Bucs Game Grades

October 7 – Tampa Bay handed Green Bay their first loss of the season on Sunday, 14-10. The Bucs' home opener presented an episode of the Battle of the Bays that literally came down the last play of the game. Buccaneer Magazine gives out the Game Grades to the Bucs based on their performance against the Packers.

QUARTERBACK:

QB BRAD JOHNSON: Completed 23-of-29 passes (79.3 percent) for 184 yards. Johnson still hasn't thrown his first touchdown as a Buccaneer, but his exceptional accuracy while under the constant attack of Green Bay's defense was impressive. Johnson was hurried constantly and was sacked five times, but he still managed to maintain his poise in the pocket. One of the sacks on Johnson caused him to fumble and led to a Green Bay field goal. Johnson also made a big play with his feet by scrambling for a first down late in the fourth quarter. On this particular play, Johnson was supposed to hand the ball off to Alstott, but saw a Packer blitz coming and kept the ball himself and ran it for the first down. That drive will eventually led to the Bucs game-winning touchdown. Johnson is still continuing to check down his receivers, which contributed to a couple of his sacks against the Packers.

GRADE: B

RUNNING BACKS:

FB MIKE ALSTOTT: 15 carries for 77 yards. Despite giving third and fourth efforts on his runs, Alstott didn't find much running room against the Packers' top-ranked defense. But the A-Train's efforts paid off in the fourth quarter when the Bucs' offense was driving down the field, trailing 10-7. Alstott found an opening on the left side of Green Bay's defense and pounded his way 39-yards up the field for the game-winning touchdown.

FB JAMEEL COOK: Cook had a key block on a Green Bay linebacker that helped spring Alstott's 39-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He also caught four passes for 18 yards.

GRADE: B

WIDE RECEIVERS:

WR KEYSHAWN JOHNSON The Bucs receivers made the best of their opportunities against the Packers defense on Sunday, but no receiver had a better game than Johnson. He hauled in nine catches for 82 yards, including a long of 22-yards. Johnson's catches were big, but his downfield blocking was even bigger on Sunday. On FB Mike Alstott's 39-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, K. Johnson made not only one, but two huge blocks to open up the path for the A-Train's touchdown. Johnson made some key sideline catches and continued to show toughness by catching balls in traffic and holding onto the ball after taking hard hits. Johnson collapsed on the field after being driven into the ground after a catch in the fourth quarter, but returned one play later.

WR REIDEL ANTHONY: Anthony caught three passes for 40 yards. Anthony came up with three clutch receptions against the Packers and appears to be a solid option as the team's No. 3 receiver.

GRADE: B+

TIGHT ENDS:

TE DAVE MOORE: Moore was a receiving threat in the first half of the game. He caught three passes for 18 yards, but the Packers didn't take long to adjust and make it more difficult for the Buccaneers to continue to throw to him.

GRADE: B-

OFFENSIVE LINE:

LT KENYATTA WALKER: Walker's growing pains continued against Green Bay. He was penalized for holding, illegal contact to the face and allowed four sacks to the Green Bay right ends. RE Kabeer Gbaja Biamila recorded three sacks while and RE John Thierry sacked QB Brad Johnson one time.

RT Jerry Wunsch: Was called for a false start.

*Tampa Bay's offensive line allowed QB Brad Johnson to be sacked five times. One of the sacks led to QB Brad Johnson's fumble, which gave Green Bay's offense the ball in field goal range and they eventually settled for one.

GRADE: C-

DEFENSIVE LINE:

DT Anthony McFarland: Tampa Bay's defensive line was able pressure Packers QB Brett Favre, but was not able to record a single sack until the fourth quarter. Green Bay was driving with just under 1:00 remaining in the game and the Packers within striking distance. But McFarland was able to penetrate the Green Bay offensive line and wrap Favre up for the sack. McFarland's sack moved the Packers' offense back 5-yards. McFarland led the defensive line in tackles with five.

DT WARREN SAPP: Sapp hit Favre several times throughout Sunday's Bucs-Packers contest, but was unable to record a sack. Sapp had two tackles against the Packers.

*Although the rest of the Bucs defensive line (DT Warren Sapp, RE Simeon Rice, LE Marcus Jones) recorded a total of five tackles, they held Packers RB Ahman Green to 59 yards rushing on 15 carries (3.9 avg.).

GRADE: B+

LINEBACKERS:

LB SHELTON QUARLES: In the first quarter, Packers QB Brett Favre thew a pass intended for TE Bubba Franks right in-between Quarles' numbers. On that same drive, Green Bay eventually worked their way to the Bucs 2-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, Favre attempted to hit Franks again, but this time, Quarles made him pay. Quarles made an outstanding play on Favre's pass by intercepting it and returning it 92-yards for a touchdown. Quarles finished the game with two tackles and an assist.

LB DERRICK BROOKS: Brooks recorded six tackles. Three of those tackles were solo and three were assisted.

MLB JAMIE DUNCAN: Duncan recorded four tackles and all four were solo. Duncan made a touchdown-saving tackle on a screen pass to RB Ahman Green late in the fourth quarter. The Buccaneers would eventually end up holding Green Bay's offense out of the end zone to win the game.

*Packers QB Brett Favre worked the Bucs linebackers on Sunday by completing seven passes to RB Ahman Green for 65 yards.

GRADE: B

SECONDARY:

CB DONNIE ABRAHAM: Abraham intercepted Favre's first pass of the game. He didn't record a single tackle.

FS DEXTER JACKSON: Green Bay's first play from the line of scrimmage following the Alstott touchdown was a bomb downfield, but Jackson made a great play on the ball and intercepted it. This play gave the ball back to Tampa Bay's offense and allowed them to run more time off of the clock.

SS JOHN LYNCH: Lynch left the game with a jammed hip, but returned after x-rays were negative. On the last play of with :08 remaining from the Bucs 16 yard line, QB Brett Favre thew the ball into the end zone and had an open receiver for a second, but Lynch came in and put a hand on the ball to deflect it. Lynch had five tackles, all of which were solo against Green Bay.

S ERIC VANCE: Vance filled in for Lynch while he was out of the game and Green Bay didn't hesitate to throw toward him. Favre connected with WR Bill Schroeder downfield for a 67-yard touchdown. Vance trailed Schroeder all of the way to the end zone. Vance recorded one tackle while filling in for Lynch.

CB RONDE BARBER: Although Barber had six tackles, four of which were solo against the Packers, he had a tough day in terms of tackling. Barber took the wrong angles or just missed on several tackling opportunities, which resulted in some missed tackles.

*The Buccaneers secondary intercepted QB Brett Favre twice and held him to 258 yards passing.

GRADE: B

SPECIAL TEAMS:

K MARTIN GRAMATICA: Gramatica attempted a 53-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, but missed. He was, however, able to boot his kickoffs into the end zone for three touchbacks.

P MARK ROYALS: Royals averaged 44.7 yards per punt against Green Bay and helped pin Green Bay back in their own territory.

PR/WR KARL WILLIAMS: Williams had a great punt return in the first half, but it was called back because of a hold by RB Aaron Stecker.

KR/CB DWIGHT SMITH: Smith averaged 26 yards per kick return against the Packers. His longest return was a 43-yard return.

GRADE: B+


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