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Buccaneers best and worst: Game 9


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000

BEST -- TAMPA BAY 26, CHICAGO 23 (OT), JAN. 2, 1983: The 1982 season was one of "barely," and the last game before the playoffs was the topper. The season itself was in jeopardy thanks to a two-month labor dispute. The Bucs finished 5-4 to squeak into the Super Bowl Tournament, an expanded playoffs. They won those games by a total of 15 points, none by more than six. And against the Bears, they rallied from a 23-6 deficit in the final 22 minutes. Doug Williams left with a severe hamstring injury, then came back to throw 35- and 31-yard touchdowns to Jimmie Giles. Williams threw for 235 of his 367 yards in the second half. Bill Capece made four of five field goals, including a 40-yarder with 26 seconds left to force overtime and a 33-yarder 3:14 in to win it. The winner came on second down because coach John McKay was not going to take any chances: "It is written, he who wasteth a field goal opportunity loseth the game."

WORST -- SAN FRANCISCO 45, TAMPA BAY 21, NOV. 14, 1993: Late in the second half, Jerry Rice took a crushing hit from Ricky Reynolds, one that jarred the ball loose, prevented a touchdown and left the receiving legend dazed. It was almost the only time anyone in white and orange touched him all day. Rice finished with eight receptions for 172 yards and four touchdowns. "I barely remember catching that pass, hearing the crowd go "Oooh!' and then kind of going goofy," Rice said. "That's probably the biggest hit I've ever taken." Rice made up for it by dealing the biggest blow Tampa Bay has taken. No one has caught more TDs or finished with more yards receiving against the Bucs. Rubbing salt in the wound was the performance of Steve Young, traded away by the Bucs after the 1986 season. He finished 23 of 29 for 311 yards and led the 'Niners to seven scores on their first eight possessions in his first game back in Tampa.

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