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Defense Provides Buccaneer Power

September 16, 2002|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Their offense didn't produce a touchdown, yet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still found plenty of ways to score.

The Baltimore Ravens wish they could be so fortunate.

Karl Williams returned a punt 56 yards for a touchdown and Derrick Brooks scored on a 97-yard interception return as Tampa Bay defeated Baltimore, 25-0, Sunday.

Coach Jon Gruden was lured from Oakland to bring some firepower to the Tampa Bay offense, but his first victory with the Buccaneers came courtesy of defense and special teams.

The Buccaneers (1-1) limited the Ravens (0-2) to six first downs before the fourth quarter and frustrated Baltimore quarterback Chris Redman. That led to Tampa Bay's first shutout since Sept. 10, 2000, when it beat Chicago 41-0.

It was an improvement from Tampa Bay's opener, a 26-20 overtime loss at home to New Orleans.

"They called us old and predictable last week," Tampa Bay defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. "I guess we can still throw an old predictable goose-egg."

Brooks preserved the shutout with his interception with 1:06 left.

Although Tampa Bay's offense didn't produce a touchdown, it had three long drives that resulted in field goals by Martin Gramatica.

Brad Johnson was 24 for 31 passing for 211 yards and no interceptions. He was sacked once.

"The big issue was protecting Brad and giving him enough time to throw," running back Michael Pittman said.

"Last week, Brad was getting killed. Today he had time, and it showed."

Redman, making his second start for the Ravens, went 16 for 38 for 141 yards and the interception.

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