Dungy wins wild return to Tampa Bay as Colts top Bucs

Updated: October 7, 2003, 4:27 AM ET

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey - Tony Dungy's homecoming turned out to be quite different than the ones Emmitt Smith, Steve Mariucci or Mike Holmgren experienced.

After watching his team play three listless quarters, Dungy saw his Indianapolis Colts rally from a 21-point deficit in the final four minutes to rally for a stunning 38-35 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Sunday, Smith, Mariucci and Holmgren all were beaten in homecomings. That set the stage for Monday's return to Tampa Bay for Dungy, who failed to lead the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl in six seasons.

"I am just extremely happy, but when you fight against guys that you went to war with, it was really tough out there," Dungy said.

Mike Vanderjagt's 29-yard field goal was the game-winner. The Colts kicker actually missed his first attempt to win the game - a 40-yard attempt - but was given another chance when defensive end Simeon Rice was whistled for a questionable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

It marked a strange night on Dungy's 48th birthday.

"Well, it was motivational, we wanted to come here and get a win for coach's birthday," Colts safety Mike Doss said. "We came out in the second half and laid it on the line."

For most of the game, the Super Bowl champions appeared to be well on their way to handing their former coach his first loss this year. Ronde Barber intercepted Peyton Manning and ran it back 29 yards and a touchdown for a 35-14 advantage with just over five minutes left.

A three-yard TD run by James Mungro pulled Indianapolis within 35-21 with 3:37 to go. The Colts recovered an onside kick and Manning hit Marvin Harrison for a 28-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to seven points.

The Colts got the ball back with 1:41 remaining on their own 15-yard-line and Manning went to work. He threw a 52-yard pass to Harrison that helped set up Ricky Williams' one-yard plunge that tied the contest with 35 seconds to go.

"They never gave up, that is what I like about us," Dungy said. "We have a great team chemistry."

Tampa Bay won the overtime toss and drove to the Colts' 41-yard-line before being forced to punt. Manning came up with huge third-down completions to Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Troy Walters to set up Vanderjagt's winning kick.

"Obviously, a very agonizing defeat," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said. "There are numerous reasons for it. They score quickly, it's 35-21. The onsides kick (was a) great play on their part. They got a quick strike. We're unable to run out the clock."

It completed the largest deficit any team has overcome in the final four minutes to win an NFL game - which was made even more unbelievable by the fact it occurred against one of the game's best defenses.

"That is an awesome defense," Manning said. "They can play. I mean, I love my offensive line, but they were bringing it at times."

Dungy and Bucs defensive tackle Anthony McFarland exchanged a warm embrace after the game.

Indianapolis (5-0) remained one of four unbeaten teams in the league along with Kansas City, Carolina and Minnesota. The Colts host the 4-0 Panthers next week.

Manning completed 34-of-47 passes for 386 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Manning threw for an NFL season-high six touchdowns in last week's 55-21 rout at New Orleans.

On Sunday, Smith was reduced to tears after failing to gain positive yardage as Arizona suffered a 24-7 loss at Dallas. Holmgren lost his second trip to Green Bay with Seattle as the Packers posted a 35-13 rout. Detroit Lions coach Mariucci returned to San Francisco and was on the short end of a 24-17 defeat against the 49ers.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index