LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 Minnesota Vikings 17
***HISTORIC MARKER*** The Buccaneers faced the Vikings in the first regular-season game played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
The Buccaneers outperformed the Vikings in the early stages of the game, but were not able to establish a significant lead. Players reported being surprised by the Vikings' heretofore-unseen emphasis on the running game.
McKay singled out the offensive line as performing very poorly, a performance he attributed to a lack of enthusiasm. He stated that guard Sean Farrell played like a rookie, but tempered his criticism by pointing out that Farrell was playing while injured.
The constant Viking pass rush required the Buccaneers to resort to quarterback rollout plays. Guard Ray Snell suffered a knee injury that would sideline him for several weeks. Players complained of difficulty breathing due to the lack of adequate air conditioning in the Metrodome. By McKay's count, the team made 12 major errors, ruining their chances against a Vikings team who was also considered not to have played a good game. Citing league rules, McKay would not comment on complaints about the officiating, though others alleged that specifics were that: audibles could not be called due to the crowd noise, Lee Roy Selmon was repeatedly held, and that Hugh Green and Mark Cotney were not guilty of called penalties that extended a Minnesota drive that eventually led to a touchdown. Several Buccaneers protested that Cotney's roughing the kicker penalty was the result of punter Greg Coleman tripping Cotney, and then pretending to have been hit.
Coleman was later awarded a mock Oscar by Minnesota newspapers.
Opposing coach Bud Grant described the officiating errors as "enough to make a grown man cry". A pair of out-of-bounds calls, including one which negated a Buccaneer fumble recovery, were also considered to be questionable. The Buccaneers attempted a late rally, inspired by the taunting of Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer, who claimed to have been spit on by Neal Colzie. The team's only touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a Doug Williams pass to Jimmie Giles. A potential game-tying drive ended when Matt Blair tipped a Williams pass that went to Willie Teal for an interception. Williams was intercepted three times in all. It was Tampa Bay's first season-opening loss since 1978. Giles' touchdown was his 20th, which moved him past Ricky Bell to become the Buccaneers' all-time touchdown leader.
Williams had a single 12-yard carry that moved him into 4th place all-time in team rushing.
- REFEREE: Gene Barth
- UMPIRE: Bob Boylston
- LINE JUDGE: Jack Johnson
- HEAD LINESMAN: Burl Toler
- BACK JUDGE: Jimmy Rosser
- FIELD JUDGE: Friz Graf
- SIDE JUDGE: Royal Cathcart
- BUCCANEERS: 02:00-1Q Capece FG51
- VIKINGS: 06:31-2Q Young 3 run (Danmeier kick)
- VIKINGS: 06:48-3Q White 22 pass from Kramer (Danmeier kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 04:06-4Q Giles 20 pass from Williams (Capece kick)
- VIKINGS: 02:06-4Q Danmeier FG33
- WR: #84 G. Jones
- LT: #74 G. Sanders
- LG: #72 R. Snell
- C: #50 S. Wilson
- RG: #62 S. Farrell
- RT: #73 C. Hannah
- TE: #88 J. Giles
- WR: #89 K. House
- QB: #12 D. Williams
- FB: #32 J. Wilder
- TB: #26 J. Owens
- LE: #65 D. Stalls
- NT: #76 D. Logan
- RE: #63 L. Selmon
- LOLB: #59 A. Hawkins
- LILB: #56 C. Johnson
- RILB: #52 S. Brantley
- ROLB: #53 H. Green
- LC: #41 N. Thomas
- RC: #40 M. Washington
- SS: #20 N. Colzie
- FS: #34 C. Brown
- 1 Morton, 3 Capece, 9 Swider, 21 Holt, 22 Smith, 24 Morris, 28 Carver, 30 Barrett, 33 Cotney, 51 Nafziger, 54 Wood, 57 Leonard, 58 Davis, 67 Cobb, 68 Yarno, 78 Cannon, 82 J Bell, 83 T Bell, 86 Obradovich, 87 Carter, 90 White
DID NOT PLAY
- 11 Golsteyn, 61 Roberts
- 10 Ford, 66 Reese, 75 Reavis, 81 Tyler
- BUCCANEERS: Owens 12-31, Wilder 5-16, Williams 1-12, Carver 3-4, Morton 1-2.
- VIKINGS: Brown 12-56, Nelson 10-33, Galbreath 2-5, Kramer 6-4, Young 2-3.
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 38-21-290-3-1.
- VIKINGS: Kramer 28-16-131-0-1.
- BUCCANEERS: Giles 5-100, Wilder 5-52, Carter 3-53, T.Bell 3-35, House 2-18, Jones 1-17, Carver 1-12, Owens 1-3.
- VIKINGS: Brown 4-16, Senser 3-16, White 2-35, Galbreath 2-29, Nelson 2-24, Rashad 2-10, Young 1-1.
- BUCCANEERS: none.
- VIKINGS: Turner 1-10, Studwell 1-3, Teal 1-2.
- BUCCANEERS: Morton 3-48, Smith 1-24.
- VIKINGS: Payton 1-29, McDole 1-26, Nord 1-19.
- BUCCANEERS: Holt 4-7.
- VIKINGS: Payton 3-22.
- BUCCANEERS: Logan 1.5-10, Stalls 1-2, Selmon 0.5-4.
- VIKINGS: none.