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Bucs barely remain unbeaten

NFL roundup

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used to find a way to lose. Nowthey find a way to win.

The NFC's only unbeaten team matched its best start ever Sunday, improvingto 5-0 with a come-frombehind 19-18 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Trent Dilfer's 31-yard touchdown pass to Karl Williams with 4:48 to gowiped out an 18-12 lead the Cardinals took on Aeneas Williams' 42-yard interceptionreturn and a 2-point conversion late in the third quarter.

Tampa Bay also got an 8-yard TD reception from Reidel Anthony and scoredwhen Alshermond Singleton blocked a Jeff Feagles punt and returned it 28yards for a firstquarter touchdown.

Once one of the most resourceful teams at letting games slip away, theBucs have developed a knack for maintaining their poise under second-yearcoach Tony Dungy.

We've lost so many games like this in the past, safety JohnLynch said. It's hard work and preparation and believing you can win.You don't just get lucky at this. You get lucky for a reason.

Arizona (1-3) had a chance to win on the final play of the game, butKevin Butler missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.

It's the same old song, different dance, Arizona coach VinceTobin said. We've been in this situation three times, and we can'tget it done.

Fumbles undermined the Cardinals' chances in losses to Cincinnati andWashington. Sunday, an interception gave Tampa Bay's sputtering offensean opportunity to win the game.

The victory was a franchiserecord sixth straight for Tampa Bay, whichis 5-0 for the first time since 1979, when the Bucs went 10-6 on their wayto an appearance in the NFC Championship game.

Since losing eight of their first nine games a year ago, the perennialNFC Central doormats are 10-2 and have won eight straight at home. Theyhead to Green Bay next Sunday for a showdown with the champion Packers,and with the Bucs alone atop the division.

VIKINGS 28, EAGLES 19 -- At Minneapolis, another specialteams blunderand another big game by Robert Smith doomed the Eagles.

Smith scored two touchdowns for the first time in his career, the secondafter Mark Seay bungled a punt return deep in Philadelphia territory, tolead the Vikings.

Smith, the NFC's leading rusher, carried 22 times for 125 yards. He alsocaught the first TD pass of his five-year career and set up another scorewith a 46-yard run as the Vikings (3-2) snapped a two-game losing streakand regained a share of second place in the Central Division.

The Eagles (1-3), playing for the first time since their botched gamewinningfield goal attempt in a 21-20 loss at Dallas two weeks ago, fell into alast-place tie with Arizona in the East.

Brad Johnson threw three TD passes for the Vikings, including a 48-yarderto Jake Reed on the Vikings' third play of the game. Reed finished withsix catches for 134 yards, setting a team record with his fourth consecutive100-yard game.

REDSKINS 24, JAGUARS 12 -- At Washington, aging cornerbacks Darrell Greenand Cris Dishman shut down Mark Brunell, and Gus Frerotte overcame a shakystart to throw for two touchdowns as the host Redskins (3-1) handed theJaguars (3-1) their first loss.

Green held Jimmy Smith, who had more than 100 yards in each of his threestarts, to four catches for 52 yards. Both the 37-year-old Green and the32-year-old Dishman caused interceptions that set up touchdowns. Terry Allenrushed for 122 yards on 36 carries for Washington.

This is a high-powered offense, and people were going to say, `Didthey beat our secondary?' Green said. I was pretty hyped aboutplaying these guys, and I'm leaving here very satisfied.

JETS 31, BENGALS 14 -- At Cincinnati, Neil O'Donnell threw three touchdownpasses in a ballcontrol offense as New York handed the Bengals their firsthome loss under Bruce Coslet.

O'Donnell, who as a Pittsburgh Steeler was 8-1 against Cincinnati, gotplenty of help as he beat the Bengals (1-3) yet again. Adrian Murrell carrieda career-high 40 times for 156 yards against the NFL's second-worst rushdefense, and the Jets (3-2) made few mistakes against their former coach(Coslet) and Jeff Blake, their former backup quarterback.

COWBOYS 27, BEARS — -- At Dallas, Troy Aikman threw two touchdown passesand Deion Sanders returned a punt 83 yards for a score as the Cowboys (3-1)finally got their offense going in the second half.

Kevin Smith's interception set up the only first-half TD, before Dallasscored on its first two drives of the second half to put away the Bears(0-5).

CHIEFS 20, SEAHAWKS 17 (OT) -- At Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, PeteStoyanovich kicked a 41-yard field goal with 1:56 left in overtime afterJerome Woods intercepted Warren Moon's pass as the Chiefs (4-1) won theirfourth straight. Seattle (2-3) lost for the first time in three games.

Marcus Allen ran for two TDs for Kansas City, raising his NFL careerrecord to 115.

STEELERS 37, OILERS 24 -- At Pittsburgh, Kordell Stewart threw for 244yards, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another for the Steelers (2-2).Jason Gildon scored on a fumble return for Pittsburgh, which opened a 37-9lead over visiting Tennessee (1-3).

Norm Johnson, who had a potential game-winning field goal blocked onMonday night in Jacksonville, was 3-for-4 and the defense limited EddieGeorge, averaging 121 yards a game, to 29 yards on 12 carries.

GIANTS 14, SAINTS 9 -- At the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., DaveBrown threw touchdown passes of 32 yards to Kevin Alexander and 14 to ChrisCalloway and little-used Tyrone Wheatley had three big runs to help killthe clock after the Giants (2-3) were backed to their own — late in thegame.

CHARGERS 21, RAVENS 17 -- At San Diego, Tony Martin caught touchdownpasses of 36, 72 and 38 yards from Stan Humphries for the Chargers (2-3).Martin finished with four catches for 155 yards as the Ravens (3-2) lostafter two straight wins on the road.

BRONCOS 29, FALCONS 21 -- At Atlanta, John Elway, who once called playingfor Reeves as hell, threw three TD passes as the Broncos facedReeves for the first time since he left Denver.

The Broncos (5-0) built a 23-0 lead at the Georgia Dome, then hung onto beat the winless Falcons (0-5). It was also redemption for Denver coachMike Shanahan, fired by Reeves as the team's offensive coordinator in 1991.

Today'sSports Index,