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Bryant overcomes tragedy to help Bucs beat Packers

Sep 29, 2008 - 12:11 AM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Matt Bryant battled through personal tragedy to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secure an emotional win.

Bryant kicked three field goals and the Buccaneers intercepted Aaron Rodgers three times en route to a 30-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Bryant hit field goals of 23, 36 and 24 yards just four days after the tragic death of his 3-month-old son, Matthew Tryson Bryant.

"The best way I felt I could get out and honor him (was to play)," Bryant said. "I miss him. I wish he was here. He was here with me. He helped out."

"It's the story of the day," Bucs quarterback Brian Griese said. "I'm really happy for him. I'm not too philosophical, but having a 2-year-old daughter, I don't know how you progress through something like that. I can't be happier for a guy that's meant so much to this team."

Bryant's 24-yard field goal gave Tampa Bay a 23-21 lead with 2:26 remaining. On the Packers' ensuing possession, Gaines Adams intercepted Rodgers and Earnest Graham ripped off a 47-yard run to set up his 1-yard TD run for the final margin.

"I was just trying to be patient," said Graham, who finished with 111 yards on 20 carries. "Those are really the best times to break long runs, when you are in that situation."

"(Graham) is a big-time back," Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden added. "I hope he gets the respect he deserves."

Tampa Bay's defense forced four turnovers, setting up 24 points. The Bucs' defense also scored a touchdown for the third time in their past four games when Jermaine Phillips recovered Ryan Grant's fumble and returned it 38 yards for a score.

Griese was 15-of-30 for 149 yards and overcame three interceptions of his own.

In the fourth quarter, Rodgers left with a shoulder injury and returned after being replaced by Matt Flynn for one series, but was intercepted by Adams.

"It's too early to tell (when he can return)," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Maybe he was able to go back in and play the one series. It was clearly a medical decision to hold him that one series, and then it was OK to go back in. Then they felt it wasn't OK for him to go back out after the interception."

"I hurt my shoulder on the possession in the third quarter, right before I threw the touchdown pass," said Rodgers, who finished 14-of-27 for 165 yards and two TDs. "I was not sure if I dislocated it or what. We had too many turnovers that led directly to points."

Charles Woodson's 62-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Packers (2-2) a 21-20 lead with 13:43 remaining.

"Nothing was open for Griese down the field, he was going for the check down and we were in a zone, so I was able to sit there and read," Woodson said. "He went through his progressions, he tried to go to the running back and I just broke."

However, the Bucs (3-1) scored on their next two drives. After Rodgers' 25-yard TD to Greg Jennings gave the Packers a 7-0 lead, the Bucs responded with 20 consecutive points.

Griese hit Alex Smith for a 9-yard touchdown pass, and Bryant booted field goals of 23 and 36 yards.

Derrick Brooks' interception ended a streak of 157 consecutive passes by Rodgers without an interception, the third-longest streak in Packers history.

"I just try to be as humble as I can," Brooks said. "I'm just thankful to be in the position to make the play."

Jennings finished with six catches for 109 yards.

"We hurt ourselves, especially on offense," Jennings said. "The defense gave us opportunity after opportunity, and we just didn't come through."






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    Packers 21, Buccaneers 30  FinalSep 29 11:33 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GREEN BAY 7 0 7 7 21
    TAMPA BAY 0 13 7 10 30 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GNB - TD, GREG JENNINGS 25 YD PASS FROM AARON
    RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK), 4:36.
    Drive: 10 plays, 58 yards in 4:36.
    Key plays: Rogers 1-yard run on
    4th-and-1 to Tampa Bay 48; Rogers
    11-yard

    Sep 28 4:15 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    EARNEST GRAHAM 1 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    GREEN BAY 21
    TAMPA BAY 30 1:56 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Packers 21, Buccaneers 30  4th - 1:56Sep 28 4:07 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 99 roots

    Packers 21, Buccaneers 30  4th - 1:56Sep 28 4:07 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 24 YD
    GREEN BAY 21
    TAMPA BAY 23 2:26 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Packers 21, Buccaneers 23  4th - 2:26Sep 28 3:57 PM
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    Packers 21, Buccaneers 23  4th - 2:26Sep 28 3:57 PM
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    Packers 21, Buccaneers 20  4th - 5:18Sep 28 3:53 PM
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    Packers 21, Buccaneers 20  4th - 11:25Sep 28 3:38 PM
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    Packers 21, Buccaneers 20  4th - 11:25Sep 28 3:36 PM


  • NFL
    TD GNB
    CHARLES WOODSON 62 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (MASON CROSBY KICK)
    GREEN BAY 21
    TAMPA BAY 20 13:43 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Packers 21, Buccaneers 20  4th - 13:43Sep 28 3:31 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GREEN BAY 7 0 7 14
    TAMPA BAY 0 13 7 20 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GNB - TD, GREG JENNINGS 25 YD PASS FROM AARON
    RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK), 4:36.
    Drive: 10 plays, 58 yards in 4:36.
    Key plays: Rogers 1-yard run on
    4th-and-1 to Tampa Bay 48; Rogers
    1

    Sep 28 3:26 PM


  • NFL
    TD GNB
    GREG JENNINGS 48 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS
    (MASON CROSBY KICK)
    GREEN BAY 14
    TAMPA BAY 20 1:46 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Packers 14, Buccaneers 20  3rd - 1:46Sep 28 3:21 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    JERMAINE PHILLIPS 38 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    GREEN BAY 7
    TAMPA BAY 20 6:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Packers 7, Buccaneers 20  3rd - 6:00Sep 28 3:12 PM
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    Packers 7, Buccaneers 13  3rd - 14:51Sep 28 2:48 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GREEN BAY 7 0 7
    TAMPA BAY 0 13 13 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GNB - TD, GREG JENNINGS 25 YD PASS FROM AARON
    RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK), 4:36.
    Drive: 10 plays, 58 yards in 4:36.
    Key plays: Rogers 1-yard run on
    4th-and-1 to Tampa Bay 48; Rogers
    11-ya

    Sep 28 2:33 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 37 YD
    GREEN BAY 7
    TAMPA BAY 13 1:07 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Packers 7, Buccaneers 13  2nd - 1:07Sep 28 2:23 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 23 YD
    GREEN BAY 7
    TAMPA BAY 10 6:43 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Packers 7, Buccaneers 10  2nd - 6:43Sep 28 2:07 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    ALEX SMITH 9 YD PASS FROM BRIAN GRIESE
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    GREEN BAY 7
    TAMPA BAY 7 12:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Packers 7, Buccaneers 7  2nd - 12:09Sep 28 1:54 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GREEN BAY 7 7
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GNB - TD, GREG JENNINGS 25 YD PASS FROM AARON
    RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK), 4:36.
    Drive: 10 plays, 58 yards in 4:36.
    Key plays: Rogers 1-yard run on
    4th-and-1 to Tampa Bay 48; Rogers
    1

    Sep 28 1:41 PM


  • NFL
    TD GNB
    GREG JENNINGS 25 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS
    (MASON CROSBY KICK)
    GREEN BAY 7
    TAMPA BAY 0 10:24 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Packers 7, Buccaneers 0  1st - 10:24Sep 28 1:14 PM
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