This week's match-up will be just the fifth meeting between the Buccaneers and the Patriots in the regular season. The Patriots hold a 3-1 advantage, but Tampa won the last meeting, 27-7 in 1997. This will be their first meeting on opening day, and their first meeting in the month of September. The results from their regular season series are listed below:
|Dec. 12, 1976||NE 31, Tampa Bay 14||17||Tampa Bay|
|Oct. 12, 1985||NE 32, Tampa Bay 14||18||Tampa Bay|
|Dec. 11, 1988||NE 10, Tampa Bay 7 (OT)||3||Foxboro|
|Nov. 16, 1997||Tampa Bay 27, NE 7||-20||Tampa Bay|
If it feels as though the Buccaneers were just in Foxboro – they were. Tampa returns just 14 days after they played New England in the preseason on Aug. 20.
The Patriots will face another preseason opponent in the regular season. They played the Detroit Lions on Aug. 4 and will return to Detroit on Nov. 23 to play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New England Patriots in a non-conference game at Houlihan Stadium, claiming a 27-7 victory over the Patriots.
The Buccaneers opened the scoring with a 13-play, 80-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard run by Errict Rhett. Tampa Bay engineered another long drive, moving the ball 79-yards on 14 plays, but failed to score when the Patriots defense held at the goalline. The Bucs turned the ball over on downs but, the Patriots were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. Tampa Bay moved into field goal range near the end of the half and took a 10-0 lead on a Michael Husted 44-yard field goal.
In the second half, Tampa added two touchdowns and a field goal, while holding the Patriots to only one touchdown. Buccaneers quarterback Trent Dilfer connected with tight end Dave Moore on a 7-yard touchdown and running back Mike Alstott scored from 1-yard out.
With 2:05 remaining in the game, the Patriots pulled their starters, allowing QB Scott Zolak to take control of the offense. Zolak led the Patriots on a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Lovett Purnell in the Patriots 27-7 loss.
|Patriots:||Andy Johnson 14-127-2 (12/12/76)|
|Buccaneers:||William Howard 23-101-0 (12/11/88)|
|Patriots:||Steve Grogan 21-14-237-0 td-0 int (10/27/85)|
|Buccaneers:||Trent Dilfer 29-21-209-1 td-0 int (11/16/97)|
|Patriots:||Tony Collins 6-109-1 td (10/27/85)|
|Buccaneers:||Mark Carrier 4-90-1 td (12/11/88)|
In this weekend's season opener against the Buccaneers, the Patriots will extend their consecutive home sell out streak to 64 games. The streak, which dates back to the 1994 season opener, includes preseason, postseason and regular season games.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator /running backs coach Charlie Weis and defenisve backs coach Eric Mangini were all on the New York Jets coaching staff when Buccaneers wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson was with the Jets (1997-99).
Patriots veteran defensive tackle Henry Thomas played for Tampa Bay's head coach Tony Dungy when he was the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings from 1992-94. *
Buccaneers offensive coordinator Les Steckel was the Patriots quarterbacks and wide receivers coach from 1985-88. *
Patriots RB Kevin Faulk and Buccaneers DT Anthony McFarland played together at Louisiana State.
The New England Patriots have a 23-9 (.719) record at Foxboro Stadium over the past four seasons (1996-99). In addition, the Patriots have won their past five home openers.
The Patriots seek to continue the NFL's recent "change-your-uniform, make-the-playoffs" streak that the Tennessee Titans extended last season. The last five teams to re-design their uniforms earned playoff berths in the first year of their new look, including the Buccaneers in 1997. The new look = playoffs teams of the past four years:
|**Team Uniform Change**||**Year**||**Playoffs**|
|Philadelphia Eagles||1996||Played in Wild Card|
|Denver Broncos||1997||Won Super Bowl XXXII|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1997||Advanced to Divisional Playoffs|
|New York Jets||1998||Advanced to AFC Championship|
|Tennessee Titans||1999||Advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV|