TAMPA - No one was in any mood to celebrate afterwards, but Packers running back Ahman Green did break one of the franchise's most notable records on Sunday in Tampa.
With six carries for 45 yards, Green surpassed Hall of Famer Jim Taylor as the all-time leading rusher in Green Bay history. He came into Sunday's game needing 44 yards to match Taylor's mark of 8,207 yards, which had stood since 1966, and he barely beat it with a 2-yard plunge off the right side in the fourth quarter.
After the game, the understated Green could take pride in the achievement, but the team's 38-28 loss to the previously winless Buccaneers dampened the day considerably.
"It's a bittersweet thing," said Green, who re-signed with the Packers two weeks ago after piling up the first 8,162 rushing yards of his Green Bay career from 2000-06. "It would have been better if we had gotten the victory, but it happened the way it happened."
Green played a larger role in the offense on Sunday than he did in his first game back last week, when he had two carries for one yard plus one pass reception for 12 yards.
In Tampa, Green had two carries for five yards in the first half and then broke off a 26-yard run on a shotgun draw play on the final snap of the third quarter to get him within range of the record.
That long run set up a touchdown for the Packers to give them a 28-17 lead, and on their next drive they went to the ground game to try to pound away for the victory.
Ryan Grant carried three straight times and then Green came in to spell him, getting three straight rushes of his own. They went for 9, 3 and 2 yards, the last one giving him one more yard than Taylor.
"The biggest thing is how long it's been around," Green said of the record. "It means a lot of guys that played running back before me had an opportunity to do it and never got a chance to (get) it. I'm fortunate enough to be a part of that elite group of guys that has a chance to be in the record books for the Green Bay Packers."
Having taken his share of kickoff returns in the past two weeks as well, Green is steadily working his way into a productive role for Green Bay again. He added a reception for 10 yards on Sunday, and all told his 55 yards from scrimmage in the game extended his franchise mark in that category to 10,938 yards (8,208 rushing, 2,730 receiving).
"That's the way I've always been," Green said of getting comfortable with the workload. "Once I get more carries and see the ball more and see the field more, I'll start getting the speed of the game back and then I'll be able to do more."
Unfortunately, he wasn't able to do more to help the Packers chalk up a win on Sunday. But a hallowed franchise mark is his, and whether it will last 43 years like Taylor's record did, only time will tell.
"One day somebody's going to come down after me when I'm done and break my record," Green said. "But for now hats off to all the guys that helped me get there from 2000 to now. It just would have been a lot better if we had gotten a victory today."