St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Bucs offense starving for more touchdowns

Frustration is building as Tampa Bay struggles to reach the end zone.

[Times photo: John Pendygraft]
The Lions' Tracy Scroggins chases Bucs quarterback Shaun King out of the pocket in the fourth quarter.

By ROGER MILLS

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 20, 2000


TAMPA -- It's really quite simple. You can't settle for field goals. Or safeties, for that matter.

photo
[Times photos: Name Here]
Bucs Keyshawn Johnson, left, and Shaun King look on from the sideline in the remaining minutes of the game.
If an NFL franchise is going to win most of its games and put itself in position to continue playing in January, touchdowns have to be the main course.

No more of these three-point appetizers. No more of these two-point desserts.

"I don't know if frustration is the word but I'm disappointed," offensive guard Frank Middleton said. "I'm very disappointed in our offense." "

After losing 28-14 to the Lions on Thursday night, the Bucs offense is still starving for the big play, still failing to put the ball in the end zone when it should, still incapable of converting on short yardage, still turning over the ball. "We've got to stop this," Middleton said. "This kicking three field goals, four field goals, has to stop. We have to score touchdowns." In a crucial NFC Central home game the Bucs desperately needed to win to keep within reach of unbeaten Minnesota, Tampa Bay's offense could muster only 258 yards and squandered scoring opportunities along the way.

The offensive diet began on the first possession. Tampa Bay managed a 12-play, 60-yard drive that soaked up more than six minutes and got the ball to the Lions 17. In fact, the Bucs had third and 1 from Detroit's 8, but running back Mike Alstott was stuffed behind the line of scrimmage and Tampa Bay had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Martin Gramatica.

It has to start with quarterback Shaun King, who completed 17 of 34 passes for 149 yards and threw three interceptions. Although there were moments when the Bucs moved the ball, it ended up being no more than a mirage.

King couldn't get his team over the hump. After the Lions tied the score in the second quarter and were forced to punt after the first possession of the second half, the Bucs offense had a chance to regain control.

But on third and 6, King threw a pass to Lions cornerback Bryant Westbrook. That interception led to a 47-yard Jason Hanson field goal that gave the Lions their first lead.

"The thing that's frustrating was that we beat ourselves," King said. "I'm not consistently making my throws. We didn't execute."

In all, the Bucs quarterback struggled mightily in the second half. He was 10-for-22 after the break and punctuated his forgetable night by throwing a second interception midway through the fourth quarter. The Lions turned that into a 4-yard touchdown for a 21-14 lead.

"Every one is accountable for their mistakes and we have to do better as a football team," receiver Keyshawn Johnson said. "So many bad things happened. He's trying to make plays out there for us. ... He's a young guy and only played 12 or 13 games as a professional. You can't start blaming Shaun King. Everyone out there is accountable."

Back to Sports

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Hubert Mizell

  • In their hour of need, Buccaneers fall flat
  • Gary Shelton

  • Bucs have forgotten they are running team
  • Bucs

  • Knocked silly
  • Bucs offense starving for more touchdowns
  • Defense can't salvage an inept offense
  • Almost really special
  • Turn out the lights
  • Fire and ice
  • Quick hits
  • Game balls
  • Bucs-Lions quotebook
  • Their own worst enemy
  • Baseball

  • Outside hype, you'll find Mets' best
  • Experts predict Subway Series will keep entire nation intrigued
  • Subway Series inspires the Web to offer coverage as big as N.Y.
  • Mets opt for Leiter in opener
  • Baseball briefs
  • Golf

  • U.S. blasts to 5-0 lead in Presidents Cup
  • Hulbert captures the first round
  • How to be on the road when you're at home
  • Locals Kraft and Heintz play to varied extremes
  • Lightning

  • With Devils on the horizon, Ludzik shuffles top 3 lines
  • College football

  • Iowa State trip smooth for Griffin
  • 'He is critical to this program'
  • College football around the state
  • College football around the nation
  • Preps

  • Players of the week
  • Tampa Bay top 10
  • The Pinellas top 10
  • Tampa Bay football
  • Short-handed Hudson pulverizes Ridgewood
  • Pinellas football
  • Big men on campus ... literally
  • The playoff chase
  • Familiar foes meet for title
  • Lions not taking Titans lightly
  • Crusaders' silence only fuels speculation
  • Et cetera

  • Ring renegades Tyson, Golota battle tonight
  • Tempest ready to stir in Tampa
  • Sports briefs
  • NFL briefs
  • NBA briefs


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts