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On This Day- 11/5/1978- Bucs lose Doug Williams with Broken Jaw.

This halfback pass for TD tied the Game in the 4th Qtr.
This halfback pass for TD tied the Game in the 4th Qtr.

The Bucs were fresh off of 0-26, winning the last two games of the 77 season, and going into 1978 had a strong armed QB named Doug Wiliiams who was able to flick his wrist and give the Bucs a scoring chance. That helped Ricky Bell out a little bit and the defense had to watch out for the pass. The Bucs were 4-5 after a two point loss to Green Bay, and were playing at the Los Angeles Rams in the Memorial Coliseum, where John McKay won many games, Rose Bowls, and others, as Coach of the USC Trojans.        The Bucs had the #4 defense in 1978, and its very possible the Bucs could have ended up with a winning record or even a playoff spot , basically doing the whole 1979 Worst to First a year earlier...but Doug Williams was hit by Rams Defensive lineman Fred Dryer who broke his jaw, and despite Mike Rae coming in and almost pulling the game out, the Bucs only won one game the rest of the year. And so a 5-11 record made way for the 1979 magical season were about to celebrate on Sunday..

 

Doug Williams actually played in the last game of the season, a loss to the Saints in which his jaw was wired shut, preventing him from calling audibles. Despite losing, the experience was probably good for Doug going into the offseason.