Off-season Game of the Week

Green Bay's blowout victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 2, 1983 ranks as one of the Packers' most lopsided ever.<p>

At the time, though, the Packers were happy to have a win of any kind.

The previous week Green Bay was buried 27-3 by the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. on Monday Night Football.

Six days later, the Packers scored an NFL record 49 points in the first half in whipping the Buccaneers 55-14 before 54,272 at Lambeau Field.

"We were more concerned with rebounding after the shellacking we took last Monday night," Packer coach Bart Starr said afterward. "This was a big win emotionally for us. We played like we're capable of playing."

Said quarterback Lynn Dickey: "As a team we were pretty embarrassed last week. We needed a good game today. We were much more business-like in practice all week."

This was a multi-faceted thumping.

The Green Bay offense rolled up 519 yards, the defense limited the Bucs to 293 total and 20 net rushing yards and accounted for two touchdowns and the special teams logged one touchdown and watched kicker Jan Stenerud move into second place on the NFL's career scoring list.

"The Packers played a great defensive game and we played as poorly as a team could play," Tampa Bay coach John McKay said.

The onslaught started early.

Phillip Epps gave the Packers a 7-0 lead four minutes into the contest when he returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown. At the time, Epps' first career punt return for a TD was tied for the fifth longest in club history.

Following a quick Buc punt, the Packers made it 14-0 when Dickey and running back Jessie Clark hooked up on a 75-yard touchdown pass.

In the second quarter, the Packers rolled up 35 points for their highest scoring quarter in 16 seasons.

"A lot of crazy wild things happened in that game," Dickey said.

Harlan Huckleby ignited the scoring barrage with a 1-yard plunge eight seconds into the quarter. After Hugh Green got the Bucs on the board with a 21-yard interception return for a TD, the Packers closed the half with 28 unanswered points.

The Packers sandwiched touchdown catches by Paul Coffman (1 yard) and James Lofton (57 yards) around defensive touchdowns by Mike Douglass and John Anderson to take an unbelievable 49-7 lead at the break. Douglass took a fumble 35 yards for a score while Anderson scored on a 27-yard interception return.

The second half got quiet in a hurry. Neither team scored in the third quarter. The Packers got two Stenerud field goals and James Owens scored for Tampa to conclude the scoring in the fourth quarter.

Sadly, the second half was harbinger for the Packers.

Green Bay dropped three of its next four games while scoring just 55 points in those setbacks in what turned out to be the first of a maddening string of three consecutive 8-8 seasons.

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