WILL ALLEN GETS FIRST CAREER START
After coming up big last week in Tampa Bay's contest against Green Bay, Will Allen started at free safety in place of Dexter Jackson, who was nursing a left hamstring strain and was inactive. Allen finished second on the team with seven tackles in his first career NFL start.
Tampa Bay wide receiver Joey Galloway continued adding big-play capability to the Bucs offense on Sunday against Detroit. Galloway had his second-longest play of his career, an 80-yard touchdown catch on a pass from quarterback Brian Griese. Galloway ended the game with a career-high 166 yards receiving on seven catches. With his touchdown against the Lions, Galloway has scored nine touchdowns in his last nine games (eight receiving and one punt return).
CADILLAC STALLS, PITTMAN TOWS
After a Hall of Fame start, Bucs rookie running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams came out of the game with a hamstring injury in the third quarter, giving up playing time to former starter Michael Pittman. Pittman scored his first touchdown of the season on a 41-yard rail route pass from quarterback Brian Griese. Pittman ended the game with 30 yards rushing on five carries (6.0 avg.) and 96 yards receiving on six catches.
STEUSSIE SAVES THE DAY
Much beleaguered Tampa Bay left tackle Todd Steussie came into the second half in place of injured starter Anthony Davis. Davis struggled in the first half against Detroit pass rusher Kalimba Edwards and gave up two sacks. Steussie shut down Edwards in the second half and the Bucs got much better at the left tackle position with him in the lineup.
Steussie had become a point of criticism in 2004 for his poor play at the right tackle spot, which wasn't his natural position. This eventually lead to his release in the offseason for salary cap purposes. After numerous injuries during training camp on the offensive line, Steussie was brought back with a more cap-friendly deal and became the backup left tackle thanks to his veteran savvy and knowledge of the offensive system.
ONCE AGAIN, FLAGS FLY IN TAMPA BAY
Although the Bucs like to wave red flags, they also saw their fair share of yellow on Sunday against Detroit. Tampa Bay had only seven penalties for a season-low 55 yards, but the penalties came at inopportune times.
The most notable was a holding penalty on cornerback Blue Adams after a long punt return by Mark Jones went deep into Detroit territory to start the second quarter. That was the second try for that particular punt, the first being overturned by negating penalties.
The other notable infraction came in the fourth quarter, with the Bucs trying to run out the clock with seven minutes remaining. Two penalties on the offensive line forced the Bucs to punt the ball away late in the game despite two runs for seven yards each by running backs Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham.
BUCS INJURY REPORT
Starting free safety Dexter Jackson sat out with a hamstring strain. Will Allen replaced him in starting lineup.
Middle linebacker Shelton Quarles suffered a left wrist sprain in the first half but returned to action.
Left tackle Anthony Davis left the game on the last play of the first half with a left shoulder injury. Backup Todd Steussie replaced Davis at the start of the second half.
Running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams suffered a hamstring strain in the third quarter and was replaced by Michael Pittman.
The following Tampa Bay players were inactive for Sunday's game against Detroit: safety Donte Nicholson, right tackle Chris Colmer, nose tackle Anthony Bryant, guard Matt Stinchcomb and wide receivers Paris Warren and J.R. Russell. Luke McCown was designated as the Bucs' emergency quarterback.
The Buccaneers' 4-0 record is the team's best start since the 1997 season when Tampa Bay started 5-0. The Bucs also started the 1979 season 5-0. ... Tampa Bay wore the all-white uniform combination for the second time in as many homes games. The Bucs are now 4-2 wearing all white since unveiling their new jerseys in 1997, including a 2-0 mark this year. ... Tampa Bay introduced the offense for the first time at home this year. ... Lions rookie wide receiver Mike Williams returned to Tampa where he was a standout receiver at Plant High School. ... Tampa Bay and other NFL teams wore a special "Fútbol Americano" decal to commemorate the first ever NFL regular season game played outside the United States. ... Tampa Bay's defense allowed the first rushing touchdown of the season on an 8-yard Kevin Jones run. ... Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber needs one more sack to become the first cornerback in NFL history to have 20 career interceptions and 20 career sacks. Barber notched his 19th career sack against Joey Harrington on Sunday. ... Bucs kicker Matt Bryant had his first miss of the season wide right from 46 yards out. Bryant is now 3-of-4 on the season (75 percent) on field goals. ... Defensive end Simeon Rice's sack of Joey Harrington moved him into 15th place all-time in NFL history past linebacker Pat Swilling (107.5). ... Bucs running back Earnest Graham carried for the first time in the season and totaled 15 yards on four carries. ... Quarterback Brian Griese had a season-high three interceptions against Detroit. ... Griese had his 16th career 300-yard passing performance with 302 yards against the Lions. ... Tampa Bay tight end Dave Moore passed former Bucs safety John Lynch for second place all-time with his 165th career game as a Buccaneer. ... Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks is now tied for third place all-time with Lynch with 164 career games played as a Buccaneer. ... Bucs FB Mike Alstott made his first start of the season and 116th career start.
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