TAMPA, Fla. — Road-weary and embarrassed, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took out their frustration on the Chicago Bears.
The Buccaneers opened Raymond James Stadium with a 27-15 victory on Sunday, scoring on four consecutive possessions after halftime to erase a 15-point deficit and turn boos from a sellout crowd to cheers.
Trent Dilfer threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Reidel Anthony and 44 yards to Dave Moore. Then a spinning Warrick Dunn broke two tackles to score on a 43-yard run to give the Buccaneers (1-2) their first lead of the season.
Mike Alstott's two-yard touchdown run with just over five minutes to play made it 27-15, capping a remarkable turnaround from a sloppy first half in which Tampa Bay was outgained 217 yards to 63, allowed a safety and turned the ball over two times to fall behind 15-0.
Chicago (0-3) scored on Glyn Milburn's 93-yard punt return and Jeff Jaeger's field goals of 26 and 52 yards before being held to 37 total yards in the second half.
Tampa Bay finished with 364 yards--220 rushing--in bouncing back from a disappointing 0-2 start in which it struggled offensively and made mistakes uncharacteristic of the team that broke a 15-year playoff drought in 1997.
Alstott had the first 100-yard game of his career, gaining 103 in 20 carries. Dunn, battling cramps, finished with 82 yards in 10 attempts, while Dilfer completed 12 for 18 passes for 147 yards and no interceptions.
Counting five exhibitions, the Buccaneers were on the road for seven consecutive games while construction on the stadium was finished.