4:15 PM ET, October 3, 2004
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- John Lynch mingled and posed for pictures with old friends, then savored one more round of applause before heading for the visiting locker room teary-eyed and deeply satisfied.The Denver safety's emotional return to Tampa Bay was a success Sunday, with the Broncos beating the winless Buccaneers 16-13 despite a potentially game-turning gentlemanly mistake by the five-time Pro Bowl selection with a reputation for delivering bone-jarring hits.
Broncos-Bucs: Is going back to Simms (or starting Brian Griese) the answer?
Over the long haul this team's improvement will rely on the improvement at not just quarterback, but also receiver and running back. Right now Tampa Bay is lacking the playmakers needed to get the job done and it's hurting any QB that's in the game. The Bucs look lethargic and haven't found their way. To be honest I'm not sure these guys can handle Jon Gruden's system.
But regardless as to whether they can handle it, I believe one of them will be given the chance. Gruden seems to want to go in a different direction at QB and will experiment to see which way they go. I wouldn't be surprised if he went with Chris Simms because of his youth.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.
Denver's Quentin Griffin rushed for 66 yards on 21 carries after being held to 7 yards on 12 attempts by San Diego the previous week. ... Tampa Bay's Tim Brown had one catch for 3 yards, extending the NFL's longest streak with a reception to 176 games.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||3.8||5.5|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||11:59||PATRICK HAPE 5 YD PASS FROM JAKE PLUMMER (JASON ELAM KICK) |
Drive: 7 plays, 43 yds, 3:40
|FG||1:46||JASON ELAM 49 YD |
Drive: 7 plays, 31 yds, 2:09
|TD||4:10||MICHAEL CLAYTON 51 YD PASS FROM BRAD JOHNSON (MARTIN GRAMATICA KICK) |
Drive: 4 plays, 75 yds, 2:24
|FG||9:28||JASON ELAM 50 YD |
Drive: 9 plays, 39 yds, 5:18
|FG||15:00||MARTIN GRAMATICA 28 YD |
Drive: 14 plays, 62 yds, 5:32
|FG||6:45||MARTIN GRAMATICA 30 YD |
Drive: 9 plays, 51 yds, 5:11
|FG||5:57||JASON ELAM 23 YD |
Drive: 14 plays, 84 yds, 6:32