"I think in fairness to Chris, it's the first time he's had live snaps since the Houston Texans preseason game," coach Jon Gruden said. "I've been around long enough to know that the first performance of a young quarterback really isn't a gage as to where he can go and what he can become. He's going to learn from this and there's things he's got to learn from in a hurry because Carolina will have no mercy next week."
Simms went 21-of-34 passing for 264 yards, but that doesn't begin to tell the story of his hesitant and mistake-filled performance against a 49ers team that lost 52-17 to the Washington Redskins last week.
He threw two interceptions to set up field goals, including one that bounced off the head of umpire Darrell Jenkins -- and lost a fumble with 1:42 remaining in the game and the Bucs needing only a field goal to win the game.
"We played a young quarterback and we have some growing pains we have to work through," Gruden said. "We turned the ball over in some key situations and missed some opportunities to make some plays. We couldn't get anything done running the football. It hurt us. What can I say? It wasn't enough today."
However, Simms certainly didn't sound like a quarterback who thought he played poorly.
"Really, I felt good all game," Simms said. "I felt focused and felt I was seeing the field real well. We just didn't get it done.
"There's always a little bit of getting into the flow of the game. I don't want to say I was rusty. But I know I can play better."
49ers top the BucsThe 49ers snapped a five-game losing streak as Joe Nedney kicked five field goals in a 15-10 win over the Bucs.
Quarterback Chris Simms went 21-of-34 passing for 264 yards, was intercepted twice and sacked five times in his first start of the season in place of Brian Griese, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Despite losing their second game in which they failed to allow a touchdown, the Bucs yielded 101 yards rushing to Kevan Barlow and couldn't get the ball back for Simms when they needed to.
Player NotesRB Cadillac Williams returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a sprained foot. But he looked sluggish and was held to 20 yards on 13 carries. But Williams said he was not limited by the injury.
WR Joey Galloway continues to be a gamebreaker. He scored his 10th touchdown in the past 11 games on a 78-yard reception.
QB Chris Simms had trouble finding his second and third receivers, according to Jon Gruden, and completed 21-of-34 passes for 264 yards with two interceptions and five sacks. Two of those sacks knocked the Bucs out of field-goal range.
PK Matt Bryant kicked a career-best 47-yard field goal. But he came up well short on a 52-yard attempt later in the game.
DE Simeon Rice was sent home to Tampa and deactivated for missing a team meeting in San Francisco on Saturday night.