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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.WR Keenan Mc Cardell made several dazzling, over-the-shoulder catches during the Bucs’ second and third touchdown drives of the day and finished with a team-high five receptions for 77 yards.Tampa Bay’s defense also started slowly, allowing Washington to control the clock for over 13 minutes in the first quarter.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.The Bucs appeared to still be suffering from a Monday night hangover, as they were out-gained 111 yards to five.
The two defensive stops in the first quarter allowed the Bucs to overcome their statistical disadvantage and take a lead on the scoreboard with an 85-yard, nine-minute march in the second quarter.
It proved to be a good decision when John Hall, the New York Jet import with the big leg, easily nailed a 51-yarder, giving Washington a 13-7 lead. After the Yoder, Heller and Johnson scores, the Brooks provided the knockout blow with his 44-yard return of a shoestring interception in the fourth quarter.
DT Anthony Mc Farland had forced Ramsey’s off-target throw by grabbing him from behind with one arm and yanking just as the quarterback released.
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.