Johnson-less Bucs beat Giants

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are perfect in the post-Keyshawn Johnson era.

Playing with a sense of urgency lacking for much of the season, the defending Super Bowl champions revived their playoff hopes Monday night with a 19-13 victory over the New York Giants.

Brad Johnson threw for 269 yards and one touchdown, helping the Bucs (5-6) stop a three-game losing streak in their first outing since Keyshawn Johnson was deactivated for the remainder of the season because of differences with coach Jon Gruden.

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Charles Lee, one of the receivers getting more playing time because of Keyshawn's absence, scored on a 53-yard reception. Thomas Jones scored on a 1-yard run, and Martin Gramatica finished a long second-half drive with a 21-yard field goal.

Tampa Bay's defense, redeeming itself after yielding winning drives the previous three weeks, forced four turnovers by Kerry Collins and sacked the Giants' quarterback twice. John Lynch's interception with under four minutes helped ensure the outcome.

Matt Bryant kicked a pair of 30-yard field goals for New York, which trimmed a 17-6 deficit to four points when Frank Walker intercepted a pass intended for Joe Jurevicius and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown with 12:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.