Two weeks ago, when the NFL's leading rusher at the time, the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, came to town, we looked back at the best rushing performances of all time against the Bucs. Today, the NFL's leading passer comes to town, New Orleans' Drew Brees. Brees, who has thrown for 3,574 yards in 11 games, is on pace to break Dan Marino's record of 5,084 yards set in 1984. So, naturally, we look back at some of the greatest passing performances against the Bucs.
Lynn Dickey, Green Bay
Oct. 12, 1980 35-of-51, 418 yards
This turned out to be the most prolific game of Dickey's 13-year career and the most prolific game against the Bucs. It's the only time in the history of the Bucs that they have allowed a 400-yard passing game. That's hard to believe considering all those games against Brett Favre. Even harder to believe is that this game ended in a 14-14 tie even though the Bucs gave up 569 yards of offense.
Brett Favre, Green Bay
Oct. 10, 1999 22-of-40, 390 yards
The longtime Packers legend had only two 300-yard games in his career against the Bucs, and this was his best and most memorable. On his 30th birthday, Favre threw his second TD pass of the game to Antonio Freeman with 1:05 left to hand the Bucs a heartbreaking 26-23 loss at Green Bay.
Danny White, Dallas
Oct. 9, 1983 29-of-44, 377 yards
This was the most yards Danny White, above, ever threw for in a game. The Cowboys were 5-0 (on their way to 12-4), and the Bucs were 0-5 (on their way to 2-14). But because the Bucs picked off White three times, this game stayed close. The Cowboys won in overtime 27-24 with a 42-yard field goal.
Tommy Kramer, Minnesota
Oct. 7, 1984 27-of-47, 386 yards
Kramer had three 300-yard passing games against the Bucs, and this was the game in which he threw for the most yards. But the result was a thrilling 35-31 Bucs victory, as Tampa Bay picked off two Kramer passes and James Wilder rushed for two touchdowns.
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
Oct. 6, 2003 34-of-47, 386 yards
Maybe the most memorable passing game against the Bucs. Manning led the Colts back from a 21-point deficit with less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter on Monday Night Football in a 38-35 overtime victory in Tony Dungy's return to Tampa Bay. Manning was 13-of-17 for 187 yards in the fourth quarter alone.
Steve Dils, Minnesota
Sept. 5, 1981 37-of-62, 361 yards
Another QB who had the best passing day of his career against the Bucs. No opposing quarterback has had more attempts (62) or completions (37) against the Bucs than Dils had in this game. Yet the Bucs won 21-13 in a game iced by Neal Colzie's 82-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Trent Green, Kansas City
Nov. 7, 2004 32-of-42, 369 yards
Green, right, was second in the NFL that season with more than 4,000 yards passing, but the Chiefs lost nine games, including this one. Green threw three touchdowns this day, but he also was picked off twice. Michael Pittman rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns, including the winner in the fourth quarter, in Tampa Bay's 34-31 victory.
Ken O'Brien, New York Jets
Nov. 17, 1985 23-of-30, 367 yards
One of the most infamous losses in Bucs history. They were pounded 62-28, the most points the Bucs have allowed in a game. Funny thing is, the Bucs had a 14-0 lead. O'Brien threw five touchdowns, including three to tight end Mickey Shuler, as the Jets scored eight touchdowns and had 35 first downs.
Wade Wilson, Minnesota
Dec. 16, 1990 24-of-39, 374 yards
Wilson threw for 374 yards, but the bigger number: He threw four interceptions. The Bucs stormed out to a 23-0 lead behind a Vinny Testaverde 48-yard run, a 25-yard pass from Testaverde to Mark Carrier and three Steve Christie field goals. They cruised to a 26-13 victory.
Gary Danielson, Detroit
Dec. 14, 1980 29-of-44, 360 yards
Before he became one of the best college football analysts, Danielson was a pretty fair NFL quarterback. And he had his best game ever in terms of passing yards against the Bucs. Danielson threw for one score, but Detroit didn't put away its 27-14 victory until Ray Williams' 91-yard kickoff return for a TD in the fourth.
Wading through the Bucs
Think of all the great quarterbacks the Bucs have faced over the years. Do you know which one has had the most 300-yard passing games against them? Wade Wilson. In his 17-year career, Wilson threw for 300 yards 11 times, and four were against Tampa Bay. Three were as a member of the Vikings and one when he was with Atlanta.
Two (or more)-timers club
When the Saints' Drew Brees, above, threw for 343 yards in the season opener against the Bucs, it was the 51st time a quarterback had thrown for 300 or more yards against them. And Brees became the 11th quarterback to do it more than once. Here's the list and how many times each one did it:
4: Wade Wilson
3: Tommy Kramer
2: Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Don Majkowski, Joe Montana, Danny White, Scott Mitchell
Once is enough
Bears QB Rex Grossman has one 300-yard game in his career. It came in a 37-34 Bears OT win Dec. 17, 2006; Grossman had 339 yards.
Half as good
Three QBs have had one of their two 300-yard games come against the Bucs: Falcons QB-turned-convict Michael Vick threw for 306 yards against the Bucs in 2005; Kent Graham of the Cardinals had 339 against Tampa Bay in 1997; and Randy Wright of the Packers had 321 yards in 1988. Interestingly, the Bucs won all three games.