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With Cadillac slowed, Bucs' passing game tames Lions

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers knew it was only a
matter of time before opponents started stacking the line of
scrimmage in hopes of slowing down Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.

The Detroit Lions were successful at it Sunday, but containing
the rookie also left them vulnerable to other playmakers in an
improved offense that's helped the resurgent Bucs to their first
4-0 start since 1997.

With Williams slowed by a sore hamstring, Joey Galloway and
Michael Pittman took up the slack and Tampa Bay's defense stopped a
march deep in their territory to hang on for a 17-13 victory.

"We have all kinds of weapons," Pittman said. "Cadillac
started off great the first three games. He was hurt today and
really wasn't 100 percent, but we still went out there and
played."

Galloway scored on an 80-yard reception and Brian Griese also
threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Pittman, a starter the last three
seasons whose role in the offense has diminished since the arrival
of Williams.

"I need to make the most of it when I can," said Pittman, who
had six receptions for 96 yards and ran five times for a team-high
30 yards.

The Lions had trouble moving the ball on offense all day, but
Joey Harrington led a drive from his own 7 to the Tampa Bay 11 in
the last five minutes.

Detroit (1-2) thought it would escape with a victory when
Harrington found Marcus Pollard in the right corner of the end
zone, but the tight end's sliding catch was reversed by instant
replay.

Harrington found Mike Williams on the opposite side of the end
zone on the next play, but the rookie came down out of bounds. The
fourth-year quarterback had one more chance but overthrew Roy
Williams on the last play of the game.

"There's no moral victories. That's not going to happen,"
Lions coach Steve Mariucci said. "We feel sick in that locker room
because we thought we won it, and it was not to be. ... It tests
your resiliency."

Cadillac Williams, the first player in NFL history to begin his
career with three consecutive 100-yard days rushing, was held to 13
yards on 11 carries. He left the game late in the third quarter and
did not return.

"Everything is OK. He had a mild hamstring," Bucs coach Jon
Gruden said, noting that Williams also was limited in practice
during the week because of a foot sprain. "And the fact that
Pittman was playing pretty well ... we chose to go another route
today."

Griese threw for 302 yards and made up for three turnovers that
set up all of Detroit's points with his TD throws to Pittman and
Galloway, who had seven receptions for a career-high 166 yards.

The Lions turned Griese's first-quarter fumble into Jason
Hanson's 44-yard field goal. Linebacker Teddy Lehman returned an
interception 17 yards to the Bucs 8, setting up Kevin Jones's
8-yard TD run that put the Lions ahead 10-3.

Pittman's TD made it 10-10 at the half, and Griese hit Galloway
on a slant pattern early in the third quarter to put the Bucs ahead
for good. Terrence Holt returned Detroit's third interception of
Griese 51 yards to the Tampa Bay 23, setting up a 23-yard field
goal that trimmed the Lions' deficit to 17-13 midway through the
fourth.

Harrington was 15-of-27 for 137 yards and no interceptions. He
said it was frustrating to not get the offense on track until the
last drive.

"They're a great defense for a reason," Harrington said. "Our
whole mind-set, our whole game plan was to pound it at them and
keep pounding until they broke. We came up short."

Pollard felt he made what would have been a game-winning TD
catch before sliding out of bounds.

"It's pretty simple. I think I made the catch, but the official
in the press box didn't see it that way, and that's what we've got
to go by," Pollard said.

The Bucs, obviously, were relieved.

"Thank God for instant replay," Gruden said.

Game notes
The Lions were outgained 353 yards to 226. ... Griese
finished 22-of-39 and threw three interceptions. He also was sacked
three times. ... Bucs LB Shelton Quarles sprained his left wrist in
the first quarter but returned to finish with 10 tackles. ... Bucs
CB Ronde Barber had his 19th career sack. He needs one more to
become the first player in NFL history with 20 sacks and 20
interceptions.

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