2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season
|2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season|
|Head coach||Tony Dungy|
|Home field||Raymond James Stadium|
|Division place||2nd NFC Central|
|Playoff finish||Lost NFC Wild Card Playoff|
|Team MVP||LB Derrick Brooks|
The 2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season began with the team trying to improve on a 11-5 season from 1999. Shaun King, who took over the quarterback position as a rookie midway through the 1999 season, became the full-time starter for 2000. In April, the Buccaneers acquired wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson via a trade from the Jets. It was a highly-publicized transaction, which made Johnson the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, and increased expectations for the club.
In the final week of the regular season, the Buccaneers faced Green Bay, with the NFC Central title on the line. With a victory at Lambeau Field, the Buccaneers were poised to win the division, and secure a first round bye for the playoffs. After a rally to tie the game in the fourth quarter, kicker Martin Gramatica missed a game-winning field attempt at the end of regulation. The Buccaneers lost the game in overtime, and failed to win the division. The dejected club fell to the #5 seed, and was routed by Philadelphia in the wild card round.
|2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff|
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
|1||September 3, 2000||at New England Patriots||W 21-16||
|2||September 10, 2000||Chicago Bears||W 41-0||
|3||September 17, 2000||at Detroit Lions||W 31-10||
|4||September 24, 2000||New York Jets||L 21-17||
|5||October 1, 2000||at Washington Redskins||L 20-17 (OT)||
|6||October 9, 2000||at Minnesota Vikings||L 30-23||
|8||October 19, 2000||Detroit Lions||L 28-14||
|9||October 29, 2000||Minnesota Vikings||W 41-13||
|10||November 5, 2000||at Atlanta Falcons||W 27-14||
|11||November 12, 2000||Green Bay Packers||W 20-15||
|12||November 19, 2000||at Chicago Bears||L 13-10||
|13||November 26, 2000||Buffalo Bills||W 31-17||
|14||December 3, 2000||Dallas Cowboys||W 27-7||
|15||December 10, 2000||at Miami Dolphins||W 16-13||
|16||December 18, 2000||St. Louis Rams||W 38-35||
|17||December 24, 2000||at Green Bay Packers||L 17-14 (OT)||
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||6||0||.625||388||269|
|Green Bay Packers||9||7||0||.563||353||323|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster|
Rookies in italics
Week 1 at New England Patriots
With time running out before halftime, Shaun King drove the Buccaneers to the New England 8 yard line. Faking a spike play (the Dan Marino "Clock Play"), King lofted a pass to Reidel Anthony scoring a surprise 8-yard touchdown pass. The Tampa Bay defense sacked Drew Bledsoe six times, and recovered a fumble to hold a 21-16 lead late in the game. With 14 seconds remaining, at their own 22 yard line, the defense forced four straight incompletions, and held on for the victory.
Week 2 Chicago Bears
Tampa Bay crushed the visiting Bears 41-0, setting a franchise record for a shutout. After a scoreless first quarter, the Buccaneers scored 20 points in the second quarter. Shaun King finished the day with two touchdown passes and one touchdown run. The Buccaneers won their home opener, and started the season 2-0.
Week 3 at Detroit Lions
Shaun King passed for 211 yards, one touchdown pass, and had a 6-yard touchdown run, as Tampa Bay beat Detroit at the Silverdome. The Buccaneers defense held the Lions to only 17 yards rushing, and made two interceptions.
Week 4 New York Jets
Tampa Bay entered week four undefeated at 3-0. Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson had been traded to the Buccaneers over the offseason, and for the first time, would meet his former club, the New York Jets. Johnson was vocal in the days leading up to the game, publicly ripping former teammate Wayne Chrebet by contrasting himself as "a star while (Chrebet) is a flashlight."
In the rain, quarterback Shaun King struggled, but led the Buccaneers to a 10-6 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Ronde Barber returned an interception 37 yards to extend the lead to 17-6. With two minutes to go, Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde scored a 6-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Martin. Martin followed with a two-point conversion run to narrow the score to 17-14. On the ensuing drive, Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott lost a fumble, and it was recovered by the Jets. With 52 seconds remaining, Curtis Martin executed a halfback option pass to Wayne Chrebet, to score an improbable game-winning touchdown, and a 21-17 final score.
After considerable media attention going into the game, Keyshawn Johnson was held to one catch for 1 yard. In light of the attention that was placed on the matchup, and the embarrassing last-minute loss, the game eventually became known as the "Keyshawn Bowl."
Week 5 at Washington Redskins
With just under 4 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Washington went up by a score of 17-7. With 3:36 to go, Shaun King faced 3rd & 10 at the Washington 46. King was stripped of the ball, and fumbled. He recovered the ball, picked it up, and threw an improbable 46-yard touchdown pass to Reidel Anthony. With 43 seconds remaining, the Buccaneers blocked a field goal by the Redskins, and recovered the ball at the 25. Martin Gramatica kicked a game-tying 42-yard field goal as time expired in regulation, and sent the game to overtime. In the overtime period, Deion Sanders returned a Tampa Bay punt 57 yards, setting the Redskins up for a game winning 20-yard field goal.
Week 6 at Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay fell to their division rival Minnesota on Monday Night Football. With 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers blocked a field goal attempt. Donnie Abraham returned the ball 53-yards for a touchdown, and a 23-20 lead.
Trailing 27-23 with just under 9 minutes left, Shaun King drove the Buccaneers to the Minnesota 47 yard line. On 4th down & 1, a trick play saw Mike Alstott loft a pass to Todd Yoder, but it fell incomplete. Tampa Bay lost by a score of 30-23, and dropped their third straight game, falling to 3-3.
Week 8 Detroit Lions
Tampa Bay hosted Detroit on a Thursday night game. A 9-0 lead was fizzled away as Lions running back James Stewart rushed for 116 yards, three touchdowns, and a two-point conversion. Shaun King threw three interceptions in the second half, and Tampa Bay fell to 3-4.
Week 9 Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay snapped a four-game losing streak by beating their division rivals the Minnesota Vikings in their second meeting of the season. Shaun King threw for 267 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Derrick Brooks added a 34-yard interception return. With the victory, Tampa Bay stopped the Vikings then-undefeated season for the second time in three years.
Week 10 at Atlanta Falcons
Keyshawn Johnson scored two touchdown catches as Tampa Bay beat Atlanta at the Georgia Dome. The Buccaneers held a 27-7 lead until a "garbage time" touchdown with 3 seconds to go trimmed the margin slightly.
Week 11 Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay pulled out to a 14-3 halftime lead against Green Bay. In the third quarter, Warren Sapp sacked Brett Favre, and knocked him out of the game with a sprained foot. Martin Gramatica saved the game for the Buccaneers, connecting on two long field goals (54, 51 yards) in the fourth quarter.
Week 12 at Chicago Bears
Week 13 Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay gained less than 200 yards of offense, but so-called "Buc Ball" still prevailed over the visiting Bills. Warrick Dunn scored two rushing touchdowns, and Karl "The Truth" Williams scored a 73-yard punt return touchdown.
Week 14 Dallas Cowboys
Tampa Bay scored 17 points in the first quarter, and dominated the visiting Cowboys. Running back Warrick Dunn finished with two touchdowns and 210 rushing yards, just 9 short of the team single-game record. Dunn's 76-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was a franchise record at the time.
Week 15 at Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay traveled to take on their in-state rivals, the Miami Dolphins. Steady rain made for sloppy conditions, but the Buccaneer defense dominated the game. Tampa Bay intercepted Jay Fiedler four times, and forced a fumble midway through the fourth quarter. With just over 8 minutes remaining, Martin Gramatica made a 46-yard field goal in the pouring rain, and the Buccaneers held on to win.
Week 16 St. Louis Rams
With 5:18 to go, Kurt Warner connected with a 72-yard touchdown pass to Torry Holt to take a 35-31 lead. Tampa Bay, with no timeouts remaining, started their next drive at their own 20 yard line, with a playoff berth on the line for both teams. Quarterback Shaun King led the team on a remarkable 80-yard drive to win 38-35. The drive included a swing pass play from King to Warrick Dunn, which lost 14 yards, but Dunn pitched the ball backwards back to King, who scrambled 29 yards for a first down.
The win secured, at minimum, a wild card playoff spot for Tampa Bay, and is regarded as one of the greatest regular season games in Buccaneer history.
Week 17 at Green Bay
On Christmas Eve, Tampa Bay traveled to Lambeau Field to meet the division rival Green Bay Packers. A Tampa Bay win, coupled with a loss by Minnesota would clinch the NFC Central title for the Buccaneers, as well as a first-round bye in the playoffs. In addition, a win by the Buccaneers would break an 11-game losing streak at Green Bay dating back to 1989, and an 0-18 record in games under 40°.
On a frigid, windy, snowy, 18° day, Green Bay took a 14-0 lead into halftime, while Tampa Bay's offense sputtered. Shaun King narrowed the Buccaneers to a 14-3 deficit to start the fourth quarter, but it was the Buccaneer defense which kept the team in the game. King finally got the offense going, and drove 74 yards for Tampa Bay's first touchdown. A two-point conversion try appeared to be a busted play salvaged with some trickery. King handed off to Warrick Dunn, who handed off to Mike Alstott, but pitched the ball back to King, who crossed the endzone, and made the score 14-11 with just over nine minutes remaining.
On Green Bay's next drive, John Lynch intercepted Brett Favre, and returned the ball to the Packers' 35 yard line. After going 3-and-out, coach Tony Dungy took a timeout to decide whether to go for it on 4th & 1. After consideration, Martin Gramatica was brought in for a field goal try, and the score was tied 14-14 with just under 8 minutes remaining.
Late in the fourth quarter, Favre drove the Packers into Tampa Bay territory, looking to win the game. With 1:54 to go in regulation, Favre was intercepted by Jamie Duncan at the 28, and Duncan returned the ball 15 yards to the 43. In just over a minute and a half, King drove the Buccaneers to the Green Bay 22 yard line. With 13 seconds to go, Gramatica attempted a potential game-winning 40-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide right. The game went into overtime, and the Packers kicker Ryan Longwell won the game for Green Bay.
The loss was devastating for Tampa Bay, especially when Minnesota lost later that afternoon. After forcing four turnovers, and battling back from a 14-point deficit, Tampa Bay's postseason outlook changed dramatically. Instead of winning their division and securing a first-round bye (and a legitimate shot at a "home game" for Super Bowl XXXV held at their very own Raymond James Stadium), the Buccaneers instead saw themselves fall to a wild card, having to play on the road at the Eagles. The loss also meant Tampa Bay fell to 0-19 in games under 40°, and their losing streak at Green Bay extended to 11 games. Afterwards, Gramatica took blame for the loss saying "It hurts because I let the guys down."
NFC Wild Card: at Philadelphia Eagles
- Game time: 4:00 p.m. EST
- Game weather: 35 °F (Cloudy)
- TV announcers (FOX): Pat Summerall and John Madden
- Referee: Mike Carey
- Game Attendance: 65,813
The Eagles defense held Tampa Bay to only 199 total yards and 11 first downs. The Buccaneers scored first early in the second quarter with Martin Gramatica's 29-yard field goal. But late in the period, the Eagles' Hugh Douglas forced Tampa Bay quarterback Shaun King to fumble, and Mike Mamula recovered the loose ball at the Buccaneers 15-yard line. The turnover set up Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb's 5-yard touchdown run. Tampa Bay then punted on their next possession and the Eagles marched 69 yards on 8 plays to take a 14-3 on Na Brown's 5-yard touchdown reception with 12 seconds left in the half. Philadelphia then shut out the Buccaneers in the second half, while McNabb threw a 2-yard pass to Jeff Thomason with less than a minute left in the game to seal the victory. The Eagle's victory meant for the 35th consecutive year that the team hosting the Super Bowl would not be playing in it.
- TB - FG Gramatica 29 TB 3-0
- PHI - McNabb 5 run (Akers kick) PHI 7-3
- PHI - Brown 5 pass from McNabb (Akers kick) PHI 14-3
- PHI - Thomason 2 pass from McNabb (Akers kick) PHI 21-3
Awards and records
- Led NFC, Takeaways/Giveaways (+17) 
- Ronde Barber, NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Week 2 
- Derrick Brooks, NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Week 1 
- Warrick Dunn, NFC Offensive Player of the Week, Week 14
- Martin Gramatica, NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, Week 15
- Shaun King, NFC Offensive Player of the Week, Week 9
- Warren Sapp, NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Week 3 
- Warren Sapp, All-NFL Team (selected by Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly)
- Karl Williams, NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, Week 13
Pro Bowl selections
- Donnie Abraham, Defensive Back, Reserve 
- Mike Alstott, Running Back, Starter 
- Derrick Brooks, Outside Linebacker, Starter 
- Jeff Christy, Center, Starter 
- Warrick Dunn, Running Back, Reserve 
- Martin Gramatica, Kicker, Reserve 
- John Lynch, Strong Safety, Starter 
- Randall McDaniel, Guard, Starter 
- Warren Sapp, Defensive Tackle, Starter 
- Battista, Judy (2000-04-13). "Johnson Gets His Raise and a New Team". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Guide. pp. 44–46. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 215
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 202
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 362