Final

Chiefs 31

(3-5, 1-3 away)

Buccaneers 34

(3-5, 2-2 home)

1:00 PM ET, November 7, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
KC 7 17 7 031
TB 7 14 7 634

Pittman scores three TDs as Bucs outscore Chiefs

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- All week long, Jon Gruden kept telling his offense it could keep pace with the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs.

It turns out the Tampa Bay coach was right.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Chiefs at Buccaneers: Behind Griese and Pittman, can the Bucs make a run at the playoffs?

No, this team is focused on making it back to .500. They have three wins and are three games behind the Falcons in the NFC South. It'll be very difficult for this team to make the playoffs, but it can salvage respectability. I've talked to the players and they want to win the remaining "quarters" of the season and hopefully go undefeated in one of them.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

"Nobody was talking about us as an offense. It was just Kansas City's offense vs. our defense," running back Michael Pittman said after the Buccaneers held off the potent Chiefs 34-31 Sunday.

Pittman scored three touchdowns, including one on a team-record 78-yard run, to give the Bucs (3-5) consecutive victories for just the second time since they won the Super Bowl two years ago.

"Coach told us to keep quiet and just go in there and do what we've got to do and show everybody we're for real, too," Pittman said.

The Chiefs (3-5) totaled 101 points and 1,130 yards in victories over Atlanta and Indianapolis the previous two weeks, and put up another big day statistically despite playing much of the second half without star running back Priest Holmes.

Trent Green threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted by Jermaine Phillips in the end zone with under six minutes to go. Green was sacked on consecutive plays to end Kansas City's last threat near midfield.

Holmes scored his 14th rushing TD of the season on a 2-yard run, but was on the sideline when the Bucs defense put the clamps on Kansas City's last two drives. Holmes said he was hit on the right knee during the third quarter, but doesn't believe the injury is serious.

"The best thing to do is wait, sit out the rest of that game and then put a brace on it and see how well I do as far as it tightening up over the next couple of days," said Holmes, who gained 282 yards and scored seven TDs against the Falcons and Colts.

The All-Pro finished with 59 yards on 16 carries and was replaced by Larry Johnson, who wasn't nearly as effective in gaining 21 yards on 10 carries.

"It was a huge loss. There's just so much he can do," said Green, who completed 32 of 42 passes and was intercepted twice.

But Tampa Bay showed it could play offense, too, despite entering the game ranked 28th in scoring (15.6 points) and 24th in total offense (291.7 yards).

Brian Griese threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns, completing 22 of 34 passes to pace a 418-yard attack.

Pittman topped 100 yards rushing for the second straight game, finishing with 128 on 15 carries. He scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter, then broke his 78-yarder on the second play of the third quarter to wipe out a 24-21 halftime deficit.

Pittman's third TD, on a 3-yard run, put Tampa Bay ahead for good with 11:50 left in the fourth quarter.

"Gruden gave us different formations, moving guys around," Chiefs safety Jerome Woods said. "A couple of times out there, I can honestly say we were lost."

Green threw TD passes of 25 yards to Johnnie Morton, 23 yards to Tony Gonzalez and 1 yard to Jason Dunn.

Gonzalez had nine catches for 123 yards and set up Green's TD pass to Dunn for a 31-28 lead with a 29-yard reception to the Bucs 1. Eddie Kennison had six receptions for 104 yards, but lost a key fumble in the second quarter.

"When you turn the ball over three times, it makes it very, very tough," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

"You give up 34 points, you're not going forward," he said. "That big run, there's no excuse for that."

Kansas City scored on four of five possessions in the first half and would have gotten into the end zone on the fifth if Dwight Smith hadn't made a TD-saving tackle to force Kennison to fumble after a 59-yard catch and run to the Tampa Bay 11.

The loose ball rolled 3 yards into the end zone before cornerback Brian Kelly scooped it up and returned it 32 yards to the 29.

The Chiefs gained 590 yards in their 45-35 victory over Indianapolis, but also gave up 505.

The Bucs won for the third time in four games after an 0-4 start and feel they've turned their season around.

"A champion never dies," Gruden said.

"You are going to be behind on a scoreboard. You're going to be behind in the standings, but you are relentless and you will always rise. That's what we're going to do."

Game notes


The Chiefs lost LB Shawn Barber with a left knee sprain in the first half. ... Tampa Bay DT Anthony McFarland left the game in the second quarter with a left shoulder strain and did not return. ... Bucs C John Wade hurt his left knee on his team's first play, and WR Joey Galloway left with strained hip in the fourth quarter. ... Bucs WR Tim Brown was held without a catch, ending the third-longest receptions streak in NFL history at 179 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Scoring Summary

THIRD QUARTERKCTB
tbTD14:51Michael Pittman, 78 yd run
Drive info: 2 plays, 80 yds, 0:00
2427
tb14:00
Drive info: 2 plays, 80 yds, 0:00
2428
FIRST QUARTERKCTB
tbTD7:47Touchdown
Drive info: 4 plays, 73 yds, 1:54
76
tb7:39
Drive info: 4 plays, 73 yds, 1:54
77
SECOND QUARTERKCTB
kcFG6:30Lawrence Tynes 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 19 yds, 1:52
1714
kcTD0:43Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 64 yds, 1:03
2321
kc0:35
Drive info: 6 plays, 64 yds, 1:03
2421
THIRD QUARTERKCTB
kcTD2:25Touchdown
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 4:14
3028
FIRST QUARTERKCTB
kcTD10:00Touchdown
Drive info: 10 plays, 77 yds, 4:55
60
SECOND QUARTERKCTB
kcTD9:20Priest Holmes, 2 yd run
Drive info: 10 plays, 60 yds, 4:29
1314
THIRD QUARTERKCTB
kc2:13
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 4:14
3128
FIRST QUARTERKCTB
kc9:42
Drive info: 10 plays, 77 yds, 4:55
70
SECOND QUARTERKCTB
kc9:05
Drive info: 10 plays, 60 yds, 4:29
1414
tbTD2:00Touchdown
Drive info: 8 plays, 67 yds, 4:17
1720
tb1:55
Drive info: 8 plays, 67 yds, 4:17
1721
FOURTH QUARTERKCTB
tbTD12:05Michael Pittman, 3 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 5:08
3134
SECOND QUARTERKCTB
tbTD14:05Michael Pittman, 1 yd run
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 4:51
713
tb13:49
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 4:51
714