Rams
Buccaneers
3 - 24 Final
  for this game

Buccaneers keep Rams winless

Sep 23, 2007 - 10:08 PM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- The combination of a strong defensive effort and the home crowd lifted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to another victory.

The Buccaneers held the St. Louis Rams without a touchdown and kept them winless on the season with a 24-3 victory on Sunday.

Tampa Bay (2-1) put together just enough offense, getting a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs from Earnest Graham, and took advantage of two misses by Rams placekicker Jeff Wilkins to win their second consecutive game.

After losing in the season opener at Seattle, 20-6, the Bucs defeated the Saints in last week's home opener, 31-14.

"That was a very good victory for us," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said. "I can't be more pleased. We were punishing at times offensively, just the way you want to close out a football game."

Jeff Garcia directed two touchdown drives and Graham scored his first two career NFL touchdown, while the Bucs' defense limited Marc Bulger to 116 yards passing with three interceptions.

Graham rushed for a career-high 75 yards on eight carries.

"Earnest Graham exploded onto the scene today and the big question is why in the heck hasn't he been playing?" Gruden said. "I just want to tip my hat to him. That's a tribute to a guy that's has really been a team guy."

Locked in a scoreless battle late in the second quarter, the Bucs gained control with consecutive scoring drives bridging the second and third quarters.

With three seconds remaining in the first half, Matt Bryant's 27-yard field goal gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead.

The Bucs then took the opening possession of the third quarter and drove 53 yards on seven plays. On the drive, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams carried six times for 38 yards, capped by his 7-yard touchdown run.

"I thought the opening drive of the second half was the signature drive of the game," Gruden said. "It was a great drive by our offense, and defensively, we gave up some yards between the twenties, but we were able to make some big plays in this game to get off the field."

The Rams (0-3) responded with a drive inside Tampa Bay's 10, but Bulger was intercepted in the end zone by Phillip Buchanon.

"We have to keep working on that," St. Louis coach Scott Linehan said. "There are other plays in that game, other than that play that were significant as far as the game goes."

On St. Louis' next possession, Wilkins missed a 43-yard field goal. Wilkins' 25 yard field goal in the fourth pulled the Rams within 10-3, but Tampa Bay answered with a six-play 80-yard touchdown drive.

Graham accounted for the final 28 yards on the drive, including an 8-yard touchdown run, with 3 1/3 minutes to play. He added a 28-yard scoring burst two minutes later to cap the scoring.

"When I was in, I got yards," Graham said. "It's just all credit to the offensive line. They did well today and it showed on the scoreboard."

Stephen Jackson exceeded the 100-yard mark by the third quarter and finished with 115 yards on 30 carries.

"I don't think there's any broad problem or anything like that," Rams receiver Drew Bennett said. "I just think it's those little things, that we need to start focusing on."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 3 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 7 14 24 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 27 YD, 14:57. Drive: 12
    plays, 59 yards in 1:57. Key plays:
    Pittman 11-yard run to Tampa Bay
    43; Garcia 15-yard pass to Hilliard
    on 3rd-and-10 to St Loui

    Sep 23 3:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    EARNEST GRAHAM 28 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    ST LOUIS 3
    TAMPA BAY 24 5:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Rams vs. BuccaneersSep 23 3:35 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    EARNEST GRAHAM 8 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    ST LOUIS 3
    TAMPA BAY 17 7:56 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Rams vs. BuccaneersSep 23 3:25 PM


  • NFL
    ST LOUIS 3
    TAMPA BAY 10 11:31 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Rams vs. BuccaneersSep 23 3:12 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 7 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 27 YD, 14:57. Drive: 12
    plays, 59 yards in 1:57. Key plays:
    Pittman 11-yard run to Tampa Bay
    43; Garcia 15-yard pass to Hilliard
    on 3rd-and-10 to

    Sep 23 3:02 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    CARNELL WILLIAMS 7 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    ST LOUIS 0
    TAMPA BAY 10 10:41 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Rams vs. BuccaneersSep 23 2:37 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 3 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 27 YD, 14:57. TAMPA BAY
    3-0

    Sep 23 2:18 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 27 YD
    ST LOUIS 0
    TAMPA BAY 3 0:03 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Rams vs. BuccaneersSep 23 2:16 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE

    Sep 23 1:30 PM