Oct. 3, 2004 -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, 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 bounce Bucs - Denver Post - Fred Goodall, Associated Press
Monday, October 04, 2004 - John Lynch will remember it as the touchdown-saving hit he was too much of a gentleman to make. Fortunately for Denver, the mistake didn't ruin the safety's emotional return to Tampa Bay. Jake Plummer threw a 5-yard TD pass to Patrick Hape and Jason Elam kicked three field goals Sunday to give the Broncos a 16-13 victory over the winless Buccaneers, whose only touchdown came on a play in which Lynch failed to knock down a receiver who was getting up off the ground. Instead, Lynch merely touched Michael Clayton on the back, thinking the rookie was down. Clayton, whose helmet was knocked off when his head was brushed by Lynch's knee, stood and took off for the end zone to complete a 51-yard pass play.
Make No Mistake - Tampa Tribune - Marty Strasen
Oct 3, 2004 - The Bucs tried to beat the Broncos at their own game. It's a simple game, really. Run the ball. Stop the other team from doing the same. Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan has made a living with that strategy. His commitment to the run is unwavering. His teams traditionally move the ball on the ground as well as any in the NFL. The Bucs' Jon Gruden is more of a throw-first, west-coast offense, find-those-open-receivers kind of guy. He didn't coach Tampa Bay to a 2002 Super Bowl title by running up the middle. Say what you will about Gruden and Bucs GM Bruce Allen and their ideas about reconstructing this Bucs team with veterans. Their moves have prompted much-deserved criticism during this abysmal 0-4 start. But also say this: When the Bucs absolutely needed to win a game Sunday, Gruden swallowed his pride and coached the old-fashioned way.
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