. Giles
- WR: #89 K. House
- QB: #12 D. Williams
- FB: #32 J. Wilder
- TB: #42 R. Bell
- LE: #77 B. Kollar
- NT: #76 D. Logan
- RE: #63 L. Selmon
- LOLB: #57 D. Lewis
- LILB: #56 C. Johnson
- RILB: #54 R. Wood
- ROLB: #53 H. Green
- LC: #41 N. Thomas
- RC: #21 J. Holt
- SS: #20 N. Colzie
- FS: #40 M. Washington
- 1 Yepremian, 16 Blanchard, 26 Owens, 27 T Davis, 28 G Davis, 34 Brown, 43 Eckwood, 44 Cesare, 45 Mitchell, 51 Nafziger, 52 Brantley, 59 Hawkins, 62 Leonard, 65 Stalls, 70 Hutchinson, 83 Bell, 86 Obradovich, 87 Carter, 90 White
DID NOT PLAY
- 10 Ford, 14 Fusina, 73 Hannah, 75 Reavis
- BUCCANEERS: Eckwood 6-36, R.Bell 11-35, Williams 3-26, Wilder 8-14.
- VIKINGS: Brown 20-79, Dils 4-14, Young 2-7, Redwine 1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 22-8-108-0-1.
- VIKINGS: Dils 62-37-361-1-1, Brown 1-0-0-1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: House 3-74, Wilder 2-(-3), Giles 1-20, R.Bell 1-11, Jones 1-6.
- VIKINGS: Brown 12-77, White 8-92, Young 7-47, Senser 5-60, LeCount 2-38, Rashad 2-30, Harrell 1-17.
- BUCCANEERS: Colzie 2-89.
- VIKINGS: none.
- BUCCANEERS: G.Davis 2-38, Obradovich 1-14, Brantley 1-0.
- VIKINGS: Payton 3-70, Nord 1-22.
- BUCCANEERS: T.Bell 1-8.
- VIKINGS: Payton 6-59.
- BUCCANEERS: Selmon 1.5-13, Logan 0.5-5.
- VIKINGS: none.