Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs-Packers: 5 Plays That Made A Difference
Brooks Changes Momentum The Packers weren't really trying to get much when they lined up to run a third-and-18 play at their own 27 at the outset of the second quarter. A throw to RB Brandon Jackson just beyond the line of scrimmage was designed to gain a few yards and improve field position for the punter, and that's what the play would have accomplished had Jackson caught the ball. When all Jackson could do was tip it, Derrick Brooks grabbed it and quickly pitched the ball back to Cato June. June didn't gain much once he got the ball - just a yard - but he didn't have to. The pick gave the Bucs the ball at the Packers 32-yard line, and from there they moved in to tie the score at 7. Clayton Drop Ended Drive There were a lot of dropped balls in this game. No drop seemed to do more damage to the Bucs than the one charged to Michael Clayton on a second-and-9 play from the Packers' 17 early in the third quarter. Granted, the throw from Brian Griese was a little low. But thrown in the middle of the field, it needed to be. When Clayton failed to secure the ball at the Packers' 5, Tramon Williams intercepted it and brought it back 39 yards to the Packers 44 to kill a Bucs drive that seemed sure to net the points necessary to build a two-score lead. The Bucs' defense held, forcing a three-and-out punt, but the drop derailed one of the Bucs' better drives and kept them from stretching the lead.Phillips Scores On Turnover The Packers were in a position to tighten the game up a bit when they took possession at their 40-yard line early in the third quarter. They were trailing by six points, but by the time they were done running their first-and-10 play, they were down by 13. The play started innocently enough, with Packers RB Ryan Grant running around right end. It started to unravel as soon as Brooks lowered his head and put a helmet on Grant, forcing a fumble at the Green Bay 38. S Jermaine Phillips picked up the ball and didn't stop until he had outrun Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to the end zone, extending the Bucs lead to a seemingly comfortable 20-7 with nine minutes left in the third quarter. Woodson Gives Pack Lead The Bucs were still in control of the game and moving the ball pretty well when they lined up to run a third-and-3 play from the Packers' 41 early in the fourth quarter. Their choice of plays - a dump-off just across the line to Warrick Dunn - seemed like a good one, but one that Packers CB Charles Woodson must have seen coming. Woodson timed his break on the ball perfectly and snatched Griese's throw out of Dunn's hands at the 38. That wasn't the worst of it. There was nothing other than Griese standing between Woodson and the end zone. That wasn't enough to keep Woodson from taking the ball 62 yards for a touchdown that gave the Packers a 21-20 lead. Big Hit Caused Interception The Bucs got their lead back, relying mostly on the running game to set up a 24-yard Matt Bryant field goal with 2:36 to play. With a little more than two minutes left in the game, though, the Packers still had a chance to pull out a victory. They did, at least, until they ran a second-and-10 play from their 40. Aaron Rodgers dropped back to pass, but never saw Greg White coming from his blind side. White hit Rodgers just as he released the ball, which floated into the hands of Gaines Adams, the Bucs end who had drifted back into coverage. Adams easily secured his second pick in as many games and that was all the Bucs needed to push their record to 3-1.
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