Defense injured on and off the field in Minnesota
Blood had trickled down his left shin and had liberally spotted his formerly all-white shoe. The burly man sat on a stool in the guest quarters at Metropolitan Stadium, resting the leg that had needed 15 stitches to close a gash from a second-quarter injury. And he wasn't even a player.
There was something symbolic in the fact that assistant coach Tom Bass, Tampa Bay's defensive coordinator, had joined several Buccaneer players in suffering bodily harm during Sunday's 38-30 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. For A of the bruises carried home by the Bucs, none was so deep and so painful as the one applied to their once haughty defense.
"When you give up 38 points your (defensive) coach ought to be shot, not injured," said Bass. "He's probably played the best two games he's ever had, and we haven't given him any help."
He is Doug Williams, and Sunday the Bucs quarterback had as majestic a game as anyone has ever had. The Bucs quarterback passed for 486 yards. Only three men in the history of the National Football League have thrown for more in one day. They are Norm Van Brocklin, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Namath, all Hall of Famers present or future.
Williams also threw four touchdown passes - a personal high - and had a fifth swiped from him because of a penalty. All told, he completed 30 of 55 attempts and even had the opposing coach, Bud Grant, asking if there were any superior quarterbacks around.
But a blocked extra point, an illegal motion penalty, three fourth- quarter turnovers and a ton of completions by Viking quarterback Tommy Kramer knocked Williams out of the headlines and shoved Tampa Bay to the precipice of elimination.
Minnesota (6-5) moved into a tie with the Detroit Lions atop the NFC Central, while the Bucs and Green Bav, both 4-6-1, again share third place, at 1 1/2 games back. Chicago (4- 7) remained the caboose as four Central teams were dealt defeats Sunday.
To secure a return engagement to the playoffs, the Bucs are now confronted with the prospects of winning five straight to close the regular season, just as they opened in 1979.
"Somebody (with a capital S) must be with us because everybody else is losing," said linebacker David Lewis. "There's gonna be a lot of blood, sweat and tears the next five weeks."
The tears , believes linebacker Dewey Selmon, will be ones of joy. “Tomorrow (today) we will watch the game film, walk away and say we're gonna suck it up and win five straight or say it's gonna be an early Christmas for the Buccaneers. I think we're gonna say we can win them."
Mike Tierney The St.Petersburg Times November 1980