Final/OT

Colts 38

(5-0, 3-0 away)

Buccaneers 35

(2-2, 0-2 home)

9:00 PM ET, October 6, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 OT T
IND 0 0 7 28 338
TB 14 7 7 7 035

Bucs' defense allows 28 2nd-half points

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Mike Vanderjagt's 29-yard field goal with 3:47 remaining in overtime capped one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history and gave the Indianapolis Colts a 38-35 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

Reggie Barlow

AP Photo

Bucs' wideout Reggie Barlow gets one TD NOT taken by Keenan McCardell.

Peyton Manning rallied the Colts from a 35-14 deficit with four minutes left in regulation, sending the game into overtime on Ricky Williams' 1-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds to play. Marvin Harrison, who had two touchdown catches, set up the tying score with a 52-yard reception to the Tampa Bay 5.

Manning realized the difficulty of his task.

"Twenty-one-nothing in here at Tampa on Monday night is not an ideal situation," he said. "What a game, what a win."

Harrison scored on second-half receptions of 37 and 28 yards, the latter trimming Tampa Bay's lead to 35-28 with 2:29 remaining in regulation.

Indianapolis (5-0) became the first team in NFL history to win after trailing by 21 or more points with less than four minutes to play in regulation.

Vanderjagt had missed a potential game-winning field goal from 39 yards wide right a play earlier -- it would have been his first miss of the season in 13 attempts -- but Tampa Bay's Simeon Rice was called for leaping and landing on a teammate and the Colts got another chance.

Vanderjagt made the second kick, barely, as it went off the right upright and through after being deflected at the line by a Tampa Bay player, and coach Tony Dungy had the win on his return to Tampa.

Dungy was as surprised as Manning to score so many points against one of the best defenses in the league, maybe in history.

"I didn't think 35 points in a half, no," he said.

At halftime, he told his team how poorly it had performed.

"I told them that was the most disappointed I've been in our team," Dungy said. "We just didn't play our game."

Manning launched the game-winning drive from his own 13. He had crucial third-down completions of 8 yards to Harrison, 16 yards to Reggie Wayne and 9 yards to Troy Walters to keep the march alive.

Harrison's 37-yard TD catch put the Colts, who trailed 21-0 at halftime, on the scoreboard early in the third quarter. He finished with 11 catches for 176 yards.

"A lot of those plays, I tip my hat to Manning," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "He made some miraculous throws, and they made some incredible catches."

Williams, part of a committee of running backs filling in for the injured Edgerrin James, had a 1-yard TD run three minutes into the fourth quarter. James Mungro scored on a 3-yard run for the Colts with 3:37 remaining, the touchdown that started the comeback.

A week after throwing for 314 yards and six touchdowns in the Colts' 55-21 rout of New Orleans , Manning was 34-of-47 for 386 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, which Ronde Barber returned 29 yards to give Tampa Bay a 35-14 lead with just over five minutes left in regulation.

Keenan McCardell caught two touchdown passes and scooped up an Indianapolis fumble and returned it 57 yards for another score for Tampa Bay (2-2), which looked like it would ruin Dungy's homecoming when it took the big halftime lead.

Dungy received a polite ovation from a crowd of 65,647 that likely included a generous number of fans who no doubt were not the least bit upset when he was fired in January 2002 after six successful seasons in Tampa Bay.

He's the winningest coach in franchise history, going 54-42 from 1996-2001 while turning around a club that had 14 straight losing seasons. But an anemic offense and consecutive first-round playoff losses cost him his job.

Dungy left behind one of the league's best defenses, a unit that was the driving force in last year's Super Bowl run under Dungy's successor Jon Gruden, whose improvements on offense helped get the Bucs over the hump.

McCardell caught TD passes of 74 and 15 yards from Brad Johnson. He was in the right place at the right time when safety Mike Doss fumbled after intercepting a poorly thrown Brad Johnson pass and returned it 16 yards to the Tampa Bay 43.

Dungy led the Bucs to the playoffs four times in six seasons and is the architect of the Cover 2 defensive scheme that's been instrumental to Tampa Bay's success.

Although defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has tweaked some of the things the Bucs do, it was Dungy who developed the heart of the unit -- Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch -- into perennial Pro Bowl selections who make the system work.

"From my standpoint, I kind of understand now about Venus and Serena Williams when they say that there's never not that much joy in it," Dungy said. "I'm just extremely happy, but when you fight against guys that you've gone to war with, it was really tough out there."

McCardell is one of the players Gruden brought in to improve Tampa Bay's offense a year ago.

On his long touchdown reception, the 12th-year veteran slanted to the middle of the field and found himself with a mismatch against Colts middle linebacker Rob Morris, who stumbled near midfield when McCardell accelerated to run under Johnson's pass at the Indianapolis 30.

Johnson's 3-yard pass to Reggie Barlow put the Bucs up three touchdowns early in the second quarter and freed the Bucs defense to unleash an all-out pass rush on Manning, who did a good job of getting rid of the ball and only sacked once.

Johnson finished 26-of-39 for 318 yards. Michael Pittman rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries, while McCardell had four receptions for 106 yards for Tampa Bay, which played in overtime without Keyshawn Johnson (leg bruise) and Pittman (cramps).

The Colts, off to their best start since 1977, are one of four unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL. The others are Kansas City, Minnesota and Carolina, which visits Indianapolis next Sunday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERINDTB
tbTD10:06Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 74 yds, 0:00
06
tbTD6:00Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 43 yds, 0:00
013
FOURTH QUARTERINDTB
tbTD6:42Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 11 yds, 0:00
1434
FIRST QUARTERINDTB
tb10:06
Drive info: 1 plays, 74 yds, 0:00
07
tb6:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 43 yds, 0:00
014
FOURTH QUARTERINDTB
tb6:42
Drive info: 1 plays, 11 yds, 0:00
1435
indTD4:15James Mungro, 3 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yds, 1:52
2035
ind4:15
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yds, 1:52
2135
THIRD QUARTERINDTB
indTD13:24Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 85 yds, 2:10
621
FOURTH QUARTERINDTB
indTD1:37Ricky Williams, 1 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 85 yds, 0:36
3435
THIRD QUARTERINDTB
ind13:24
Drive info: 5 plays, 85 yds, 2:10
721
FOURTH QUARTERINDTB
ind1:37
Drive info: 5 plays, 85 yds, 0:36
3535
indTD12:20Ricky Williams, 1 yd run
Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yds, 13:46
1328
ind12:20
Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yds, 13:46
1428
indTD3:02Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yds, 1:52
2735
SECOND QUARTERINDTB
tbTD10:22Touchdown
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 16:43
020
FOURTH QUARTERINDTB
ind3:02
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yds, 1:52
2835
SECOND QUARTERINDTB
tb10:22
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 16:43
021
THIRD QUARTERINDTB
tbTD1:20Touchdown
Drive info: 12 plays, 85 yds, 6:42
727
OVERTIMEINDTB
indFG3:52Mike Vanderjagt 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 15 plays, 76 yds, 6:41
3835
THIRD QUARTERINDTB
tb1:20
Drive info: 12 plays, 85 yds, 6:42
728