Tampa Bay Easily Stuffs St. Louis 24-3

Sunday, September 23rd 2007, 3:14 pm
By: News On 6

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Week by week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are building a new identity on defense.

Hard-hitting safety Jermaine Phillips and reserve cornerback Phillip Buchanon intercepted passes as the revamped Bucs routed the struggling St. Louis Rams 24-3 on Sunday.

Seldom-used running back Earnest Graham entered the game in the fourth quarter and scored on runs of 8 and 28 yards for Tampa Bay (2-1). Carnell ``Cadillac'' Williams rushed for a 7-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and Matt Bryant kicked a short field goal in a brief but intense rainstorm to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead at the half.

St. Louis (0-3) remained winless despite finally getting Steven Jackson involved in an offense that's suddenly found it difficult to score points. The fourth-year running back had 115 yards on 30 carries and caught four passes for 18 yards.

The Bucs defense followed up a strong performance in a lopsided victory over New Orleans with an even more impressive outing, limiting Marc Bulger to 116 yards passing and holding Pro Bowl receiver Torry Holt to less than 100 yards receiving for the first time in five meetings between the teams.