The Green Bay Packers made a close game of it, but once again too many mistakes and turnovers contributed to a 17 - 16 loss Sunday at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The loss leaves the Pack at 0 - 3, their worst start since 1988. Obviously, all is not well in Titletown.
To no one's surprise, Tampa Bay started out this game showcasing their sensational rookie running back, Cadillac Williams. Although Williams would run for substantial yardage on the day, the Packer defense held Williams to only a single big play. Williams set a record Sunday by rushing for more yards in his first three pro games than anyone else in the history of the NFL. The Packer defense played tough though and did well to contain him as well as they did.
The same can not be said for the sputtering Packer offense. Plagued by turnovers and seven first-half penalties, the Packers stumbled to a 17 - 13 halftime deficit. Just before halftime, the Packers received the ball with about 2 minutes to go and two time-outs remaining. For some inexplicable reason, the coaching staff decided not to deploy their two-minute offense, but instead essentially chose to run out the clock. That begs a question about how much confidence the coaching staff has in the offense. And if the coaching staff shows such obvious lack of confidence, how much aggression can be expected from the players? Such is not a formula for winning football games.
Coach Mike Sherman has so many problems to fix right now it is difficult to ponder where he might start. Brett Favre is clearly on the downside of his career and is making far too many bad decisions and interceptions. Ahman Green may have lost a step and clearly isn't getting the blocking he needs to get the running game going. Some players are grumbling about playing time. Offensive Coordinator Tom Rossley has health issues which surfaced again just before the Bucs game. Javon Walker is lost for the season and no one has stepped up to take his place in the receiving corps. Bubba Franks is injured"¦ and on it goes.
Nonetheless, there was good effort Sunday from a number of the young defensive players, which is a positive. Corey Williams, Mike Montgomery and Kenny Peterson are getting more and more playing time in the line rotation and seem to be improving every week. KGB had a great game and rookie safety Nick Collins is playing solid football. Even the much beleaguered Ahmad Carroll made an incredibly athletic interception, which had to boost his confidence level.
The Packers need a big injection of confidence. They need a win. Maybe that will come next week when the Packers get national television attention when they travel to Carolina for Monday Night Football. Backed into a corner with their pride on the line, underdogs sometimes rise to the occasion. Next Monday night would be a good time for an underdog uprising.