Week 3 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17, Green Bay Packers 16
What you need to know
The Buccaneers broke their losing streak in Green Bay since 1989 with this victory over the Green Bay Packers. It was simply a matter of a more balanced attack against the Packers and fewer mistakes and turnovers.
The Buccaneers capitalized on a forced fumble recovery of William Henderson with a five yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway. Griese finished with 17 completions on his 26 attempts for 139 yards. The difference between Brian Griese and Brett Favre in this game came down to mistakes. And like Brett Favre, Griese threw two touchdown passes. The second was also to Joey Galloway. But to Favre’s three interceptions, Griese only threw one.
Carnell Williams was the first NFL player to rush for over 100 yards in his first three games. He also broke the record for the most yards rushing ever over the course of his first three games with a combined 434 total rushing yards. Williams was impressive with 158 yards on his 37 carries for a 4.25 average YPC. Eight of his rushes were for seven yards or more. And on top of his 158 rushing yards, he had a twelve yard carry brought back with a holding penalty on Mike Alstott.
Michael Clayton and Joey Galloway shared the same number of targets with eight. And both finished with five receptions, Clayton for 44 yards, Galloway for 53 yards and his two touchdowns. Clayton provided a great block that enabled TE Anthony Becht to gain nine yards on his reception.
Ryan Longwell’s missed kicks were the difference in this game. Longwell missed an extra point attempt off of a bad snap. It was the first extra point attempt that he has missed in 157 attempts. Longwell also missed a 42 yard field goal attempt.
And while those points were the difference in this losing effort, the Packers were also outplayed by the Buccaneers in the rushing game. As they have in the season to date, Green Bay struggled to sustain a consistent rushing attack. Ahman Green only rushed for 58 yards on his 19 carries. His longest rush of 13 yards was his longest rush this season to date.
Brett Favre showed flashes of excellence, connecting on a beautiful 37 yard touchdown strike to Robert Ferguson on a fourth and five play. He later threw a second 20 yard touchdown pass to WR Antonio Chatman. But along with the beautifully thrown passes, he also overthrew and underthrew his receivers and threw three interceptions over the course of the game.
Robert Ferguson was Favre’s favorite target with eight and caught half of them for 68 yards and the touchdown. It was a quiet afternoon for Donald Driver, who was the target of two of Favre’s interceptions. Driver saw an additional three targets and caught two of them for 49 yards.
What you ought to know
|QB Brian Griese, Pass: 17 - 26 - 139 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 0 - 0|
An impressive running game, opened up a play action touchdown pass from Griese to Joey Galloway during Tampa Bay’s opening drive. Griese found the pass protection he needed throughout the game. He connected with eight different receivers though he favored Michael Clayton and Joey Galloway. He rolled out of the pocket to connect with Galloway for the five yard touchdown in the first quarter. And then in the second quarter of play, he threw another touchdown pass, this one for ten yards to Joey Galloway. He did have one pass batted down. And in the second quarter, he was forced to throw away the ball, Griese probably should have been called for intentional grounding but was not and the Buccaneers made a field goal. Griese was rushed and threw a poor pass that was intercepted by Ahmad Carroll in the fourth quarter.
With his 158 rushing yard game, Williams broke the record for the most rushing yards over the course of his first three games. Williams played a powerful running game. He carried the football eight times alone for 24 yards during the Buccaneers’ first drive. Williams made a great 26 yard carry in the fourth quarter. He had a 12 yard gain called back on a holding penalty against Mike Alstott. Williams was a big part of the Buccaneers’ offense when they were running off the clock in the fourth quarter, rushing for 44 yards on seven carries.
Pittman was the target of Griese’s interception.
Alstott came in on a third and short play in the second quarter; he made a four yard reception to gain the first down. He was called for holding, negating a 12 yard gain by Carnell Williams.
Cook made an 11 yard reception on a play action pass in the second half.
Galloway had a pass intended for him broken up by Michael Hawkins. He was the recipient of Griese’s five yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Galloway made a second touchdown reception of ten yards in the second quarter. He made a 12 yard reception over the middle in the fourth quarter.
Clayton shared the same number of targets with Joey Galloway, both getting eight looks from Brian Griese. He got free and gained 19 yards and a first down on the Buccaneers’ opening drive. Clayton also gave a great block that enabled Anthony Becht to gain nine yards on a reception.
Hilliard caught both of the passes that came his way for a total of 14 yards. He saw his first target and reception late in the first half, but was not heard from again until his a second reception of six yards in the fourth quarter.
Becht made a nine yard reception during the first quarter.
Smith made a four yard reception in the third quarter.
Bryant made a 42 yard field goal attempt and successfully converted both of his extra point attempts.
The Buccaneers held Ahman Green to 58 rushing yards and the Packers to a total of 75 rushing yards. Shelton Quarles forced a fumble off of William Henderson; it was recovered by Ronde Barber and led to the Buccaneers’ first touchdown of the game. Favre was sacked twice.
Brian Kelly was called questionably for pass interference and Gruden was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Those two penalties resulted in 56 yards gained for the Packers and Favre threw his second touchdown pass two plays later. Bryan Kelly intercepted Favre once and Will Allen intercepted him twice. Shelton Quarles knocked down a pass in the fourth quarter that kept the Packers out of the end zone, and held them to a field goal.
|QB Brett Favre, Pass: 14 - 24 - 195 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0|
On fourth and five, Favre rolled back and completed a 37 yard touchdown pass to Robert Ferguson. After the Packers gained 56 yards on penalties against Tampa Bay, Favre threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Chatman. And along with those great passes, he also made some poorly thrown passes. Favre was intercepted in the second quarter by Brian Kelly. In the second half, he threw an additional two interceptions. His last interception gave the ball back to the Buccaneers late in the fourth quarter, and they effectively ran the clock out ending the game.
|RB Ahman Green, Rush: 19 - 58 - 0, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (3 targets)|
The Packers are struggling to get an effective rushing game going and Green has been the player to absorb the most impact from that struggle. Through the first half, he had 12 carries for 27 yards. In the second half, he rushed for an additional 31 yards on 7 carries. After the Griese interception, Green made a 13 yard gain, his longest run yet for this season.
Henderson fumbled his first carry of the year during the opening drive of the game. It was recovered by the Buccaneers.
Davenport saw his carries in the third quarter.
Ferguson made the first reception of the game to gain 12 yards and a first down. He caught a beautiful 36 yard touchdown pass, when he was open after running easily past Juran Bolden. He did drop a ball in the third quarter. Ferguson made a key ten yard reception in the fourth quarter at the sidelines that set up Ryan Longwell’s 32 yard field goal. He was the target on Favre’s third interception.
Chatman rushed for ten yards on his carry. He made a 20 yard touchdown reception across the middle. Chatman made a great 17 yard catch in coverage over the middle for a third down conversion.
Driver made a deep 36 yard catch in the first quarter. Driver was the target of two of Favre’s interceptions. One of the interceptions seemed to have been a miscommunication as Driver turned one way and Favre threw it to his other side and into the arms of Brian Kelly.
Murphy was targeted twice in the third quarter, on the first target the pass was too high for him to catch, the second he was simply unable to come up with the ball before it hit the ground.
Martin made a ten yard reception in the third quarter.
Lee’s only contribution to the game was being called on a false start penalty.
Franks did not play in the game because of a bruised knee.
It was Longwell’s misses that were the difference in the score as the Packers lost by one point. A bad snap resulted in missed point after attempt. And then he missed a 42 yard field goal attempt. He did make a 32 yard field goal.
The Packers were unable to stop Carnell Williams who rushed for 158 yards against them. He found holes easily and powered through them, and they were unable to stop him as the game drew to a close and he was given to the ball to run out the clock. Griese was sacked once.
While Griese only threw for 139 yards against the Packers, he did throw two touchdowns. The Packers were called for roughing the passer which resulted in a 15 yard gain for the Buccaneers. Ahmad Carroll intercepted Griese in the fourth quarter. They were able to get a mild amount of pressure on him, forcing him to throw away the ball.