INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHINGBUCS: Williams 15-58, Carter 14-32, McNeill 6-19, Spurrier 4-13, Johnson 4-5, DuBose 1-4, Pagac 1-4.PATRIOTS: Johnson 14-127, Calhoun 12-68, Cunningham 6-39, Phillips 3-22, Grogan 3-2, Burks 1-2.PASSINGBUCS: Spurrier 17-12-145-1-1, Carter 1-0-0-0-0.PATRIOTS: Grogan 14-4-40-1-0.RECEIVINGBUCS: Williams 4-33, Novak 3-55, Johnson 2-9, Owens 1-27, Smith 1-16, DuBose 1-5.PATRIOTS: Burks 1-17, Calhoun 1-12, Vataha 1-8, Cunningham 1-3.INTERCEPTIONSBUCS: Stone 1-26.PATRIOTS: Hunt 1-68.KICK RETURNSBUCS: Douglas 3-85, Johnson 2-51.PATRIOTS: Calhoun 2-31, Conn 1-26.PUNT RETURNSBUCS: Douglas 4-78.PATRIOTS: Haynes 3-53.SACKSBUCS: none.PATRIOTS: Tipton 1-12.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 New England Patriots 31Sunday 12 December 1976 at Tampa Stadium
SCORINGTB 13:37-2Q Williams 17 run (Green kick)NE 13:17-2Q Johnson 69 run (Smith kick)TB 2:52-2Q Owens 27 pass from Spurrier (Green kick)NE 4:59-3Q Johnson 9 run (Smith kick)NE 6:15-4Q Hunt 68 interception return (Smith kick)NE 2:41-4Q Smith FG30NE 0:04-4Q Grogan 1 run (Zabel kick)
The Bucs were tied at 14-14 in the fourth quarter and were driving for the go-ahead score when Sam Hunt intercepted Steve Spurrier and returned it for a touchdown. British kicker and future Channel 4 TV presenter John Smith added a fieldgoal to extend the lead later in the final period. The Buccaneer scoring came in the second period when Ed Williams bulled into the endzone from 17 yards out and Spurrier found receiver Morris Owens alone in the endzone from 27 yards out when a defensive back fell down. John McKay's take on the game:" We are 0-14, I can't say much more than that. I'll probably take a little time off and go and hide somewhere."
GAME HIGHLIGHTS Video footage from the expansion season is limited to occasional clips from the NFL Films season highlight film as NBC who broadcast all 14 games that season, destroyed the master tapes some years later leaving none of the games available in the way other games from Buccaneer history are. However we have been able to obtain the coverage from NFL Films’ Review of the Week in which the Buccaneers were featured, sometimes though not in the most flattering of highlights. The left video are the selected Buccaneer clips. The right video is the one from the Review of the Week.