American Football: Glazer's Buccaneers continue downward spiral at Broncos
Tuesday 05 October 2004
Perhaps their owner's alleged interest in another team 4,000 miles away is having a detrimental effect. Whatever, it is difficult to find a plausible explanation for why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winners of the Super Bowl only two years ago, have fallen so far so quickly.
Their 16-13 defeat to Denver on Sunday was their fourth in a row, and they remain without a win this season. The Broncos' franchise owner, Malcolm Glazer, may be casting covetous glances towards Old Trafford, but clearly there are more pressing needs at home.
The Buccaneers' only touchdown in the loss to Denver came from the receiver Michael Clayton, only their third offensive score in four games. A series of costly penalties proved to be Tampa's undoing in a close affair.
There is hope on the horizon. The running back Michael Pittman returned after a three-game ban (he had rammed his wife's car while she was driving it), but if Glazer is serious about acquiring some silverware this season, the Premiership looks his preferred option.
Speaking of which, the New England Patriots are continuing to do a passable impression of Arsenal. Their 31-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday was their 18th in a row, tying the all-time National Football League record. Just like the Gunners, the Patriots have not lost in more than a year, and although the defensive tackler Richard Seymour lacks the flair of Thierry Henry, his intervention proved decisive.
The Bills were trailing by seven points when New England's linebacker Tedy Bruschi forced a fumble and Seymour picked it up and raced 68 yards for the touchdown.
However, Massachusetts remains a better destination than Highbury for a post-match quote. The Patriot linebacker Ted Johnson said: "We athletes are creatures of habit. From now on, we are going to be better. This was a hard game for us to stomach, we never had it under control."
Money might bring success in the Premiership but Daniel Snyder, American football's Roman Abramovich, is learning that the Washington Redskins need more than a few million dollars. Despite bringing back the coaching legend Joe Gibbs, the Redskins are finding it hard to kick the losing habit. The 17-13 reverse in Cleveland was their third in a row.
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