Throwback Game of the Week - NE @ TB (London)


Week 7 - New England at Tampa Bay (London)

The National Football League’s International series continues as the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers battle in London on Sunday. Technically a “home” game for the Bucs, the fans at Wembley Stadium this weekend may be as familiar with the Pats as the fans who would’ve attended had the game been played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. That’s because these two clubs have only faced each other six times.

The Patriots hold a slim 4-2 series lead and have outscored the Bucs by a total of 124-83 in those games.

First Time:
Dec. 12, 1976 –The Buccaneers had hopes of avoiding a winless inaugural season when it took a 14-7 lead into halftime of this season finale. However New England rebounded by scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half to come away with a 31-14 win.

Last Time:
Dec. 17, 2005 – The Patriots, led by Tom Brady’s three TD passes and David Givens' 137 receiving yards, clinched the AFC East with a 28-0 shutout of the Bucs in this game played on a Saturday afternoon. New England’s defense swarmed Tampa Bay and recorded seven sacks.

Hall of Fame Members
New England has four players who’ve been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Guard John Hannah (1991) was the first Patriots player enshrined in Canton while linebacker Andre Tippett was the most recent Patriot inducted (2008). Two other New England players, Nick Buoniconti and Mike Haynes, have also been enshrined. The Buccaneers’ first-ever draft pick, defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, also became the first Buccaneer enshrined into Canton when he was elected in 1995. Two other enshrinees, guard Randall McDaniel and quarterback Steve Young, played a brief portion of their careers with Tampa Bay.

Records found in the NFL Record Book
The Patriots and Bucs share with three other NFL teams the unusual record for fewest fair catches in a season. Both teams did not have any fair catches during the 1976 NFL season.

New England holds the top two marks for the longest winning streaks in NFL history. The Patriots won 18 straight during a span in 2003-04. The team bettered that record by winning 21 straight games from 2006-08.

On the flip side, the Bucs unflattering mark of 26 straight losses at the start of the franchise’s play in 1976-77 still remains the NFL record for consecutive losses.

Throwback Game
Sept. 3, 2000
Alstott moved into fourth place on the Bucs’ all-time scoring list with his TD run in the second quarter against the Pats. He finished the day with 54 yards on 16 carries.
The Bucs opened the regular season as defending division champs for the first time in 18 seasons having won the NFC Central with an 11-5 mark in 1999. Meanwhile the Patriots, just three years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, were looking to improve on its 8-8 mark posted in ‘99.

Tampa Bay’s opportunistic defense recorded six sacks and added timely turnovers to lead them to victory on the road with a 21-16 win. Appropriately, the Bucs’ defense sealed the game. With the Patriots attempting a game-winning throw from Tampa’s 22-yard-line, the defense harassed QB Drew Bledsoe to force his pass to fall incomplete on the game’s final play.

Fullback Mike Alsott led the offense with two rushing touchdowns, a 5-yard TD run in the second quarter and a 3-yard game-winning touchdown in the third quarter. Tampa Bay’s other score came when quarterback Shaun King faked a spike to kill the clock at the end of the first half and then fired an 8-yard TD pass to wide receiver Reidel Anthony.

Tampa Bay 0 14 7 0 - 21
New England 3 7 0 6 - 16
A– 60,292
NE – FG Vinatieri 30
TB – Alstott 5 run (Gramatica kick)
NE – Brown 66 punt return (Vinatieri kick)
TB – Anthony 8 pass from King (Gramatica kick)
TB – Alstott 3 run (Gramatica kick)
NE – Glenn 39 pass from Bledsoe (run failed)

Game Program Cover | Official Gamebook (PDF)

More Patriots & Buccaneers on
Team histories
New England | Tampa Bay

Lee Roy Selmon
Andre Tippett
Buccaneers LBs
Patriots QBs

Lee Roy Selmon’s helmet
Cadillac Williams’ rookie feat
Jim Nance painting
Tom Brady’s draft card

Some other stories on Patriots and Buccaneers
Decade of dominance – Patriots and Colts neck-and-neck in ‘90s
Brothers – Gramatica brothers both played in the NFL
’85 Patriots wild card run to the Super Bowl
Bucs & Seahawks added to NFL
Patriots go 18-0 in 2007
Bucs made it to NFC championship in fourth season


2009 Throwback Game of the Week Archive

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