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As in the fatal overtime period against Indianapolis, the Bucs couldn’t get off the field on third down, allowing five straight third-down conversions in the quarter.However, Rice ended the first drive with a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery and Brooks forced Washington into a field goal on the second drive with a successful third-down blitz. He sacked Ramsey twice more and former Buc Rob Johnson once, and also got pressure on Ramsey as he threw a deep pass that was intercepted by Dwight Smith near the end of the third quarter.Sapp got the other two sacks, his first two of the season and an emphatic answer for a midweek challenge from Washington LB La Var Arrington.On offense, the Bucs’ four-touchdown afternoon (a fifth score came courtesy of yet another Derrick Brooks interception return) was led by the heretofore little-known tight end pair of Todd Yoder and Will Heller.Since the beginning of the 2002 season, Johnson has tossed 34 touchdowns against just nine interceptions.Johnson’s fourth scoring pass of the afternoon was a 39-yard bomb to Keyshawn Johnson on which he looked right, then left before finally lobbing a deep pass over the middle to the streaking receiver. Johnson finished with 80 yards on four receptions, playing through a deep thigh bruise that had him on the injury report all week.With the victory, the Bucs move to 3-2, while the 4-0 Carolina Panthers were in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts.They have still not lost consecutive games since Jon Gruden took over as head coach in 2002, going 6-0 after losses, five of those bounce-back wins coming on the road.
Tampa Bay had the ball just once in the period, a three-and-out sandwiched around two sustained Washington drives.
For the fourth time in five games, Johnson was not sacked.
That gave the Pro Bowler time to complete 22 of 30 passes for 268 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
That drive was extended by a roughing-the-passer call on former Buccaneer Regan Upshaw, allowing QB Brad Johnson to hit Yoder with a one-yard scoring pass on a perfectly-executed second-down rollout.
The oft-penalized Bucs drew just three flags in the first half, but one of them was very poorly timed.