Final

Buccaneers 20

(3-4, 1-3 away)

Packers 21

(5-2, 4-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 4, 2001

 

1 2 3 4 T
TB 0 10 7 320
GB 7 0 7 721

Punt return keeps Favre's mark intact

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- On one hand, Brett Favre is really going to miss the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' annual visit. On the other, he's glad he won't have to face them so darn much.

Allen Rossum

Allen Rossum returned this punt 55 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Favre is an expert at beating the Bucs in Green Bay. He has a 10-0 home record against the Buccaneers after a 21-20 victory Sunday.

But Tampa Bay won't visit Lambeau Field again in the regular season until 2005 because of realignment.

"I'm not going to miss much," said Favre, who was intercepted twice, leading to 10 Tampa Bay points. "As long as those guys -- Warren Sapp, John Lynch and the other guys -- are there, they're going to be tough to deal with. No team is easy, but they've always been tough.

"Good riddance to Tampa."

Then Favre wondered, "Do we play them next year?"

Yes, at Tampa.

"Oh," Favre said. "Good luck to them, then."

The Bucs (3-4) turned two interceptions into 10 points and a fumble by Ahman Green into another seven for a 17-7 lead.

What happened to Tampa Bay's rushing attack today?
The Bucs got down early again, and getting behind makes it tough to establish the running game.

There are other reasons the Bucs couldn't run the ball effectively. Mike Alstott didn't look as quick and explosive as he looked last week. Also, the Bucs' offensive line struggled again, giving up seven sacks and failing to open significant holes.

Tampa Bay scored 17 points off turnovers, but did nothing on offense. Green Bay's defense was simply overwhelming. The Packers dominated up front -- in a nutshell, that's what happened.

ESPN.com's Vinny Cerrato was director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

But Green, who had a career-high 169 yards on 24 carries, scored on a 63-yard run and Allen Rossum returned a punt 55 yards for the winning touchdown with three minutes left.

"The hole was so wide, anybody could have run it through there," Rossum said.

The Buccaneers, who haven't won in Wisconsin since 1989, got one more chance, but Brad Johnson's desperation pass was knocked down by Darren Sharper in the end zone.

Johnson had the chance because of an errant whistle on the previous play, when the quarterback fumbled while trying to spike the ball. Vonnie Holliday recovered, but the Bucs kept possession.

"I'm sick and tired of inadvertent whistles," Favre said. "I don't want to get fined ... but it was a fumble. That clock should have kept running. If we would have lost that game today on that `Hail Mary' at the end, that would have been terrible."

Martin Gramatica wanted a chance to kick a field goal.

"He wanted to, but it would have been about 68 yards," Bucs coach Tony Dungy said. "We thought about it, but we were hoping to get a little closer, maybe around 60, and we thought he could make it."

Johnson was sacked seven times and the Packers (5-2) outgained the Bucs 352 yards to 194.

But for a while it looked like the Bucs would finally beat Favre on the road -- or that Favre would beat himself.

In a 14-10 loss at Tampa last month, Favre was picked off three times, including one returned 98 yards for a touchdown.

Favre threw a 21-yard TD pass to Antonio Freeman on the opening drive and the Packers, fresh off a bye, outgained the Bucs 120-7 in the first quarter.

But Donnie Abraham stepped in front of Freeman on a softly thrown pass at the Bucs 16 and returned it 46 yards before being clothes-lined by guard Mike Wahle. Gramatica's 33-yard field goal made it 7-3.

Green fumbled at his 41 after a 12-yard run on third-and-1 in which he broke a half-dozen tackles. Dexter Jackson poked the ball loose and Sapp recovered.

"He had the fumble, but it was because he was scratching and clawing for every inch," Packers coach Mike Sherman said.

That led to Johnson's 11-yard strike to tight end Dave Moore that made it 10-7 with 2:02 left before halftime.

The Packers reached the Tampa Bay 8, but an illegal chop block on center Mike Flanagan put the ball back to the 23. Ryan Longwell was wide left on a 41-yarder as time expired.

It was Longwell's sixth miss of the season, one more miss than all of last year.

Favre made another bad throw into coverage to fullback William Henderson, and Jamie Duncan picked it off at the Green Bay 44. Johnson hit Mike Alstott for a 19-yard TD to make it 17-7.

After Green's 63-yard score, Gramatica kicked a 49-yard field goal to make it 20-14.

Despite their lack of success in Green Bay, several Buccaneers were sad to leave Lambeau Field.

"It's a special place to play football and I'm going to miss it," Lynch said. "It's tough to say that, because I've never won up here."

That didn't matter, Sapp said.

"Favre's here," he lamented. "It's Titletown, USA. You want to come up here."

Game notes
Both teams were without receivers, Jacquez Green (groin) for the Bucs and Bill Schroeder (ankle) for the Packers. Green Bay also lost left tackle Chad Clifton (sprained left ankle). Abraham bruised his back in the fourth quarter and didn't return. He said he'd play next week. ... Alstott rushed 17 times for 30 yards, 99 fewer than a week ago against Minnesota. His 1.8-yard average still was better than Warrick Dunn, who gained 5 yards on three carries (1.7) in his return from a hamstring injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

THIRD QUARTERTBGB
gbTD4:49Ahman Green, 63 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 63 yds, 0:00
1713
FOURTH QUARTERTBGB
gb3:17
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
2021
THIRD QUARTERTBGB
gb4:49
Drive info: 1 plays, 63 yds, 0:00
1714
FOURTH QUARTERTBGB
tbFG7:44Martin Gramatica 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 30 yds, 0:37
2014
THIRD QUARTERTBGB
tbTD10:20Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yds, 3:31
167
FOURTH QUARTERTBGB
gbTD3:17Touchdown
Drive info: 3 plays, -12 yds, 2:03
2020
FIRST QUARTERTBGB
gbTD9:35Touchdown
Drive info: 7 plays, 57 yds, 3:29
06
SECOND QUARTERTBGB
tbFG11:01Martin Gramatica 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 49 yds, 1:59
37
tbTD2:26Touchdown
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 3:40
97
THIRD QUARTERTBGB
tb10:20
Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yds, 3:31
177
FIRST QUARTERTBGB
gb9:35
Drive info: 7 plays, 57 yds, 3:29
07
SECOND QUARTERTBGB
tb2:26
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 3:40
107