CB Charles Woodson returns his interception Sunday 62 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
TAMPA - Charles Woodson's broken toe isn't stopping him from climbing the ladder in the Green Bay record books.
His 62-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter on Sunday against Tampa Bay was his fifth defensive touchdown as a member of the Packers in just 2 1/4 seasons. That ties him with Bobby Dillon and Doug Hart for third in team history, behind the seven defensive TDs scored by Herb Adderley and Darren Sharper.
Four of Woodson's five defensive TDs have been on interception returns, tying him for fourth on the team's all-time list with Johnny (Blood) McNally in that category.
The big play Sunday came with Tampa Bay facing a third-and-3 from the Green Bay 41-yard line. Quarterback Brian Griese tried to throw a short dump-off pass to running back Warrick Dunn to pick up the first down, but Woodson read Griese all the way, stepped in front of Dunn, and ran untouched to paydirt.
"We were in zone," Woodson explained of the play. "I was able to pretty much read the quarterback, read what was going on receiver-wise, and I broke on the ball."
The touchdown gave the Packers a 21-20 lead at the time, completing a comeback from a 20-7 deficit. But the Buccaneers scored the game's final 10 points for a 30-21 victory, in part with the help of a defensive score of their own, their third in four games this season.
Woodson's defensive score was his second this year, with the other coming in the win at Detroit. Interestingly, four of his five defensive TDs with the Packers have come in road games.
Struggles on the ground
When Ryan Grant broke off runs of 6, 3 and 8 yards within his first four carries on Sunday, he thought he was in for a productive day. But that wasn't to be.
Grant, playing fully healthy for the first time this year after battling a hamstring problem since training camp, had just 3 additional yards rushing over his final 11 carries of the game. He finished with 15 rushes for 20 yards, the second time in three weeks he's posted those exact numbers (also at Detroit).
"It felt like the energy wasn't there," said Grant, who also called his fumble, which was returned for a touchdown, inexcusable. "We looked sloppy. Just across the board it wasn't a good performance. We need to learn from this, and make sure we clean things up that have been haunting us a little bit."
Particularly haunting has been the offense's short-yardage troubles. Three times on Sunday the Packers called Grant's number on third-and-1, and he picked up the first down only once.
Those failures were symptomatic of the ground game's struggles all game long.
"Usually if it's third-and-short and we're in a running formation, they know what we're doing and we know what they're doing," center Scott Wells said. "It just comes down to who executes better."
Aaron Rodgers' second-quarter interception was his first of the season and broke his string of 157 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, the third-longest in team history. The two longest were by Bart Starr (294 pass attempts) and Brett Favre (163).
Rodgers' last interception before Sunday came in 2005 at Baltimore. This one wasn't his fault, as a short dump-off pass to Brandon Jackson was on target, but it bounced off Jackson's hands and into those of Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks.
Rodgers ended up with three interceptions on the day, the primary reason his quarterback rating was just 55.9, his lowest of the season by at least 25 points.
In addition to Rodgers' shoulder injury, the Packers had several other injuries during Sunday's game.
Defensive ends Jason Hunter (hamstring) and Cullen Jenkins (shoulder) and safeties Aaron Rouse (knee) and Nick Collins (back) all got hurt and left the game. The severity of the injuries will be updated on Monday.
Collins' injury was a re-aggravation of the back problem that initially affected him in last week's game against Dallas.
Also, cornerback/returner Will Blackmon injured his thigh but returned to action and finished the game.