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Buccaneers 17 Eagles 0
September 8, 2003

sapp-phil2003The defending Super Bowl-champion Buccaneers opened the defense of their title with a shutout victory in Philadelphia against the team they had defeated the previous January in the NFC Championship Game.

That game was the final one played in Veterans Stadium and this was the first played at the new Lincoln Financial Field. But in front of a Monday Night Football audience and a raucous home crowd that included Philly-legend Rocky Balboa (OK Sylvester Stallone), the Buc defense kept the Eagles quiet the entire game.

The two Tampa Bay touchdowns both came from WR Joe Jurevicius, the hero of the previous game. His second score, a 7-yarder with 8:28 left in the game, was a magnificent effort in which he deflected a Brad Johnson pass away from the defender and then made a diving catch of the rebound in the right corner of the endzone.

And making his first NFL reception on a tackle-eligible tight end play, was none other than DT Warren Sapp, a play that was reputedly planned to have been called in the third quarter of the Super Bowl win over Oakland.

Rushing: Pittman 8-35, Jones 10-30, Alstott 12-23, Stecker 1-2.

Passing: B.Johnson 36-27-238-1-2.

Receiving: K.Johnson 6-83, Alstott 5-36, Jurevicius 4-39, Pittman 4-6, McCardell 3-41, Jones 2-10, Sapp 1-14,

Barnes 1-6, Dilger 1-3.

To get more details including the game book, click here.

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  1. I remember the game well as the Bucs were snubbed by the NFL having to play the opening game on the road when other Superbowl champions host the first game. Of course, the Bucs are also the only Superbowl champion to not visit the White House. At the end of the game John Madden commented that the Bucs were here (raising his hand) and the rest of the league down here. It sure seemed like it until the last four minutes of that Colts game when the swagger left our beloved team.

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