BUCS INACTIVE PLAYERS: The following Buccaneers were inactive for Saturday’s game against Atlanta: QB Tim Rattay, RB Derek Watson, CB Blue Adams, LB Marquis Cooper, T Chris Colmer, DT Anthony Bryant, C Scott Jackson, TE Will Heller.
900th TOUCHDOWN IN FRANCHISE HISTORY: Tampa Bay fullback Jameel Cook was on the receiving end of a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chris Simms, the third touchdown of Cook’s career, late in the first quarter to Tampa Bay 900 touchdowns in franchise history. Mike Alstott added touchdown number 901 early in the second quarter after catching a 13-yard strike from Simms following quarterback Michael Vick’s fumble.
ALSTOTT ADDS TO HIS OWN RECORD: Bucs fullback Mike Alstott added to his own personal record by recording his 68th career touchdown in the second quarter. Alstott has scored more total touchdowns than any other Buccaneer in team history. Alstott accounts for three quarters of a percent of touchdowns in Tampa Bay history.
SIMMS’ STREAK COMES TO AN END: Quarterback Chris Simms had attempted 122 straight passes without an interception until Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking picked off Simms midway through the second quarter. Simms would throw another interception near the end of the second quarter when Atlanta Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall picked him off.
GALLOWAY SETS PERSONAL RECORD: With wide receiver Joey Galloway’s eight receptions, Galloway set his own record for receptions giving him 80 catches on the season. Galloway caught eight passes for 97 yards against the Falcons Saturday. His previous season high in receptions was in 1997 when he caught 72 passes.
BARBER CONTINUES HIS PRO-BOWL SEASON: Cornerback Ronde Barber picked up his fifth tackle in the second quarter giving him exactly 100 tackles on the season. Barber has had 100 or more tackles for three consecutive seasons. Barber finished the game with a team-leading 13 tackles.
WILLIAMS GETS TO 1,000: Rookie running back Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with a 4-yard run in the third quarter. Williams is the first rookie running back to run for more than 1,000 yards since Errict Rhett rushed for 1,011 yards during his rookie season in 1994. Williams’ 1,097 yards is a rookie record for the Buccaneers. Williams finished the game with 150 yards on 31 carries. He also set the record for most 100-yard outings in a season with six. The Buccaneers are 6-0 when Williams rushes for more than 100 yards in a game.
BRYANT KICKS THE LONG BALL: Kicker Matt Bryant nailed a 50-yard field goal with 9:00 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to knot the game at 17-17. The 50-yard field goal is a career long for Bryant. His previous career high was a 47-yard field goal. Bryant kicked the game winning field goal against Atlanta on November 20th. Bryant would later add the game-winning 41-yard field goal in overtime with 15 seconds remaining.
TAMPA LOSES TURNOVER BATTLE: The Buccaneers finished the game minus-2 in the turnover battle, but managed to pull out the victory thanks to key moments in special teams, including a blocked field goal by defensive end Dewayne White in overtime and a long, 28-yard punt return by Mark Jones to set up the game-winning field goal.
BUC SHOTS: Quarterback Chris Simms completed 29-of-42 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Simms also threw two interceptions in the contest. … As a team, the Buccaneers ran for 174 yards on the ground on 37 carries for a 4.7 yard average. … Wide receiver Michael Clayton left the game in the second quarter with a turf toe injury and did not return. … Offensive tackle Kenyatta Walker left the game with a high ankle sprain, but returned to the game and split time with Todd Steussie. … The Buccaneers defense sacked quarterback Michael Vick four times. Simeon Rice had two, while Derrick Brooks and Dexter Jackson each had one.
DETHRONING THE CHAMPIONS: The following season after winning the NFC South title hasn’t been kind to the champions. For the third straight year, the reigning NFC South champs have failed to qualify for the playoffs. In 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished 7-9 and missed the postseason. In 2004, the Carolina Panthers did not qualify for the playoffs due to an 8-8 record. In 2005, the Atlanta Falcons, who were the defending NFC South champions, will not make it to the playoffs as they were officially eliminated by the Buccaneers due to their 27-24 overtime loss on Saturday.
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