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Quick hits

By RICK STROUD

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


Vikings lead the series 30-15. Bucs lost a fourth quarter lead as Minnesota rallied for a 30-23 victory on Monday Night Football Oct. 9.

* * *

Tampa Bay's defense has a league-leading 35 sacks while quarterback Shaun King has been sacked 11 times. The plus-24 sack ratio is also the best in the NFL.

* * *

Of the first six quarterbacks taken in the 1999 draft, only two won their first two NFL starts -- the Bucs Shaun King and the Vikings Daunte Culpepper.

* * *

The Bucs longest losing streak under Dungy -- five games to start the 1996 season -- came to an end with a 24-13 win over Minnesota.

* * *

The Bucs have been outscored 47-20 in the fourth quarter of their last four games.

Matchups

Bucs WR Jacquez Green vs. Vikings CB Robert Tate

Most of Green's success in the first game came at the expense of Tate, who gave him a lot of cushion and considers the former Florida receiver more dangerous than Keyshawn Johnson.

* * *

Vikings WR Randy Moss vs. Bucs CB Donnie Abraham

Moss always seems to get the Bucs at the Metrodome, but it could be a different story on the natural grass of Raymond James Stadium. It was Moss' fourth quarter TD catch over Abraham that beat the Bucs on MNF.

* * *

Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnson vs. Vikings CB Chris Dishman

Johnson committed a fumble on the first play from scrimmage when Tate stripped him of the ball. He needs to show up big in these games and he will be covered by the veteran Dishman about half the time

* * *

Vikings RB Robert Smith vs. Bucs LB Derrick Brooks

Minnesota leads the NFL in rushing and Smith is the reason why. Although he did go over 100 yards vs. the Bucs in the first meeting, he keeps the defense honest. Brooks needs a breakout game.

Bulletin board

"The Bucs are just playing bad right now. You have to figure they will right their ship sometime soon. Their defense is too good to continue performing the way they have been. Look for Warren Sapp to drag this team, kicking and screaming, into playoff contention." -- Mike Golic, ESPN analyst.

* * *

"(Randy) Moss is the best. Moss has great speed and jumping ability, he'll go across the middle. Keyshawn will go across the middle, but Moss just brings a different kind of flare to the game from what I've seen from Keyshawn." -- Vikings CB Robert Tate.

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