By Times Staff Writer
Published September 25, 2005
BUCS GAME PLAN
MAKE 'EM PAY: Anybody seen Joey Galloway? After making five grabs for 97 yards in the opener, it didn't even seem like the Bucs threw his way last weekend. He didn't have a reception. The Packers have shown themselves to be decent against the run, and you know they're going to come after Carnell Williams. That means single coverage on the outside. Galloway claims he can still run a 4.2-second 40. Make 'em pay.
FLUSH FAVRE: Give quarterback Brett Favre time to waltz around the pocket and you might as well dig your own grave. The Bucs are getting a great push up the middle from the defensive tackles. If the ends can continue to take advantage and get to the quarterback, that flushes Favre, putting him within the linebackers' reach. With the speed the Bucs have at defensive end and linebacker, Favre probably doesn't beat Tampa Bay with his legs. And with no Javon Walker (knee) and probably no Bubba Franks (knee), Favre's passing options will be limited against a great secondary.
SHOW SOMETHING DIFFERENT: The Bucs have been doing a good job using misdirection and various formations on offense, and this would be no time to scale back. The Packers have looked uncomfortable on defense, in part because they are breaking in new defensive coordinator Jim Bates, formerly of the Dolphins. This is a strategy that had the Vikings defense looking flat-footed in Week 1, and don't be surprised if the Bucs employ it again.
AVOID THE KGB: Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila has reached double digits in each of the past four seasons. It's worth mentioning that he will be taking on young offensive tackle Anthony Davis in a matchup that will show us what Davis is made of. The two have opposite strengths - the 6-4, 250 KGB is a speedster while the 6-4, 322 Davis relies on power - so watch closely to see which wins out.
PACKERS GAME PLAN
WRAP IT UP: If there is one thing that has surprised people about Bucs rookie Carnell Williams, it's his ability to fend off tacklers. The Packers need to wrap Williams up, and the first man with a chance to make the tackle needs to make that tackle. The guys up front had better not leave it to the secondary, which has been plagued by shoddy tackling in Weeks 1 and 2.
GET CREATIVE: Even with Brett Favre at the controls, it won't be easy for the Packers to get their passing game going. Not against this Tampa Bay secondary, and not without receiver Javon Walker (knee) and tight end Bubba Franks (knee), two of the quarterback's favorite targets. So, Green Bay will have to find creative ways to get receivers Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson in position to get open. If the Packers can get some consistency in the air, they can keep the Bucs secondary honest and take some heat off the running game.
HANG ON: To the ball, that is. The Packers have not forced a turnover, but they sure seem to like to give the ball away. With five turnovers in two weeks, the Packers are killing drives faster than you can say 0-2. Four are Favre interceptions, which puts him on pace for, um, 32 picks. Who is this impostor, and what has he done with the 15-year veteran?
GET IN POSITION: Part of the Packers' problem is that they have had consistently poor field position. Half their 22 possession have begun at or inside their 20-yard line. You're not going to pull off many 80-yard drives against a defense playing as well as the Bucs.
This week, from the Bucs' own Brian Griese
The Packers' run defense has limited opponents to 157 rushing yards in two games, so how does that change things for the Bucs?
"That's probably the strength of their defense right now. It's going to be a challenge for us, especially going up there, but I think our offensive line has been playing really well. We're going to continue to run the ball."
In the event the Packers continue to be successful against the run, Griese believes he can take it to the air.
"(Before Carnell Williams), we were really a passing team and I think we're getting more and more balanced now. I'm not positive what our run-pass ratio is right now, but I'm pretty sure it's more run than pass. So, that gives us the ability to be more balanced."