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Best and worst: Week 2


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 10, 2000

BEST -- TAMPA BAY 10, LOS ANGELES 9, SEPT. 11, 1980: The Thursday night contest, Tampa Bay's first on ABC, was a rematch of the 1979 NFC title game. Tampa Bay seemed headed for failure in its bid to avenge the 9-0 loss, but rookie receiver Kevin House drew a 41-yard pass interference penalty on Ivory Sully with 1:21 left. Doug Williams, who had been doubtful with a sore throat, fever and headache, was forced from the pocket on the next play. He stiff-armed defensive end Jack Youngblood, then absorbed and dealt blows on a thrilling 10-yard run. His sneak with 57 seconds left tied the score and Garo Yepremian's extra point won it as the team moved to 2-0. Williams completed only 10 of 23 for 97 yards and threw an interception, but his work on the ground turned the game. Fittingly for the '80 Bucs, though, this game had plenty of pain. Defensive tackle Randy Crowder dislocated his knee and never played again. He was replaced by second-year player David Logan, who finished his career with 103 starts.

WORST -- SAN DIEGO 23, TAMPA BAY 0, SEPT. 19, 1976: It's hard to expect too much of an expansion team, but the offense was so bad in Tampa Bay's first regular-season home game that the crowd of 39,558 (there were 6,362 no-shows) booed heartily. Steve Spurrier finished 3-for-10 for 13 yards and was the team's best passer that day. Larry Lawrence followed and went 0-for-5 with two interceptions. Parnell Dickinson followed him and went 0-for-3 with an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Dickinson's 46-yard run, though, accounted for more than a third of Tampa Bay's 125 yards. The Bucs had five first downs and their best chances to score in the intradivision game -- they played their debut season in the AFC West -- were on field goals. Unfortunately, Mirro Roder missed from 35 and 46 yards in a game where play-calling was questioned. "I'd better not say anything," Spurrier said. "Talk to me next week."

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