Brad Johnson threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns, and the NFL's top-ranked defense forced four turnovers as the Bucs beat the Panthers 23-10 on Sunday. Tampa Bay, at 8-2, is off to its best start after 10 games. The Bucs sit alone atop the NFC South entering games the next two weeks against the Packers and Saints. Johnson threw a 1-yard touchdown to Keyshawn Johnson in the second quarter then snapped a 10-10 tie with a 22-yarder to Keenan McCardell late in the third. Martin Gramatica added field goals of 20, 32 and 41 yards. Tampa Bay's defense had three interceptions, four sacks and recovered one of Carolina quarterback Rodney Peete's two fumbles.
_ Details, 9C
McNabb breaks ankle
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox was taken off the field by ambulance during the game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Maddox, 31, was taken to Baptist Hospital's trauma unit in Nashville. The Steelers said Maddox was awake and alert with sensation and movement in all his extremities. In Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb broke his ankle on the third play of the game against Arizona. He played the rest of the game but could miss the rest of the regular season.
_ Details, 10-11C
QUESTION OF THE DAY
How many AFC teams are within two games of first place? (And no fair peeking.)
"Oh, I was physical. I might have been skinny, but I liked to hit people."
_ JASON RICHARDSON
Golden State Warriors guard
on playing hockey as a child
14. The only teams more than two back are Cincinnati and Houston.