Final

Buccaneers 10

(5-2, 3-1 away)

Eagles 20

(4-2, 3-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, October 20, 2002

 

1 2 3 4 T
TB 7 0 3 010
PHI 3 7 3 720

McNabb does enough to thwart Bucs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Tampa Bay's outstanding defense again couldn't overcome its inept offense.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Bucs: How can they improve their defense over the next couple of months?
The Bucs are OK on defense. When you face a dominant offensive player (like today) you'll have some lapses. But the Bucs need lots of work on offense. If Tampa Bay and Gruden are going to go anywhere, they need to fix the offense.

Question on the Eagles: Are they overlooked in terms of elite defenses?
I don't think so. They lost some players, but they still have one of the best defenses in the league. Sometimes people focus on the scheme and see it as being more important then the personnel. The Eagles have an effective scheme but not many individual players who overwhelm you (although safety Brian Dawkins is a phenomenal player).

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Donovan McNabb passed for one touchdown and ran for another to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a 20-10 victory over the Buccaneers on Sunday.

It was Philadelphia's fourth straight victory over Tampa Bay, and it snapped the Bucs' five-game winning streak.

"It was an ineffective offense, to say the least today,'' Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "They are really good on defense, but we have to do a lot better to ever beat the Eagles. We have to make some plays on offense.''

The Eagles (4-2) knocked Tampa (5-2) out of the NFC playoffs the last two years. Philadelphia's 31-9 victory in a wild-card game nine months ago cost coach Tony Dungy his job with the Bucs.

But even with Gruden, their new offense-oriented coach, the Bucs still couldn't score an offensive touchdown at Veterans Stadium. Tampa, which got just four field goals in those two playoff losses, scored its only touchdown on an 11-yard fumble return by Derrick Brooks.

Brooks, a five-time Pro Bowler, also has returned three interceptions for TDs this year, and the Bucs have five defensive TDs.

But Tampa's top-ranked defense, which hadn't allowed a touchdown in three games and had given up just 30 points over the last five games, was outplayed by the Eagles' defense, which came in ranked third in the league.

"Statistically, their defense was No. 1. I firmly believe ours is No. 1,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

McNabb, off to the best start of his career, didn't put up dazzling numbers. He completed only 12 of 25 passes for 127 yards with one interception, and he ran for a career-low 4 yards on six carries. McNabb connected with Todd Pinkston on a 42-yard TD pass in the second quarter that put Philly ahead 10-7, and McNabb added a 1-yard TD run in the fourth.

Duce Staley ran for 152 yards, including a 57-yard run late in the fourth quarter that iced it. It was the first 100-yard game for Staley since week 9 last season, and the first time all season the Eagles had run the ball more than they threw it.

"We knew running the ball would wear them down. We just had to be patient,'' Staley said.

Philadelphia's defense allowed just 207 total yards and had six sacks. Quarterback Brad Johnson was lifted in the fourth quarter after ribs he injured earlier became to painful for him to play. He was replaced by Rob Johnson.

Brad Johnson was 19-of-31 for 124 yards and one interception. His last pass was intercepted by Al Harris, giving the Eagles the ball at the Bucs 42. Ten plays later, McNabb faked a handoff and outran three defenders into the corner of the end zone to give the Eagles a 20-10 lead.

Rob Johnson drove Tampa to Philadelphia's 6 on the ensuing possession, but Martin Gramatica missed a 29-yard field goal that would've cut the deficit to seven with just under four minutes left.

"It's pretty deflating,'' Rob Johnson said. "You go down there and don't even get three out of it.''

Trailing 7-3 in the second quarter, the Eagles got the ball at Tampa's 45 after Brian Mitchell returned a punt 29 yards. Two plays later, McNabb hit Pinkston in stride in the end zone for a 10-7 lead.

Just before the Eagles scored, Bucs All-Pro defensive tackle Warren Sapp left the game after being shaken up. Sapp got his first sack on McNabb since the quarterback's NFL debut in 1999, but Sapp again wasn't a factor. The Bucs got to McNabb just twice.

"He didn't kill us today, but he found his man when he had to find him,'' Sapp said.

Both teams got big plays from their defense early. A fumble recovery by Barry Gardner on Tampa's second play led to a field goal that gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Bobby Taylor forced the fumble with a hit on Mike Alstott.

Tampa then took a 7-3 lead when Brooks recovered a fumble by McNabb and ran it 12 yards for his fourth touchdown of the season. Simeon Rice, McNabb's high school teammate in Chicago, forced the fumble with a sack.

Game notes


The Eagles are 11-0 after a loss since losing back-to-back games in Week 2 and 3 of the 2000 season. They are 10-3 after a bye since 1989. ... Gramatica has missed 5 of 14 field goals longer than 30 yards. ... Alstott had 14 yards rushing, a week after getting 126 against the Browns. ... McNabb has thrown just two interceptions in his last 197 attempts.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTBPHI
tbTD5:58Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 16 yds, 0:00
63
tb5:58
Drive info: 1 plays, 16 yds, 0:00
73
SECOND QUARTERTBPHI
phiTD2:57Touchdown
Drive info: 2 plays, 45 yds, 0:13
79
phi2:57
Drive info: 2 plays, 45 yds, 0:13
710
FIRST QUARTERTBPHI
phiFG10:32David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 0:37
03
THIRD QUARTERTBPHI
tbFG2:43Martin Gramatica 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 50 yds, 3:39
1013
phiFG7:00David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 35 yds, 4:06
713
FOURTH QUARTERTBPHI
phiTD8:27Donovan McNabb, 1 yd run
Drive info: 10 plays, 42 yds, 5:28
1019
phi8:27
Drive info: 10 plays, 42 yds, 5:28
1020