Seattle soundly beaten by Bucs

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The Independent Online

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers demonstrated their championship credentials with a convincing 16-3 win at AFC West leaders Seattle Seahawks.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers demonstrated their championship credentials with a convincing 16-3 win at AFC West leaders Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle coach Mike Holmgren, with the Seahawks off to their best start since 1984 and riding a five-game winning streak, watched his high-powered offence falter against one of the top defensive teams in the National Football League.

Defensive lineman Warren Sapp and the relentless Bucs pressure forced Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna to throw five interceptions, and give up a costly fumble.

"They kept coming and kept doing different things here and there, so that we really couldn't get a bead on them," said Kitna, a former star in NFL Europe.

"I don't think they got me rattled ... sometimes you get beaten by a good football team."

Tampa Bay also got a heroic performance from Shaun King, the reserve coming off the bench to throw a touchdown pass after starting quarterback Trent Dilfer was lost to injury. Dilfer is expected to miss the next four to six weeks.

The Bucs, with seven wins and four defeats, remained in a three-way tie in the NFC Central with Detroit, winners on Thanksgiving over Chicago, and Minnesota, who showed glimpses of last season's explosive offence with a 35-27 home triumph over San Diego.

Kansas City (6-5) are just two games behind Seattle, who have eight wins, in the AFC West after edging the Oakland Raiders 37-34.

Oakland, with five triumphs, lost for the sixth time.

New York star Wayne Chrebet failed to haul in a potential game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds as the Indianapolis Colts clinched a 13-6 triumph.

The pass hit the Jets' wide receiver in the hands but he failed to hold on, with New York's play-off chances all but disappearing as they slipped to a 4-7 record.

The Colts, strugglers last season but with nine wins off to their best start since 1976 - the same year their quarterback Peyton Manning was born - now have a one-game lead over the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East. The Dolphins slipped to defeat at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

"We made it tougher than it needed to be," said Manning.

"We made mistakes near the end zone which cost us points. We should have had more touchdowns."

The Buffalo Bills (8-4) continued their fine play at Ralph Wilson Stadium with a 17-7 victory over New England (6-5), pushing them two games ahead of the Patriots as teams battle for play-off wild-cards.

The Washington Redskins (7-4) barely held on to sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a 20-17 overtime win over the Philadelphia Eagles (3-9).

Brett Conway, who missed a short field goal to clinch the victory in regulation, booted the game-winner in the extra period.

Arizona kept their post-season hopes alive with a 34-24 triumph in the Meadowlands over the New York Giants. Both clubs have five wins and six defeats.

In the AFC Central, leaders Jacksonville won for the 10th time this season by beating division rivals Baltimore (4-7) 30-23. The Jags are now closing in on homefield advantage through the play-offs.

The Tennessee Titans came from behind against the Cleveland Browns for a 33-21 victory, their ninth of the season, and the Cincinnati Bengals - one of the worst teams in the league - edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-20.

St Louis (9-2) moved closer to winning the NFC West with a 48-12 demolition of the New Orleans Saints (2-9).

The Carolina Panthers held off a late rally by the Atlanta Falcons to win 34-28 at Ericsson Stadium.

Chris Chandler threw touchdown passes in the final nine minutes and then had a chance to snatch victory after the Falcons recovered a fumble at the Panthers' 20-yard line.

But linebacker Kevin Greene blitzed and hit Chandler to force him to fumble the ball back to the Panthers. Carolina remained in the wildcard hunt with five wins and six defeats.

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