Report card vs. Buccaneers

Low grades across the board for banged-up Green Bay Packers

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- The game-ending shoulder injury sustained by quarterback Aaron Rodgers underscored a painful performance by the pass attack in a game the offense was rendered one-dimensional because of putrid results on the ground.

Greg Jennings was the exception to the unsightly rule with six receptions for 109 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. Rodgers' run of good accuracy and fortune - a streak of 157 pass attempts without an interception, dating to his rookie season in 2005 - ended with three picks. The first was on halfback Brandon Jackson, who took his eyes off the football and let it skim his hands into those of Derrick Brooks, who nearly had two more takeaways.

Rodgers (14-of-27 for 165 yards, season-low passer rating of 55.9) was guilty of the other two interceptions. He forced a bad throw downfield over the head of Donald Driver right to Barrett Ruud. After re-entering the game following the third-quarter injury, Rodgers failed to go to his hot read to the left when Greg White shot in unblocked and nailed the QB from behind to cause an easy pick for Gaines Adams.

Rookie Matt Flynn was in no shape preparation-wise to run the offense in relief of Rodgers for two series, particularly with the game still up for grabs.

The Packers' pass blocking was a sore spot for the second straight game, giving up three sacks on the heels of allowing five to Dallas.

The pass-catching Donalds - receiver Driver and tight end Lee - are vanishing quick in the offense with only one reception apiece.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- The Packers have hit rock bottom with their running game. Their grand total was 28 yards in 18 attempts, good for a negligible per-carry average of 1.6 yards. Ryan Grant was on his way to having a productive day for the first time this season - with both touches and yards - after being limited the first three games to no more than 15 carries because of lingering hamstring soreness. Grant had 27 yards in nine carries in the first quarter Sunday. He ran the ball six more times in the final 45 minutes and backpedaled for minus-7 yards - his second 15-carry, 20-yard outing in the last three games. Seven of Grant's attempts didn't result in positive yardage. He exacerbated matters, if that was even possible, by fumbling on a hit by Brooks behind the line of scrimmage and watching Jermaine Phillips sprint the other way for a 38-yard touchdown return in the third quarter.

The offensive line let the likes of Brooks and tackle Chris Hovan dictate things off the ball. After Rodgers converted a fourth-and-1 with a sneak to keep alive a game-opening drive that culminated with a TD throw to Jennings, Grant and his blockers were stifled on third-and-1 at a key juncture in the third quarter. Jackson was used only once (for no gain) as Grant's sole backup with Kregg Lumpkin deactivated because of a hamstring injury.

PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- A patchwork secondary more often than not had the upper hand on a pedestrian Bucs passing attack. Cornerback Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams, starting for an injured Al Harris, and safety Nick Collins each had a second-half interception.

Williams' pick came on a deflection. Collins jumped the route of tight end Jerramy Stevens. Woodson rose to the occasion again by snuffing out a checkdown pass to Warrick Dunn, outfighting Dunn for the football and darting 62 yards on his broken toe for a touchdown that put the Packers up 21-20 early in the fourth quarter. Those late takeaways, however, weren't enough to offset a ragged collective effort against the pass.

A rash of missed tackles (linebacker Nick Barnett and end Michael Montgomery were culprits) and penalties (by Woodson, safety Aaron Rouse and end Aaron Kampman) continued to plague Green Bay. Lineman Cullen Jenkins failed to wrap up Brian Griese on a sure sack early in the fourth quarter and paid for it by suffering a game-ending shoulder injury.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- The Packers' much-maligned run defense, in comparison to its abominable 217-yard showing against the Dallas the previous week, was having a respectable day against Tampa Bay's two-horse show of Earnest Graham and Dunn. Then, Graham slipped a tackle and broke free for a 47-yard run to the Packers' 1 before the two-minute warning in the final quarter, setting up his own 1-yard dive across the goal line that cemented the victory for the Bucs. Like that, Green Bay was gashed for 178 yards and an average of 4.3 yards per carry.

Graham averaged 5.6 yards in 20 carries to eclipse the 100-yard mark. Dunn also had a healthy number of rushes (16) and chipped away for 3.9 yards a crack.

Tackle Johnny Jolly did an OK job in getting a good push up the middle and chasing down ball carriers. Physical linebacker Brady Poppinga's return to the starting lineup netted a game-high 12 tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Derrick Frost's job as punter is on thin ice after struggling for a third straight game. He had frosty averages of 38 yards gross and 30.2 yards net in five kicks, with unacceptable low hang times. A weak punt of 38 yards gave Dexter Jackson a head start on a 19-yard return to the Packers' 36, leading to Matt Bryant's game-winning field goals with 21/2 minutes to play. Jackson also had a 45-yard kickoff return to start the second half and averaged 33.3 yards.

The punt protection for Frost was leaky. Other than a 36-yard runback by Will Blackmon to open the game, the Packers didn't have any returns of significance. Mason Crosby didn't attempt a field goal.

COACHING: D -- Mike McCarthy and his staff have their work cut out to get a team that is functioning as a shell of last season's 14-4 near-Super Bowl qualifier out of its bad work habits. McCarthy acknowledged after Sunday's game that it's on him to get a troublesome trend of undisciplined play (seven penalties for 74 yards) and fundamentally challenged execution rectified.

Highly questionable was McCarthy's call of running Grant on a stretch play to the left on the third-and-1 in the third quarter. The Bucs were clearly dominating the action up front and had that extra second or two to hem in Grant for a loss when perhaps sticking to a tried-and-true, straight-ahead sneak by Rodgers gets the first down.

Also, it was evident that Flynn, no matter that he's a rookie, wasn't thoroughly prepared to lead the offense in a tight game after Rodgers was hurt.


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