If there was any question as to who would be the backup to Brian Griese this season, that question was answered in Tampa Bay's preseason finale when Chris Simms started the game against the Houston Texans going 8-of-8 for 106 yards with a pair of touchdown passes. While it should be noted that he entered the game with the Bucs up 10-0, Simms showed a great sense of poise and leadership in directing the Tampa Bay offense on two touchdown drives in the second quarter. For his efforts, Simms is this week's PewterReport.com Most Valuable Player.
His most impressive stretch was on a seven-play 84-yard scoring drive in which he was 4-of-4 for 68 yards that was capped off with a 21-yard touchdown by rookie receiver J.R. Russell. Simms hit Ike Hilliard for a 15-yard pass, Russell for 5 yards and Will Heller for 27 yards before finding Russell for the 21-yard score.
Simms wound up throwing three touchdown passes against Houston and finished the game 12-of-16 for 163 yards. Simms threw touchdown strikes to wide receivers Russell, Edell Shepherd and Paris Warren. Simms finished the preseason with a team-leading 31-of-47 (65.9 percent) for 353 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
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