Bucs 'D' Dominates Seahawks


Shaun King finally got a chance to show the NFL what he can do. The league already knew about Warren Sapp.

With King replacing the injured Trent Dilfer in the second half and Sapp making life miserable for Jon Kitna, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 16-3 on Sunday.

The Bucs (7-4) won their fourth in a row, while the Seahawks (8-3) had a five-game winning streak snapped. Tampa Bay is tied with Minnesota and Detroit for first place in the NFC Central. Seattle had its lead in the AFC West reduced to two games.

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Game Summary

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  • "I wasn't scared, I wasn't nervous, I was excited," said King, who helped lead Tulane to an unbeaten season and a Liberty Bowl victory last season.

    "We just put him in positions that made him uncomfortable," Sapp said of Kitna, who threw a career-high five interceptions and lost a fumble. "As long as we eliminated the big play, we felt we'd be fine."

    Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said he did not consider replacing Kitna with backup Glenn Foley, and blamed Seattle's offensive line for a lot of Kitna's troubles.

    "The protection wouldn't have been any better for Glenn," Holmgren said.

    Said Kitna: "You can't go out there and light the world on fire every week. This is a tough business."

    King got into his first game because Dilfer broke his right collarbone on the second play of the second half when he was sacked by Phillip Daniels.

    King is expected to make his first NFL start next Monday night at home against Minnesota.

    "He knows what he's doing," Dilfe said of King, the 50th player chosen in the second round of the draft in April. "He's very mature and very mature. His greatest asset, I guarantee it, is his confidence."

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    Tampa Bay Defeated Seattle 16-3 On Sunday.(AP)
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  • Bucs' Coach Tony Dungy
  • Bucs' Trent Dilfer
  • Seahawks' Jon Kitna
  • After Dilfer was hurt, he went to the dressing room for X-rays, and he returned to the sidelines in street clothes with his shoulder in a sling to watch King throw a 2-yard scoring pass to Patrick Hape with 2:39 gone in the final period.

    It was the Bucs' first offensive touchdown in three weeks.

    King said he liked his situation of being able to sit on the bench and watch games for awhile instead of playing right away like Tim Couch of expansion Cleveland.

    "It hasn't been hard at all since we've been winning," he said. "I've been able to mature a little more. I don't want to be playing just to be playing."

    Rookie Martin Gramatica kicked his third field goal of the game, a 37-yarder, with nine minutes left for the Bucs. The field goal came after Sapp sacked Kitna and then recovered his fumble at the Seattle 27.

    The key to beating the Seahawks, the Bucs said, was going after Kitna, who is in his first season as a starting quarterback. Kitna was sacked three times for losses of 27 yards.

    "He's (Kitna's) been playing well outside of this game," said Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks, who had an interception, a sack and led his team with eight tackles. "We felt he hadn't been pressured and that's what we did today."

    The Bucs were ahead 6-3 at halftime on two field goals by Gramatica, of 42 and 40 yards in the second quarter.

    The Seahawks drove 64 yards with the opening kickoff to position Todd Peterson for a 25-yard field goal that turned out to be their only points.

    King was elevated to Tampa Bay's No. 2 quarterback in place of Eric Zeier after Zeier suffered a left rib contusion four weeks ago. Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy said Zeier, who now becomes King's backup, will begin practicing again this week.

    Notes

  • Sapp's sack gave him 10 for the season. He had his besseason with 10 1/2 sacks in 1997, when the Bucs made the playoffs.
  • Tampa Bay forced six turnovers for the first time since Oct. 8, 1995, against Cincinnati.
  • Chad Brown led the Seahawks with 12 tackles, including a sack.
  • The Seahawks had five sacks.
  • King said he got a chance to play in his first college game as a freshman in 1995 against Southern Mississippi when the Tulane starting quarterback broke his collarbone. At Tulane, he broke the NCAA record with a passing efficiency rating of 183.3.
  • Donnie Abraham of Tampa Bay had his fourth interception of the season and third in two games.
  • The Bucs' five interceptions were one shy of their club record set in 1977 against New Orleans.

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