Weeks 3 & 4
After their incredible come from behind and dramatic overtime win over the Colts in Baltimore, the Bucs found themselves undefeated for the first time ever!
..and a date with the Packers in Green Bay, who came off a pretty good year in 1978 and were looking for playoffs. Chester Marcol scored first on a Field Goal, but a nice 40 yard run from Jerry Eckwood gave the Bucs the half time lead they were looking for.
Jerry Eckwood, rookie from Arkansas, took the Bucs by storm with his fast breakaway speed and slashing running style that were in contrast to Ricky Bell's more powerful runs. The offensive line in 1979 was bigger than just about 80% of NFL teams, and they did a great job of opening running lanes in '79. Ricky Bell took advantage of that line with 2 3rd quarter TouchDowns to pull away from the Packers, who were never heard from again in the division contest.
Final Score: 21-10 Tampa Bay ; 3-0 after three games, an incredible start for what was once a laughing stock franchise.
Ricky Bell Took two in the end zone.
Week 4 presented the Bucs with exactly what they were looking for. A contest against a proven playoff caliber team. Doubters over Tampa Bays 3-0 start pointed out the fact they havn't beat a legit team with a history of winning. The Rams had Taken it to the Bucs twice in 1977 and in the 1976 preseason game, both embarrassing losses for John McKay who coached USC Trojans in the same stadium the Rams played in. In 1978, Doug Williams was lost pretty much for the year in a close loss in the Coliseum.
What the Bucs would do to the Rams was nothing short of amazing. They held them to no Offensive points whatsoever. The 6 points was an interception return for a TD, of which LA could not even score an extra point. In the next two meetings, 3 contests all together, the Bucs would hold the Rams to 0 offensive touchdowns in 12 total quarters!
On this day, the Bucs offensive line dominated the Rams defensive line, opening holes for Ricky Bell , and giving Doug Williams time to throw Touchdown passes to Larry Mucker and Jimmy Giles in the first half, thus providing all the points needed for a convincing win over a true contender, which woke up the NFL to this new undefeated 4-0 team from Tampa Bay!
The O line dominated the Rams all game.