Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dilfer Answers Critics by Dumping Dolphins

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dilfer Answers Critics by Dumping Dolphins

Article excerpt

Trent Dilfer had his finest moment as a pro against his biggest critic, Jimmy Johnson.

Tampa Bay's much-maligned quarterback threw for 248 yards and a career-high four touchdowns Sunday night as the Buccaneers remained the NFC's only unbeaten team with a 31-21 victory over Johnson's Miami Dolphins.

Cited by the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach as one of the reasons he turned down an opportunity to take over the Bucs 20 months ago, Dilfer answered one of the harshest critics of his first two NFL seasons. He threw a pair of short TD passes to Mike Alstott, a 38-yarder to Reidel Anthony and a screen to Warrick Dunn that the running back turned into a 58-yard scoring play. The victory improved Tampa Bay's record to 4-0 for the first time in 18 years and evened coach Tony Dungy's record at 10-10, the same mark Johnson has compiled with the Dolphins (2-2) since spurning Tampa Bay. Alstott caught first-half TD passes of 1 and 3 yards before Tampa Bay took advantage of the speed of Anthony and Dunn, this year's first-round draft picks, to open a 31-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. Dan Marino, who threw for 235 yards, brought the Dolphins back with his second TD pass - a 1-yarder to Fred Barnett with 3:25 to go - but the Bucs recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock for their first regular-season victory over their intrastate rivals since 1982. …

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