Wide Right: Bucs-Packers Notes
By Ira Kaufman | Tribune StaffPLAYER OF THE GAME
Published: September 29, 2008
Published: September 29, 2008
In only his second year as a starter, MLB Barrett Ruud continues to make an impact for a ballhawking defense.
Ruud posted his second interception in as many weeks Sunday and also added the first sack of his NFL career in Tampa Bay's 30-21 triumph against the Packers.
The Bucs recorded four takeaways on the day to give them nine for the season, and Tampa Bay's young defense already has scored three TDs.
"We gave up a couple of big plays, but other than that, Green Bay didn't get much," said Ruud, who added five tackles. "Give credit to our two middle guys up front, Chris Hovan and Jovan Haye. They're constantly in their gaps and they don't get nearly enough credit."
DID YOU KNOW?
• A first-quarter incompletion by Brian Griese across the middle ricocheted off the head of umpire Bruce Stritesky.
• The Bucs saluted the AL East champion Rays with a scoreboard message Sunday.
• After Rodgers was picked off by DE Gaines Adams just before the 2-minute warning, fans in the south end zone began chanting, "Go Home, Packers."
• Despite tossing three interceptions for the second consecutive week, Griese improved to 12-7 as the Bucs starter.
MIXING IT UP
Facing several third-and-long situations, the Packers tried to flood the field with receivers and the Bucs' defense responded with a three-man front that proved quite effective in hounding Rodgers into errant throws.
"They wanted to spread us out at times, but we showed them something different," Hovan said. "We proved we could get pressure on them with both a four-man line and a three-man line."
THEY SAID IT
•"Monte Kiffin is our mastermind. The evil genius in college is Steve Spurrier. In the pros, the evil genius is Monte."
- Bucs S Jermaine Phillips, who returned a fumble recovery 38 yards for his first pro TD, on Tampa Bay's innovative defensive coordinator
•"We shut down the run and when a team has to throw the football, that's when we tee off and make plays."
- CB Ronde Barber
•"We have to be very critical of ourselves."
- Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, who was intercepted three times and sacked three times on a day Brett Favre threw six TD passes for the Jets
•"It's unacceptable for us to do the fundamental things wrong week in and week out. We need to get it fixed." - Packers coach Mike McCarthy
•"If you go 3-1 every quarter, you go 12-4 and you get homefield advantage."
- Bucs RT Jeremy Trueblood
BY THE NUMBERS
48 - Points the Bucs have scored off turnovers through four games.
0 - Rushing TDs allowed by Tampa Bay this season.
1.6 - Green Bay's average gain on 18 rushing attempts.
4 - First downs by the Packers in the eight possessions after their opening drive.
31:55 - Time of possession for Tampa Bay in the final 45 minutes of play.
8 - Interceptions thrown by Bucs passers in 2007.
7 - Interceptions thrown by Bucs passers so far in 2008.