Tampa Bay limited Houston to 107 total net yards and registered five sacks in a 16-3 victory in the 2003 season opener.
The above meeting is the only time these two teams have ever played one another. See the full head-to-head matchup here.
Playing without starting quarterback Jeff Garcia, the Buccaneers got a strong effort from backup Luke McCown and knocked off the Saints, 27-23, to snatch firm control of the NFC South. ... The Texans lost starting quarterback Matt Schaub in the first quarter and dropped a road game to Tennessee, 28-20. The defeat put their postseason hopes on life support.
Tampa Bay can clinch the NFC South division with a victory. That would enable them to rest veteran starters such as Garcia, Derrick Brooks and Joey Galloway with three games left going into the playoffs. The situation for Houston is a bit more dire. The Texans pretty much need to win the rest of their games and get a ton of help to have any hopes of making the postseason.
Texans DE Mario Williams vs. Buccaneers OT Donald Penn. Since taking the place of injured veteran Luke Petitgout, Penn has quietly done an outstanding job for the Bucs. Tampa Bay has given up only 22 sacks this year (fewer than two per game) and it ranks fifth in the NFL in yards per carry, despite being without its top two rushers for most of the season. Penn's strong play has a lot to do with those achievements. In Williams, he faces the first overall pick from the 2006 NFL Draft. After a rookie season in which he received a fair deal of criticism for not matching the highlight-reel plays made by the second and third picks of that draft, Reggie Bush and Vince Young, he is now the one producing at the highest level. Williams ranks 15th in the NFL with eight sacks and has made his own share of eye-catching plays this season. If he can dominate Penn and add some more highlights to his portfolio, the Bucs' offense could be in trouble.