Next up: Bucs have changed more than their colors

Sunday's game at Tampa looms large with the Packers and Buccaneers knotted at 8-2 in the race for the NFC's top spot.<P> Even though these teams are no longer division foes, their history will provide rivalry fodder for years to come. Here's a look at one installment in the quarter-century old series:<P>

The waning years of the Lindy Infante Administration would have been lighter by three victories if it weren't for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Infante's Packers won just five of their last 22 games with three of those triumphs coming at the expense of the even-more moribund Buccaneers. The most resounding of those victories came Oct. 27, 1991 at Tampa Bay when the Packers squashed Richard Williamson's Buccaneers 27-0 before 40,275 at Tampa Stadium.

The win improved the Packers to 2-6 while the turmoil-laden Buccaneers dropped to 1-7.

"I certainly feel bad for (Williamson)," Infante said of his Tampa counterpart following the game. "I feel, personally, he's a good football coach. As I told him before the game started, ‘If misery loves company, we ought to have a hell of a time today.' "

Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse was clearly miserable on that 88-degree day in Florida. Culverhouse was so red-faced by his team's showing that he issued a press release late in the game to vent his frustration.

"Obviously I'm very disappointed in the outcome of today's game," Culverhouse wrote. "I share in the fans' frustration. We are all frustrated. … I still have faith in the team and the coaches and feel these offensive problems will be solved."

The Buccaneers were in a giving mood and the Packers gladly accepted the charity in logging their first shutout since a 21-0 win over Tampa Bay at Lambeau Field on Dec. 1, 1985. Tampa Bay was so generous that the Packers had a 10-0 lead in the first quarter despite registering just one first down and totaling just 23 yards in offense.

The Packer defense forced eight turnovers, posted six sacks and scored once as the team ended a four-game losing streak that culminated in a humiliating 10-0 home loss to the Chicago Bears on national TV 10 days earlier.

"This game was a matter of pride," defensive end Lester Archambeau said.

It was only fitting that the Packer defense and a Tampa turnover teamed up to hand the visitors the only touchdown they would need on this day.

Six minutes into the game, defensive end Matt Brock forced a fumble while sacking quarterback Chris Chandler deep in Tampa territory. Linebacker Brian Noble -- now a member of the Pack's radio broadcast team -- scooped up the loose ball and ran 1-yard for the first and only touchdown of his illustrious eight-year Packer career.

The defense posted another interception and recovered another fumble to set up Chris Jacke field goals of 34- and 45-yards to account for the Packers 13-0 lead at halftime.

"I think their offense got frustrated because of all the turnovers," said Brock, who played a key role in limiting the Buccaneers to 170 yards total offense. "You can't recover from something like that. You turn the ball over and it's going to kill you."

The Packers spent the second half fighting to preserve the shutout and trying to get their offense untracked.

While the offense put together only one legitimate drive in the second half, the defense was unrelenting against a Buc offense that was playing without injured quarterback Vinny Testaverde. "The second half we concentrated on keeping the goose egg up on the board for Tampa Bay," Archambeau said. "It's a big win for us."

Nose tackle Esera Tuaolo picked off a Jeff Carlson pass that was deflected by Archambeau. Tuaolo, who had sung the National Anthem prior to the Packers' game at Lambeau Field the previous week, returned the interception 23 yards to put the offense in scoring position.

Moments later, quarterback Don Majkowski hit tight end Ed West with a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-0.

Running back Vince "Pookie" Workman closed the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The Packers couldn't sustain the good feeling this victory created.

Green Bay lost its next three games and six of its next seven before finishing the season and the Infante Era with a 27-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings to finish 4-12.

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