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Six Points Enough to Fell Bears

October 25, 1999|From Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — In what's becoming ritual for NFC Central quarterbacks, Chicago rookie Cade McNown took his turn running from NFL sack leader Warren Sapp, who led a solid defensive effort that gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 6-3 victory over the Bears on Sunday.

Martin Gramatica kicked two first-half field goals for Tampa Bay (3-3), and the Buccaneers kept the Bears off the scoreboard until an ineffective McNown was benched.

It was the fewest points the Buccaneers have scored in a victory since a 3-0 win over Kansas City in 1979.

"I'd like to have a 38-0 blowout so I don't have to run around at the end of the game. But I'll take it," Sapp said. "I'd rather be talking about an ugly win than an ugly loss."

Jim Miller completed a 50-yard pass to Bobby Engram to set up a field goal for Chicago with 2:24 to go. The Bears made one first down on their final possession before Derrick Brooks' second interception allowed Tampa Bay to run out the clock.

The victory ended a two-game losing streak for the Buccaneers, who started the day ranked second in the NFL in total defense.

All three of the Buccaneers' victories have come against inexperienced quarterbacks. Tampa Bay sacked Doug Pederson and Donovan McNabb nine times in a victory over Philadelphia and held Brian Griese to 132 yards passing in a victory over Denver.

McNown, making his second start in place of the injured Shane Matthews, completed nine of 23 passes for 82 yards and was sacked twice, once by Sapp, who was in the rookie's face all game.

The sack was the seventh for the two-time Pro Bowl tackle, equaling his total last season.

Struggling Tampa Bay quarterback Trent Dilfer had another rough game, completing 16 of 27 passes for only 121 yards.

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