It is finally time Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans! Week one is upon us and the first opponent is the San Francisco 49ers. Jameis Winston and Co. played the 49ers last season and enjoyed one of their few big wins after blasting San Francisco 34-17.
Overall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played the 49ers 24 times but are behind big, only winning seven of those matchups. Let us go back in time and look at one of the past matchups between the two teams.
1 out of 10
San Francisco was one of the better teams throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s thanks to having two of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Joe Montana, who is considered one of the two best quarterbacks ever, ran the 80’s winning four Super Bowls in the decade. In the 1990’s, the 49ers had Steve Young in tow as the successor to Montana. In the 90’s alone, Young played a part in beating the Buccaneers four out of five times. Going back to 1983, the 49ers beat the Buccaneers nine out of ten times, which brings us to 2003.
Not the usual Bucs
Going through the trials of being a bad team throughout the 90’s gave the team its chance to build through the draft. This in turn helped Tampa Bay build the team the right way, as they drafted one of the best defenses of all time. The efforts came to fruition on January 12, 2003.
The San Francisco 49ers came to Tampa Bay and were led by quarterback Jeff Garcia and young wide receiver Terrell Owens. Coming into the divisional playoff game with a 10-6 record, the 49ers ran into a defensive buzzsaw. Tampa Bay was led by the number one defense in the league and made Jeff Garcia miserable. With two forced turnovers, the Buccaneers steamrolled the 49ers and racked up 28 first half points. Meanwhile, Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson played really well in the first half throwing two touchdown passes.
In the game, Jeff Garcia struggled to get his offense going and ended the game with zero touchdowns while throwing three interceptions. Terrell Owens was electric when he had his chances, but in the end, the focus was on the sidelines. The broadcast showed him being animated a few times with Garcia and it led to a frustrated 49ers offense. Tampa Bay brought the pressure with a few blitzes and linebacker Derrick Brooks had himself a game with an interception and a half sack.
Tampa Bay finished game only giving up 6 points while putting 31 on the board. Rewatching the game, one can see how truly dominant that Buccaneers defensive team was. Pressure on most drop backs and speed everywhere front to back.
Super Bowl Run
This game was the launch point for the biggest games in Buccaneers history. They went on to Philadelphia where they finally got past the Philadelphia Eagles and then Super Bowl XXXVII the team won their first ever championship.