Bucs Game Grades

November 4 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Green Bay Packers for the 12th straight time in Lambeau Field, 21-20. The Pewter Pirates blew a 17-7 third quarter lead and the special teams allowed Packers return man Allen Rossum to return P Mark Royals punt 55-yards for the game-winning touchdown with three minutes remaining in the game. Buccaneer Magazine hands out grades to the Pewter Pirates based on their performance against the Packers.

QUATERBACKS:

QB BRAD JOHNSON: Completed 18-of-31 (58.1 percent) passes for 177 yards and threw two touchdowns. Johnson was penalized for a false start. Johnson's was inconsistent against a tough Green Bay defense. Johnson made a rare play with his feet when he rushed 21-yards up the field in the first half to pick up a first down. His nicest pass of the game was when he hit TE Dave Moore for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Johnson held onto the football entirely too long throughout the game, which contributed to five of Green Bay's seven sacks. Johnson also threw under the first down chains on third downs too many times in the first half. Johnson's worst play of the game came with less than one minute remaining when he tried to spike the ball on the ground to stop the clock, but the ball slipped out of his hand and hit him in the helmet for an apparent fumble. An inadvertent whistle saved Johnson by the referees, but in the end, the play did not matter. Johnson's second touchdown pass of the game came when he eluded a blitzing Packer and dumped the ball off to FB Mike Alstott, who rumbled into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown score.

*Tampa Bay converted 3-of-13 third down conversions against Green Bay.

GRADE: C-

RUNNING BACKS:

FB MIKE ALSTOTT: The A-Train carried the ball 17 times for just 30 yards (1.8 avg.). Alstott's longest run of the game was for 8-yards. Alstott struggled to find holes against Green Bay, mostly because the holes were not there. Alstott did, however, make a big contribution in the passing game by hauling in Johnson's pass and rumbling 19-yards to the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter.

RB WARRICK DUNN: Dunn carried the ball just three times and had the same results as Alstott. Dunn gained just five yards on those carries and averaged 1.7 yards per carry. Like Alstott, Dunn made his biggest contribution in the passing game, where he hauled in five passes for 30 yards, including a 19-yard gain on a screen pass.

FB JAMEEL COOK: Provided good blocking down the field and caught a big 11-yard pass for a first down.

*Dunn and Alstott were only able to gain a total of 56 yards on 20 carries.

GRADE: D

WIDE RECEIVERS:

WR KEYSHAWN JOHNSON: Johnson was quiet in the first half of the game, but finished it with six catches for 63 yards. Johnson's longest reception was a 22-yarder, which led to Tampa Bay's first touchdown of the game. Johnson also made a nice 20-yard catch after the ball was tipped in the air on the Bucs last drive of the game.

WR KARL WILLIAMS: Caught only two passes for 27 yards, but both were big. Williams' longest reception of the game was for 14-yards.

*Tampa Bay's receivers had a hard time getting open, which contributed to QB Brad Johnson taking coverage sacks.

*17 of Tampa Bay's 20 points came off of Green Bay turnovers.

GRADE: C+

TIGHT ENDS:

TE DAVE MOORE:Didn't have the best game blocking, but did come up with a big 11-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Moore was also flagged for a false start.

TE TODD YODER: Had to leave the game early with a concussion.

GRADE: C

OFFENSIVE LINE: QB Brad Johnson was sacked seven times by Green Bay's defense, but a lot of them were due Johnson holding onto the ball too long. LT KENYATTA WALKER: allowed DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to sack Johnson on the first offensive series of the game. Walker was also flagged for a false start in the first quarter as well. LG RANDALL MCDANIEL: did a horrible job of blocking to start the game off and didn't do much to recover as the game went on. McDaniel was penalized for holding late in the game. RG COSEY COLEMAN: was called for holding, too. Tampa Bay's offensive line failed to open up any running lanes for Dunn and Alstott, and allowed Johnson to be pressured often.

GRADE: D

DEFENSIVE LINE: Tampa Bay's front four wasn't really able to get pressure on QB Brett Favre until late in the third quarter and part of the fourth. The Buccaneers defense allowed RB Ahman Green to rush for 24 times for 169 yards (7.0 avg.). A good chunk of those yards came when Green rushed 63-yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. DT WARREN SAPP recorded only one tackle on the day. Sapp was penalized for delaying the game when he would not get up off of Favre while time was running out in the first half. Green Bay later missed the field goal attempt. DT JAMES CANNIDA did a nice job filling in for the injured Anthony McFarland by recording six tackles. Defensive ends SIMEON RICE and MARCUS JONES recorded two tackles each.

*Green Bay gained 352 net yards against Tampa Bay's defense, 184 of which were rushing. GRADE: D

LINEBACKERS: Tampa Bay's linebackers had a hard time containing RB Ahman Green in the passing game. Green hauled in six receptions for 49 yards, including a long of 15-yards. Most of Green's receptions came underneath Tampa Bay's Cover 2 defense, where the linebackers had a hard time wrapping up Green once he made the receptions. LB DERRICK BROOKS led the team in tackles with 11, but made a critical mistake before the first half ended when he was called for a personal four penalty. Brooks pressured Favre and when he jumped up to try and knock down the ball, he put in an extra jab into Favre's helmet, which kept Green Bay's drive going. Fortunately for Brooks, K Ryan Longwell later missed a field goal attempt right before the first half ended. MLB JAMIE DUNCAN: recorded eight tackles and came up with a huge interception to begin the third quarter. Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin sent Duncan in on a few blitzes and Duncan got to Favre, but he whiffed every time he had a chance for a sack. LB SHELTON QUARLES: recorded six tackles. Tampa Bay's linebackers did a good job of containing TE Bubba Franks, who caught just one pass for 17 yards.

*Green Bay's offense converted 6-of-11 third down conversions.

GRADE: C

SECONDARY: Tampa Bay's secondary had a solid effort against Green Bay. CB DONNIE ABRAHAM intercepted Favre to halt a Green Bay drive. Favre's pass was intended for WR Antonio Freeman, but Abraham stepped in front of it and intercepted it and returned it to Green Bay's 38 yard line. Abraham would have to leave the game after this play with a back contusion. SS JOHN LYNCH had an incredible game. Lynch recorded nine tackles. Perhaps Lynch's only blunder of the game came when he blitzed and had an open shot at sacking Favre, but totally missed. FS DEXTER JACKSON: recorded seven tackles and was two steps too late on Freeman's 21-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Jackson did, however, sack Favre later in the game and knocked the ball out of his hands. The Bucs couldn't recover that one, but Sapp recovered the fumble Jackson forced on RB Ahman Green earlier in the game. CB RONDE BARBER recorded didn't record a single tackle, but did intercept Favre in the first quart to halt a Green Bay drive. But Green Bay challenged the ruling on the field that Barber intercepted it and the referees overturned the call. Barber was responsible for Freeman on Green Bay's 21-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. CB DWIGHT SMITH filled in for Abraham as Tampa Bay's nickel back. He recorded two tackles. CB BRIAN KELLY recorded three tackles.

*Tampa Bay's secondary held QB Brett Favre to 180 yards passing.

GRADE: B

SPECIAL TEAMS: Once again, this unit gives up a big play when the Buccaneers can least afford it. Packers PR Allan Rossum returned P MARK ROYALS punt untouched 68-yards for the game-winning touchdown. This play happened with three minutes left and Tampa Bay leading the game, 20-14. There were several breakdowns on coverage, mostly due to lane discipline and good blocking by Green Bay. Royals was punted nine times and averaged 41.3 yards per punt. Royals was able to pin Green Bay's offense inside their own 15 yard line two times. K MARTIN GRAMATIC drilled two field goals against Green Bay. Gramatica made his first field goal in the second quarter when he drilled a 33-yarder. Abraham's interception set this up. Gramatica's second field goal came from 49-yards out in the fourth quarter to give Tampa Bay a 20-14 lead. With time left for one play in the fourth quarter and the Bucs trailing 21-20, Tampa Bay could have tried a 68-yard field goal attempt (NFL record is 63). But the Bucs elected to throw up a Hail Mary, which dropped incomplete. The call was an interesting one, seeing as Gramatica has made field goals from 70-yards out in practice. Tampa Bay had several breakdowns on special teams, including penalties by LB SHELTON QUARLES (facemask on Rossum's return), CB RONDE BARBER (holding on punt return) and MLB NATE WEBSTER (holding on punt return, which pinned the offense on their own 10 yard line),. WR KARL WILLIAMS returned three punts and averaged 10.7 yards per return.. RB AARON STECKER returned two kicks and averaged 21.5 yards per return.

GRADE: D-


Copyright 2001 Buccaneer Magazine/BucMag.com

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