Bucs' offense overpower Bills

Despite racking up penalties, Tampa Bay wins their first home game with little challege from the Buffalo offense.

Associated Press
Published September 18, 2005

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to ride Cadillac Williams as far as the rookie can carry them. So far, it's the team's first 2-0 start in five years.

Williams topped 100 yards rushing for the second straight week Sunday, returning from a foot sprain to finish a 128-yard, one touchdown performance that helped the Bucs dominate J.P. Losman and the Buffalo Bills 19-3.

Tampa Bay's defense scored the first points of the game on a safety and was every bit as tough on Losman as they've been on a list of young quarterbacks that includes Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper in recent years.

Losman completed 12 of 29 passes for 113 yards in his first NFL road start. The second-year quarterback didn't have any turnovers for the second week in a row, but never came close to getting Buffalo's offense in synch.

Willis McGahee was held to 34 yards rushing on 13 carries after gaining 117 in the Bills' 22-7 season-opening victory over Houston. Star receiver Eric Moulds had one catch for 8 yards as Tampa Bay's defense held the opposition without an offensive touchdown for the second game in a row.

The closest Buffalo (1-1) came to getting into the end zone was in the closing minutes, when Losman led a drive to the Tampa Bay 4. A penalty for an illegal forward pass knocked the Bills back to the 9, and the march stalled when Derrick Brooks batted down a pass intended for Moulds on fourth down.

Williams had runs of 31, 23 and 19 yards, the latter on his first carry after sitting two series with a sprained left foot. He finished that drive with a 3-yard TD run, then broke two tackles on the 31-yard burst that set up Matt Bryant's 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Mike Alstott scored on a 1-yard run for Tampa Bay, which won a home opener for the first time in four tries under coach Jon Gruden. Brian Griese completed 16 of 22 passes for 136 yards, including a 15-yarder to Michael Clayton that set up Alstott's score for a 9-0 lead.

Losman threw for 170 yards and a touchdown without any turnovers in Buffalo's win over Houston, however his inexperience showed against a defense that used as many as six defensive backs to frustrate him in obvious passing situations.

The Bucs set the tone by nearly intercepting Losman three times in the first quarter, then positioned themselves to snap a scoreless tie when Juran Bolden downed Josh Bidwell's punt at the Buffalo 1 early in the second quarter.

Losman was flushed out of the pocket on third-and-7, but couldn't get a pass away before stepping out of the back of the end zone with linebacker Shelton Quarles and safety Jermaine Phillips in close pursuit.

Buffalo finished with 145 yards, with much of it coming on its last drive.