In the year 2000, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the top teams in the NFL. Their roster featured Shaun King at quarterback, Warrick Dunn at running back, Jacqueline Green at wide receiver, Dave Moore at tight end, and Jeff Christy at offensive lineman. However, they were unable to win the Super Bowl in their debut season. They lost to the St. Louis Rams 11-6 despite Warrick Dunn’s late touchdown. The Bucs’ 38-35 win came from an interception by John Lynch.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers improved their record from 7-5 to 11-5 in their twenty-fifth season and advanced to the playoffs. The 2000 Buccaneers finished the regular season with a record of ten wins and six losses. The Buccaneers finished second overall in the NFL’s Central Division with a 0-1 postseason record. The Buccaneers piled up 388 points during the season and gave up 269, but were still very impressive, thanks to their offensive and defensive players. Keyshawn Johnson caught 71 passes for 874 yards and Jacque Green provided receiving help.
The 2000 Buccaneers will not lead the NFC scoring. That honor will be shared by Minnesota and St. Louis, which combined for 69 points in Sunday’s game. Tampa Bay and St. Louis will play in the NFC Championship game at Raymond James Stadium next. The 2000 Buccaneers vs. Packers match saw the Buccaneers holding the Packers to just one touchdown. The Buccaneers had four turnovers, including a fumble by Ronde Barber that was returned for a touchdown. Shaun King scored on a three yard run.
Several Buccaneer players stood out during this season. Donnie Abraham, Warrick Dunn, Derrick Brooks and Martin Gramatica were all standouts. The 2000 Buccaneers also had many other outstanding players. Many of these players went on to be Hall of Famer. Many of these players were rookie-free agents with very little experience.
Johnson continued to make an impact during the postseason. He finished the year with 71 receptions, the most in a Buccaneers season since 1989. Johnson tied his postseason record for receiving six passes for 106 yards in the NFC Wild Card match. Johnson has tallied 22 receptions for 300 yards and one touchdown in three postseason games. The Bucs will look to build on this momentum in 2000.
Despite a slow start, the Buccaneers rallied and defeated the New England Patriots at home. On the final drive, a Shaun King fake spike forced Drew Bledsoe to fumble and Mike Mamula recovered it on the Buccaneers’ 15-yard line. Despite the loss the Bucs still held a 21-16 advantage late in the game. Donovan McNabb later scored a 5-yard touchdown run to seal the victory.
In the 2000 regular season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushed for 2,066 yards, the fourth-best total in franchise history and third-highest in the NFC. They averaged 4.22 yards per run, which is a significant improvement on the 4.11 yards per play they had in 1998. And, in the final three games of the regular season, their defense picked up nine passes, tied for the third-highest total in club history.
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