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Defense, Johnson Are in the Zone

October 07, 2002|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored another defensive touchdown. No surprise there.

Keyshawn Johnson reached the end zone. That was out of character.

Johnson had a 76-yard reception for his first touchdown of the season, then Derrick Brooks scored off an amazing lateral by Warren Sapp to clinch a 20-6 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

For good measure, the Buccaneers knocked Michael Vick out of the game.

"We have some deadly bullets on this team," said Sapp, who was at his trash-talking, showboating best. "Coach says there should be an investigation, 'cause it looks like there are 12 of us out there."

Tampa Bay (4-1) has given up only 27 points in winning four consecutive games, and the defense hasn't given up a touchdown on the road all season.

The Falcons (1-3) never got closer than the Buccaneer 14-yard line.

Tampa Bay is doing more than just stopping the other team. For the fourth week in a row, the defense scored a touchdown.

Sapp, of course, was right in the middle of things. He taunted the Georgia Dome sellout crowd during a timeout, walking along the line of scrimmage flapping his arms.

On the next play, Falcon backup quarterback Doug Johnson was sandwiched between Greg Spires and Simeon Rice as he threw, the ball fluttering right into Sapp's arms at the Atlanta 15.

Falcon lineman Todd Weiner grabbed Sapp from behind, but the big defensive tackle flipped a lateral to Brooks in full stride. He raced to the end zone with 6:19 to play, his third score of the season.

Brooks has two more touchdowns than Keyshawn Johnson, who finally scored with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter to put the Buccaneers ahead to stay at 10-6.

He finished with six catches for 131 yards.

The Buccaneers finished Vick early in the third. Sapp chased the young quarterback out of the pocket, and Rice drove him to the turf. Vick sprained his right (non-throwing) shoulder and didn't return.

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