KEY PLAYER: In a sloppy quarter riddled with a combined three turnovers and six penalties, Daunte Culpepper's miscues typified two struggling offenses. With Minnesota at the Tampa Bay 25, Brian Kelly intercepted Culpepper's pass intended for Nate Burleson. Culpepper later called an audible, but the ball slipped out of his hands onto the turf, where it was recovered by Dewayne White.
KEY PLAY: Darren Sharper's 88-yard interception return for a touchdown came three plays after Culpepper's fumble. This was Sharper's first game with Minnesota after eight seasons with Green Bay.
KEY PLAYER: Brian Griese recovered from his slow start. He capped a scoring drive with a 23-yard pass to Alex Smith on the first play then led an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by Smith's 2-yard catch. In between, he was intercepted by Fred Smoot, but Griese was 11-of-20 for 173 yards in the first half.
KEY PLAY: On third and 9, Michael Clayton made a 41-yard reception, moving the Bucs from their 43 to the Vikings 16. It was the game's longest reception.
KEY PLAYER: Minnesota's running game was inept (26 yards for the game), forcing Daunte Culpepper into throwing or running out of the shotgun. In the only scoring drive, Culpepper had a 10-yard run on third and 8 and completed a 25-yard pass to Travis Taylor on second and 24.
KEY PLAY: Tight end Jermaine Wiggins took a Culpepper pass 35 yards into the end zone, but pass interference against him erased the score. The Vikings settled for Paul Edinger's 53-yard field goal. Wiggins had a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter wiped out by offsetting penalties.
KEY PLAYER: With the Bucs trying to run out the clock and needing a yard for a first down, Carnell Williams secured the victory with a 71-yard scoring run. Williams had 148 yards rushing, the most since Michael Pittman's 131 against the Saints in December.
KEY PLAY: Mo Williams bobbled a Daunte Culpepper pass that Brian Kelly snared at the Bucs 6 with 1:45 left. Kelly's interception atoned for his holding penalty earlier in the drive.
_ DAVID WHITEHEAD, Times staff writer