Final

Bills 3

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Buccaneers 19

(2-0, 1-0 home)

1:00 PM ET, September 18, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 0 3 0 03
TB 0 9 7 319

Top Performers

Passing: B. Griese (TB) - 136 YDS

Rushing: C. Williams (TB) - 24 CAR, 128 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Clayton (TB) - 6 REC, 84 YDS

Williams tops 100 yards rushing for second straight week

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Carnell "Cadillac" Williams shrugged off a sprained foot and insisted on finishing the game.

It was over when ...
... the Bucs revved up their Cadillac. Rookie Williams topped 100 yards rushing for the second straight week, and Tampa Bay has its first 2-0 start in five years.
Game ball goes to ...
Williams, who had a 128-yard, one-touchdown performance despite missing two series with a foot sprain.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen Are the Bucs good enough to be contenders in the NFC South? If you look at just the young players on this team then the answer is yes. This team is solid at running back and wide receiver with just its young players. They are young, energetic and have the talent to carry the team to a potential NFC South championship. The experience at quarterback and on the defense makes this team much better though.
-- Eric Allen

Several broken tackles and dozens of yards later, any questions about the rookie's toughness or ability to handle a heavy workload for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been answered.

Williams topped 100 yards rushing for the second straight week Sunday, helping the Bucs dominate J.P. Losman and the Buffalo Bills 19-3 for the team's first 2-0 start in five years.

"Coming out of halftime, it felt like I couldn't go. Then once I told coach [Jon] Gruden I wanted to go, they still wouldn't let me go," Williams said. "I had to kind of stress the point, 'I'm going."

Williams carried 24 times for 128 yards and one touchdown. The performance followed a 148-yard, 27-carry debut that raised questions about whether Gruden called on Williams too much in a season-opening victory at Minnesota.

"I should be fine," Williams said of his sore left foot, adding that the rest of his body is holding up to the physical pounding, too.

"I'm definitely in pain, but you never feel good," he added. "I'm always going to hurt."

Tampa Bay's defense scored on a safety and was every bit as tough on Losman as they've been on a list of young quarterbacks that includes Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper in recent years.

Losman completed 12 of 29 passes for 113 yards in his first NFL road start. The second-year quarterback didn't have any turnovers for the second week in a row, but never came close to getting Buffalo's offense in synch.

"It's a humbling experience. We came in high as a kite, and everyone was telling us how good we are. We met a team that matched us in intensity and physicalness," Losman said.

Willis McGahee was held to 34 yards rushing on 13 carries after gaining 117 in the Bills' 22-7 season-opening victory over Houston. Star receiver Eric Moulds had one catch for 8 yards as Tampa Bay's defense held the opposition without an offensive touchdown for the second game in a row.

The closest Buffalo (1-1) came to getting into the end zone was in the closing minutes, when Losman led a drive to the Tampa Bay 4. A penalty for an illegal forward pass knocked the Bills back to the 9, and the march stalled when Derrick Brooks batted down a pass intended for Moulds on fourth down.

"They had a good scheme. They knew where we would be and they watched my eyes the whole game," said Losman, who was benched for one series in the fourth quarter before returning after backup Kelly Holcomb completed 2 of 3 passes for minus-1 yard.

"I put Kelly in to see if we would get a spark," Buffalo coach Mike Mularkey said. "We had to try to get something going before it was too late."

Williams had runs of 31, 23 and 19 yards, the latter on his first carry after sitting two series with a sprained left foot. He finished that drive with a 3-yard TD run, then broke two tackles on the 31-yard burst that set up Matt Bryant's 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

"He gets stronger as the game goes on, and if his foot arch isn't a problem he'll continue to prove what I believe," Gruden said. "He has intense stamina. This guy is a workaholic and he is at best when a game is on the line."

Losman threw for 170 yards and a touchdown without any turnovers in Buffalo's win over Houston, but his inexperience showed against a defense that used as many as six backs to frustrate him in obvious passing situations.

The Bucs set the tone by nearly intercepting Losman three times in the first quarter, then positioned themselves to snap a scoreless tie when Juran Bolden downed Josh Bidwell's punt at the Buffalo 1 early in the second quarter.

Losman was flushed out of the pocket on third-and-7, but couldn't get a pass away before stepping out of the back of the end zone with linebacker Shelton Quarles and safety Jermaine Phillips in close pursuit.

The Bills, who lost for only the third time in their last 12 games, averted a shutout with Rian Lindell's 40-yard field goal in the second quarter. They finished with 145 yards, with much of it coming on their last drive.

"It was a good lesson. ... A wake-up call," Bills coach Mike Mularkey said. "Teams will be prepared when we step on the field."

Game notes


Bills WR Josh Reed had six receptions for 71 yards. ... Buffalo had 77 yards total offense before gaining 68 on its last possession. ... Quarles was credited with a sack on the safety. DE Simeon Rice had Tampa Bay's other sack. ... The Bills didn't report any injuries during the game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUF
TB
1st Downs818
Passing 1st downs
67
Rushing 1st downs
111
1st downs from penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
4-147-14
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Plays5063
Total Yards147318
Yards per play2.95.0
Total Drives1111
Passing100127
Comp-Att
13-3116-22
Yards per pass
3.05.5
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-121-9
Rushing47191
Rushing Attempts
1740
Yards per rush
2.84.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-10-2
Penalties3-2013-99
Turnovers00
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession21:1038:50

Passing Leaders

BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Losman11/281134.0002-12
Holcomb2/3-1-0.3000-0
TBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Griese16/221366.2001-9

Rushing Leaders

BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
McGahee13342.6014
Losman4133.307
TBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Williams241285.3131
Pittman7466.6024

Receiving Leaders

BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Reed67111.8030
Williams3227.3012
TBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Clayton68414.0034
Pittman3206.7010

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERBUFTB
tbTD2:41Mike Alstott, 1 yd run (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 67 yds, 6:42
09
buf1:06Rian Lindell 32 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 31 yds, 1:20
39
THIRD QUARTERBUFTB
tbTD5:19Cadillac Williams, 3 yd run (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yds, 4:53
316
FOURTH QUARTERBUFTB
tb9:28Matt Bryant 32 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 54 yds, 5:17
319