Accessibility links

NFL Football: Last Year's Super Bowl Winner, Tampa, is Ousted from Playoff Contention - 2003-12-21

The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been eliminated from playoff contention after losing 30-28 to the Atlanta Falcons in a National Football League match.

Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes to lead the Falcons in Tampa, Florida. Buccaneers' quarterback Brad Johnson had a disastrous day, throwing four interceptions before coming back in the fourth quarter with three touchdown passes. However, the Bucs fell short in their attempt to rally from a 23-point deficit. With only 27 seconds to go, a two-point conversion pass that would have tied the game was batted down, giving Atlanta just its fourth win of the year.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots beat the host New York Jets 21-16 for their 11th win in a row. New England quarterback Tom Brady tossed a pair of touchdowns to David Givens, and the Pats' defense intercepted Jets quarterback Chad Pennington five times.

The Minnesota Vikings crushed the Kansas City Chiefs 45-20, boosting the Vikings chance to make the playoffs. Onterrio Smith ran for three touchdowns, and Daunte Culpepper threw three more to lead Minnesota at home. The Chiefs already have a playoff berth and the American Football Conference West title, but Saturday's loss endangers Kansas City's chance of securing home field advantage leading up to the Super Bowl.