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Sapp, Bucs roll over Falcons

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2003

ATLANTA Warren Sapp helped the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers rebound from a tough loss.

Sapp, normally a defensive tackle, scored the first offensive touchdown of his career on a 6-yard catch as the Bucs routed the Atlanta Falcons 31-10 on Sunday.

After scoring, Sapp cradled the ball in his arms as he hopped and twirled in a giddy circle. He claimed to have borrowed the move from Beyonce Knowles' ''Crazy In Love'' video.

''I didn't do it quite like she does,'' Sapp conceded. ''She's got more assets than me.''

The Bucs (2-1) were clearly perturbed by the way they lost to Carolina a week earlier, getting two field goals and an extra point blocked before falling 12-9 in overtime. Tampa Bay took out all its frustration on the hapless Falcons (1-2), who failed for the second week in a row to give Dan Reeves his 200th coaching victory.

Tampa Bay gave up a touchdown for the first time this season, but it really wasn't the defense's fault. Thomas Jones lost a fumble that Atlanta's Sam Rogers scooped up and returned to the Bucs 2 early in the third quarter.

Jacksonville (0-3) has lost five straight dating to the end of last season.

Fred Taylor had 17 carries for 126 yards, topping the 5,000-yard career mark and became the first runner to gain more than 100 yards against the Colts defense in 15 games.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Steve McNair threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns, becoming just the fifth quarterback in NFL history to notch 20,000 yards passing with 3,000 yards rushing.

Eddie George had 29 carries for 100 yards and ran for his first touchdown of the season to seal the victory for the Titans (2-1). Deuce McAllister finished with 11 carries for 8 yards for the Saints (1-2).

Brady, who hurt his right elbow with 5:45 left in the second quarter, gave the Patriots (2-1) a 16-9 lead with his score. Asante Samuel added a TD on a 55-yard interception return.

Vinny Testaverde threw a 29-yard scoring pass to Wayne Chrebet early in the fourth, making it 23-16. But the Jets (0-3) could not get closer.

Holmes, who grew up in San Antonio and played at Texas, gained 89 yards rushing and 67 yards on four receptions. Hall from Houston and Texas A&M has five punt or kickoff returns for a touchdown in his last eight games.

Minnesota (3-0), with three wins in the NFC North, is off to its best start since winning seven games to start the 2000 season. The Lions (1-2) have lost two straight since beating Arizona in the opener.

Bettis entered late in the third quarter and had six consecutive runs for the final 23 yards of a touchdown drive that gave the Steelers (2-1) a 14-3 lead.

Jeff Blake completed 20 of 31 passes for 273 yards, including a 1-yard pass to James Hodgins for the winning touchdown with 3:59 to play.

The 102-degree temperature at kickoff equaled the hottest game ever for the Packers. It warmed up to 105 at the start of the second half, and 106 at the beginning of the third quarter.

LANDOVER, Md. Matt Bryant kicked a 29-yard field goal 4:15 into the extra period, putting the Giants and Redskins in a tie for first place in the NFC East.

Kerry Collins threw three touchdown passes, completing 24 of 39 passes for 276 yards. Tiki Barber ran for 126 yards, and the defense held the Redskins without a touchdown until late in the third quarter.

Marc Bulger fell to 7-2 as the starter for St. Louis (1-2), with both of those losses coming in Seattle.

New kicker Owen Pochman made four field goals for the 49ers (1-2).

Lewis needed 182 yards to break O.J. Simpson's two-game record of 476 yards set in 1976.

Williams carried a franchise-record 42 times for 153 yards and one score. The Dolphins made interceptions to end two early scoring threats by the Bills, whose only points came on Nate Clements' 54-yards interception return.

Miami moved into a tie for the division lead with the Bills and New England, all at 2-1.



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