Sept. 8, 2002
Saints 26 Bucs 20 OT
Punter Tom Tupa's desperation pass in overtime is intercepted in the end zone.
Sept. 15, 2002
Bucs 25 Ravens 0
Derrick Brooks' 97-yard interception return for a TD late preserves the shutout.
Sept. 23, 2002
Bucs 26 Rams 14
Brian Kelly sets up Mike Alstott's clinching TD with one of four Bucs picks.
Sept. 29, 2002
Bucs 35 Bengals 7
Brad Johnson throws TDs to Keenan McCardell, Ken Dilger and Rickey Dudley.
Oct. 6, 2002
Bucs 20 Falcons 6
Simeon Rice's sack injures Michael Vick, and Bucs pick Doug Johnson three times.
Oct. 13, 2002
Bucs 17 Browns 3
Alstott runs for 126 and two scores, and defense's TD-less streak gets to 12 quarters.
Oct. 20, 2002
Eagles 20 Bucs 10
For the third year in a row (twice in the playoffs), the Bucs lose at the Vet.
Oct. 27, 2002
Bucs 12 Panthers 9
Rob Johnson in for injured Brad Johnson, and Martin Gramatica makes four goals.
Nov. 3, 2002
Bucs 38 Vikings 24
Brad Johnson plays with broken ribs but throws for 313 yards and five TDs.
Nov. 17, 2002
Bucs 23 Panthers 10
Dwight Smith's pick sets up McCardell's TD, John Lynch's Gramatica's third field goal.
Nov. 24, 2002
Bucs 21 Packers 7
Kelly gets two of four Brett Favre picks, and Dilger and Joe Jurevicius catch TDs.
Dec. 1, 2002
Saints 23 Bucs 20
Bucs fumble four times (losing two), are intercepted once and give up four sacks.
Dec. 8, 2002
Bucs 34 Falcons 10
Vick rushes for 15 yards and passes for 125, and Brad Johnson throws four TDs.
Dec. 15, 2002
Bucs 23 Lions 20
Gramatica's 38-yard field goal with 3:08 remaining clinches a playoff spot.
Dec. 23, 2002
Steelers 17 Bucs 7
Shaun King starts for the injured Brad Johnson but throws for just 73 yards.
Dec. 29, 2002
Bucs 15 Bears 0
Gramatica's five field goals help Bucs beat "cold weather" jinx and earn No. 2 seed.
NFC DIVISION ROUND: Jan. 12, 2003
Bucs 31, 49ers 6
Brad Johnson, playing for the first time in a month, throws TDs to Jurevicius and Dudley, and Alstott scores on two 2-yard runs to end a streak of playoff quarters without a TD at 12. The defense gets three interceptions and two fumbles and sacks Jeff Garcia four times. Terrell Owens, the NFC's second-leading receiver, catches four passes for 35 yards.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Jan. 19, 2003
Bucs 27, Eagles 10
The Bucs overcome the cold and the Vet. Brian Mitchell's 70-yard kickoff return leads to an early Philly TD. But Jurevicius' 71-yard catch sets up Alstott's 1-yard TD. And Brad Johnson throws a 9-yard TD to Keyshawn Johnson. Ronde Barber, in the biggest play in franchise history, clinches it with a 92-yard interception return for a TD with 3:12 left.
SUPER BOWL Jan. 26, 2003
Bucs 48, Raiders 21
Once the NFL's most laughable franchise, the Bucs complete their ascension by dominating Jon Gruden's former team in San Diego. There are five picks (three returned for TDs), two Johnson-to-McCardell TDs and 124 rushing yards from Michael Pittman as the Bucs build a 34-3 lead. Brooks seals it with a 44-yard interception return for a TD with 1:27 to play.