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Buccaneers Are Loaded for Bear

September 11, 2000|From Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — It was business as usual for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

The defense forced four turnovers to help build a 20-point halftime lead, and the offense finally came around to score on five of its last seven possessions as the Buccaneers defeated the Bears, 41-0--the largest margin of victory in their history.

Donnie Abraham had two interceptions of Cade McNown passes to set up 10 points before forcing a fumble that Ronde Barber returned 24 yards for a touchdown. The Buccaneers (2-0) finished with five sacks.

"Once we got it going, it was a snowball effect," said defensive tackle Warren Sapp. "It turned into an avalanche."

Barber, a cornerback, finished with five tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and one forced fumble besides the fumble return for a touchdown.

"We haven't won like that in quite a while," Tampa Bay Coach Tony Dungy said. "It is very satisfying . . . but we will analyze the mistakes and not let guys get too excited."

Quarterback Shaun King scored on a three-yard run and threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Keyshawn Johnson--his first as a Buccaneer--and 58 yards to Jacquez Green before coming out of the game after the Buccaneers had built a 34-0 lead. He was 10-for-21 passing for 167 yards and was sacked twice.

Martin Gramatica kicked two field goals and Mike Alstott finished Tampa Bay's scoring with a 20-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Bear quarterback Cade McNown was 15 for 29 for 96 yards, and Chicago (0-2) was limited to 165 total yards, most of them coming in the fourth quarter. The Bears' best scoring opportunity came on Paul Edinger's 42-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide right with 6:26 remaining--and the score at 41-0.

"We had a lot of things go wrong. What can you say? It's a tough one to swallow," McNown said.

"Obviously, Tampa is a good defense. I'm not going to stand here and say we only beat ourselves. They beat us. It's tough to face a team like that if you're unsure at all. They're 100 percent sure of what they're doing. It's a feast or famine defense, and they ate a lot today."

The Tampa Bay defense was also dominant in the season opener against New England, sacking Drew Bledsoe six times and not allowing a touchdown for nearly 57 minutes.

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