PewterReport.com chronicles all 20 of Tampa Bay’s appearances on Monday Night Football through the years. The Bucs are 11-9 all-time on MNF. The Bucs have hosted Monday Night Football 12 times and are 9-3 in games played in Tampa Bay, including 8-2 in contests at Raymond James Stadium.
The Buccaneers On Monday Night Football October 6, 1980 – Soldier Field
Chicago 23, Tampa Bay 0
The Bucs’ first Monday Night Football appearance was forgettable as Chicago’s defense held Tampa Bay’s offense to 147 yards and out of the end zone at Soldier Field. The Bears had a 3-0 lead at halftime before blowing out the Bucs in the second half.
November 29, 1982 – Tampa Stadium
Tampa Bay 23, Miami 17
The Bucs picked off five passes to win their first game in a strike-shortened season in the first Monday Night Football game in Tampa Bay. The Bucs had a 23-10 lead late in the game before Don Strock threw a touchdown pass to cut the margin to just seven points. Tampa Bay defensive back Mike Washington secured the win with an interception on the game’s final play.
December 12, 1983 – Tampa Stadium
Green Bay 12, Tampa Bay 9 (overtime)
Packers kicker Jan Stenerud kicked a 23-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Bucs at Tampa Stadium. Tampa Bay led 9-6 when kicker Bill Capece missed a 35-yard attempt with 2:49 left in the game. The Bucs gave up 55 points to Green Bay earlier in the season and kept the Packers out of the end zone, but couldn’t stop two field goal drives that tied the game and won it for Green Bay.
September 28, 1998 – The Silverdome
Detroit 27, Tampa Bay 6
After 15 years of not being on Monday Night Football, Tampa Bay couldn’t hang with Detroit. After trailing 6-3 in the third quarter, cornerback Bryant Westbrook picked off Trent Dilfer and raced 34 yards for a touchdown to give Detroit a 13-6 lead. With the Bucs trailing 20-6 in the fourth quarter, Terry Fair returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown to seal the victory for the Lions.
December 7, 1998 – Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay 24, Green Bay 22
The Buccaneers ended their string of futility against the Packers in style, beating the defending NFC Champions before a sell-out crowd of 65,497 at Raymond James Stadium in the first Monday Night Football game in Tampa Bay in 15 years. Quarterback Trent Dilfer hit Jacquez Green with a 64-yard touchdown pass and Bert Emanuel with a 62-yard scoring strike to give Tampa Bay a 14-6 lead at halftime. The Packers came within two points of victory, but Brett Favre was sacked eight times, including the game’s last play as defensive tackles Warren Sapp and Brad Culpepper converged on the Green Bay quarterback.
December 6, 1999 – Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay 24, Minnesota 17
The Bucs jumped out on top on the third play of the game when cornerback Donnie Abraham blitzed Jeff George from the left side, picked off the Vikings quarterback and raced 55 yards for a touchdown to give Tampa Bay a 7-0 lead. After leading 10-0, the Bucs coughed up the ball twice in the second quarter and trailed 14-10. In the third quarter during his first NFL start, QB Shaun King hit wide receiver Jacquez Green on a 29-yard touchdown and found tight end Dave Moore for a 1-yard touchdown toss to go up 24-14 and ultimately win the game.
October 9, 2000 – The Metrodome
Minnesota 30, Tampa Bay 23
The Bucs blew a fourth quarter, 23-20 lead that was achieved when cornerback Donnie Abraham returned a blocked field goal by Warren Sapp 53 yards for a touchdown. But the Vikings regained the lead when QB Daunte Culpepper hit Randy Moss for a 42-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. A Gary Anderson field goal with 59 seconds left pushed Minnesota’s lead to seven points and Shaun King’s “Hail Mary” attempt fell incomplete in the end zone.
December 12, 2000 – Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay 38, St. Louis 35
In one of the most thrilling victories in Tampa Bay history, Warrick Dunn scored his third rushing touchdown with 48 seconds left to come back and beat the Rams. St. Louis stormed back from a 10-point deficit to take a 35-31 lead before QB Shaun King drove the team 80 yards in 13 plays for the win. Safety John Lynch sealed the victory with an interception of Kurt Warner, his third of the game. The Bucs went up 24-14 at the half thanks to a 2-yard run by Dunn and two touchdown passes to Keyshawn Johnson. On the famous “Fumblerooskie” play, Dunn broke free for a 52-yard run in the fourth quarter to help the Bucs amass a season-high 446 yards.
November 26, 2001 – The Dome At America’s Center
Tampa Bay 24, St. Louis 17
In a rematch from Tampa Bay’s win on Monday Night Football in 2000, the Bucs topped the Rams again with Warrick Dunn dashing 21 yards for a touchdown to break a 17-17 tie in the fourth quarter. The Rams’ high-powered offense was held scoreless in the fourth quarter, and the Bucs defense allowed just one touchdown in the contest and forced five St. Louis turnovers, including two picks against Kurt Warner. Defensive tackle Warren Sapp posted two sacks and strong safety John Lynch ended the game with an interception for the second straight year.
December 29, 2001 – Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay 22, Baltimore 10
In a game played on Saturday night because of New Year’s Eve fell on Monday night, the Bucs overcame a 7-3 deficit early in the second quarter to lead 16-7 at halftime before a 32-yard by Mike Alstott in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for Tampa Bay. Alstott and Warrick Dunn combined for 127 yards on the night and Brad Johnson added a touchdown on a quarterback sneak against Baltimore’s vaunted Super Bowl defense that year. Yet it wasn’t the Ravens that got to the quarterback or caused any turnovers. Instead, it was the Buccaneers who sacked Elvis Grbac five times and picked him off twice. A 53-yard interception return by linebacker Derrick Brooks and two punt returns by Karl Williams totaling 46 yards helped the Bucs win the battle of field position and keep the Ravens defense on its heels.
September 23, 2002 – Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay 26, St. Louis 14
For the third straight year, the Bucs claimed victory against the Rams on Monday Night Football as the defense posted five sacks and four interceptions of Kurt Warner, including a 39-yard pick-six by linebacker Derrick Brooks, giving head coach Jon Gruden his first win at Raymond James Stadium. An interception by Simeon Rice set up a touchdown pass from Brad Johnson to tight end Rickey Dudley to go up 13-7 at halftime. Mike Alstott’s touchdown run increased the lead to 19-7 and Brooks’ interception return for a touchdown sealed the win in grand style.
December 23, 2002 – Raymond James Stadium
Pittsburgh 17, Tampa Bay 7
Tommy Maddox threw for 236 yards and one touchdown and Pittsburgh nose tackle Casey Hampton forced two Tampa Bay turnovers inside the Steelers’ 10-yard line to produce the last Buccaneers loss of the 2002 season en route to the franchise’s first and only Super Bowl championship. Shaun King, who was starting in place of the injured Brad Johnson, threw a pick-six to Chad Scott, who returned the INT 30 yards to give Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead. After going 9-of-23 for 73 yards, King was yanked in favor of Rob Johnson, who hit Keyshawn Johnson for an 18-yard touchdown to cut into Pittsburgh’s 17-0 lead.
September 8, 2003 – Lincoln Financial Field
Tampa Bay 17, Philadelphia 0
In the first ever game played at Lincoln Financial Field, the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers destroyed the Eagles in embarrassing fashion, holding Philadelphia to 245 yards and just 18 percent on third downs (2-of-11). It was the first home shutout loss by Philadelphia since 1998. Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius had two dramatic touchdown catches from Brad Johnson, who was 13-of-14 in the second half. Defensive tackle Warren Sapp lined up at tight end and caught his first pass, a 14-yard reception in the fourth quarter, while defensive end Simeon Rice posted two sacks against Donovan McNabb.
October 6, 2003 – Raymond James Stadium
Indianapolis 38, Tampa Bay 35
In one of the most nightmarish games in Buccaneers history, Tampa Bay’s defense allowed Peyton Manning to drive the Colts to three touchdowns in the final five minutes of regulation to lead a dramatic, 38-35 overtime win against the Bucs in former head coach Tony Dungy’s return to Tampa. After building a 35-14 lead with 5:09 left after Ronde Barber’s touchdown on a 29-yard interception return, Brad Pyatt returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to set up a touchdown run by James Mungro on fourth-and-1 to lead Indianapolis to lead a furious 21-point rally to tie the game. Marvin Harrison had a game-high 11 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns over cornerback Tim Wansley, who replaced the injured Brian Kelly in the first quarter. Mike Vanderjagt missed a 40-yard field goal in overtime, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Simeon Rice, who jumped on a teammates back trying to block the kick, gave the Colts another try from 15 yards closer. Vanderjagt’s 29-yard field goal hit the upright, but bounced in for the victory over Tampa Bay, spoiling a big night from Keenan McCardell, who had a 74-yard touchdown catch and also scored on a 57-yard fumble recovery.
November 24, 2003
Tampa Bay 19, New York Giants 13
Charles Lee, who replaced the suspended Keyshawn Johnson in the starting lineup, had a 53-yard touchdown late in the first half, and finished the game with five catches for 91 yards. Lee’s touchdown, coupled with a 1-yard run by running back Thomas Jones, gave the Bucs a 14-3 lead at halftime. Simeon Rice had a sack-fumble of Kerry Collins on the last play of the first half. The Giants’ only touchdown came when cornerback Frank Walker had a pick-six against Brad Johnson. But it was Tampa Bay’s defense that had the best showing, with several hard hits by free safety Dwight Smith, two sacks from defensive tackle Warren Sapp and an interception from strong safety John Lynch.
October 18, 2004 – Transworld America Dome
St. Louis 28, Tampa Bay 21
The Bucs out-gained the Rams’ fourth-ranked offense, but couldn’t overcome two touchdown receptions by Torry Holt. In his first start for the Bucs, Brian Griese was 27-of-40 for 286 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Griese hit Michael Clayton with one touchdown pass and helped the receiver post eight catches for 142 yards. Defensive end Greg Spires had two sacks of the team’s four sacks of Marc Bulger. The Bucs built a 14-7 lead thanks to a 1-yard TD plunge by Mike Alstott and a 5-yard reception from Michael Pittman, but a Marshall Faulk touchdown and a 93-yard fumble return of a Pittman fumble by safety Adam Archuleta pushed the Rams in front, 21-14. But after a TD catch by tight end Will Heller, Bulger’s 36-yard scoring pass to Holt was the difference. Tim Brown fumbled on the Bucs’ final drive as Tampa Bay came up short.
November 13, 2006 – Bank of America Stadium
Carolina 24, Tampa Bay 10
The Bucs took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but had four turnovers that led to a 14-point deficit in the second half. Wide receiver Steve Smith had eight catches for 149 yards and one touchdown for the Panthers. Defensive end Julius Peppers had three sacks for Carolina’s defense, which also picked off Bruce Gradkowski twice. The Bucs offense couldn’t do much against the Panthers defense, which held Tampa Bay to 69 yards rushing and 173 yards passing.
December 8, 2008 – Bank of America Stadium
Carolina 38, Tampa Bay 23
The beginning of the end of the Jon Gruden era began on Monday Night Football in Carolina as the Panthers’ ground game ran roughshod over Monte Kiffin’s defense to the tune of 301 yards rushing between DeAngelo Williams (186 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries) and Jonathan Stewart (115 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries). Kiffin had announced that he was leaving Tampa Bay to go to the University of Tennessee and the defense clearly did not respond favorably to the news. Quarterback Jeff Garcia threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, but was sacked five times by Carolina’s defense. Trailing 10-3 at halftime, Tampa Bay tied the score at 10-10 in the third quarter and later at 17-17 before the Panthers outscored the Bucs 21-6 in the fourth quarter for the win. Wide receiver Antonio Bryant had nine catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the losing effort for the Buccaneers.
October 3, 2011 – Raymond James Stadium Tampa Bay 24, Indianpolis 17
The Buccaneers hosted the winless Colts at Raymond James and the victory was part a 4-2 start before the wheels fell of the team bus and eventually led to the firing of Raheem Morris. The Colts started Curtis Painter at quarterback and the Colts’ second string signal caller was harassed into mistakes by the Tampa Bay defense, including a sack and fumble in the first quarter but the Bucs weren’t able to capitalize on the mistake. The Colts actually took a 10-0 lead on Tampa Bay, and the game was tied in the fourth quarter before LeGarette Blount raced 35 yards for the winning score. Blount finished with 127 yards, and Bucs QB Josh Freeman added 287 through the air to help the Bucs get the win.
November 11, 2013 – Raymond James Stadium Tampa Bay 22, Dolphins 19
The Buccaneers hosted the Dolphins in this Monday night matchup 0-8 on the season in head coach Greg Schiano’s second – and final season – with Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers defense played well and set a franchise record, allowing just two rushing yards to the Dolphins. Bucs linebacker Lavonte David had a safety in the first half and cornerback Darrelle Revis sealed the game with an interception of Ryan Tannehill. The win over Miami was just one of four for the season for Tampa Bay.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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