Stepping Up

The Bucs were suffering from injuries at virtually every key position when they headed into FedEx Field Sunday where they looked like Super Bowl champs once again. The front four applied pressure, Derrick Brooks returned an interception for a touchdown, and Keyshawn Johnson caught his first touchdown of the season. There was no hangover from the devastating Monday night loss to the Colts as the Bucs remained unbeaten on the road.

Todd Yoder found the end zone two times and Will Heller scored once as the back up tight ends picked up the slack for the injured Ken Dilger. The loss of Mike Alstott meant the Bucs needed help at the fullback position, help they received from Jameel Cook who added balance to the passing game by hauling in three passes for 39 yards. The highlight of the Sunday's offensive display was the outstanding performance of Brad Johnson who completed 22 of 30 passes for 268 and four touchdowns.

The running game was not dominating but it was effective enough to keep the Redskins off balance. Michael Pittman was one of many Buccaneers nursing injury, but he still managed to pile up 62 yards on the ground and 33 yards through the air. Thomas Jones got the ball 5 times and ran hard enroute to his 33 yards.

Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice played up to the high expectations that Bucs fans have had for them since the beginning of the year. Hopefully they did not use up all of their sacks this week and saved a couple for the mobile 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia who will host the Bucs in San Francisco next Sunday.

This game was a turning point for Tampa Bay in that they kept pouring it on until the game was over to get the bad taste of the Indianapolis game out of their mouths. The Bucs are still behind the eight ball however, the NFC South leading Carolina Panthers remained undefeated by beating Indianapolis in an overtime thriller to maintain their two game lead on the Bucs.

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