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Tampa Bay 35 at New Orleans 13
1984 Week 8 - Monday, April 16, 1984
Tampa Bay Bandits(4-3) at New Orleans Breakers(6-1)(-4.5)
Attendance: 35,634, TV: ESPN
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tampa Bay and quarterback John Reaves, started out slowly, but picked up the pace during the second quarter while the New Orleans Breakers looked just awful.
Reaves, who threw for two touchdowns, passed for 126 of his 174 yards in a 21-point second period to help the Bandits upset New Orleans, 35-13, in a United States Football League game Monday night.
New Orleans stayed in the game as long as it did only by recovering three Tampa Bay fumbles -- two by Gary Anderson and another by Reaves -- in the Bandits' first three possessions.
The victory knocked New Orleans, 6-2, out of a first-place tie with Birmingham in the USFL Southern Division and kept Tampa Bay, 5-3, alive in the developing Eastern Conference playoff picture.
"It was a 'must' game for us. New Orleans could afford to lose, we couldn't." said Tampa Bay coach Steve Spurrier.
"We could not get any rhythm in our offense," Breakers coach Dick Coury said. "I just can't explain a game like that. I wish I could explain it, but I can't."
Reaves threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marvin Harvey for the last of the three second quarter touchdowns that rallied the Bandits from a 7-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter.
Gary Anderson's two-yard touchdown dive with 5:04 gone in the second period tied the game at 7-7. Both plays came on third down during a streak in which Tampa Bay was successful on 11 consecutive third down possessions.
Fullback Greg Boone, enjoying his second 100-yard game, ran seven yards for the Bandits' second score just 3:31 later. He finished with 108 yards on 21 carries.
Tampa Bay's defense, which rendered the USFL's most potent offense
impotent, held New Orleans to just 1 yard rushing in the two
series sandwiched between the Bandits' three scoring drives.
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn