LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 Green Bay Packers 17
On Christmas Eve, the Buccaneers traveled to Lambeau Field to meet the division rival Green Bay Packers. A Tampa Bay win, coupled with a loss by Minnesota would clinch the NFC Central title for Tampa Bay, as well as a first-round bye in the playoffs. In addition, a win by the Buccaneers would break an 11-game losing streak at Green Bay dating back to 1989, and an 0–18 record in games under 40 °F (4 °C).
On a frigid, windy, snowy, 18° day, Green Bay took a 14–0 lead into halftime, while Tampa Bay's offense sputtered. Shaun King narrowed the Buccaneers to a 14–3 deficit to start the fourth quarter, but it was the Buccaneer defense which kept the team in the game. King finally got the offense going, and drove 74 yards for Tampa Bay's first touchdown. A two-point conversion try appeared to be a busted play salvaged with some trickery. King handed off to Warrick Dunn, who handed off to Mike Alstott, but pitched the ball back to King, who crossed the endzone, and made the score 14–11 with just over nine minutes remaining.
On Green Bay's next drive, John Lynch intercepted Brett Favre, and returned the ball to the Packers' 35-yard line. After going 3-and-out, coach Tony Dungy took a timeout to decide whether to go for it on 4th & 1. After consideration, Martin Gramatica was brought in for a field goal try, and the score was tied 14–14 with just under 8 minutes remaining.
Late in the fourth quarter, Favre drove the Packers into Tampa Bay territory, looking to win the game. With 1:54 to go in regulation, Favre was intercepted by Jamie Duncan at the Tampa Bay 28, and Duncan returned the ball 15 yards to the Green Bay 43. In just over a minute and a half, King drove the Buccaneers to the Green Bay 22-yard line. With 13 seconds to go, Gramatica attempted a potential game-winning 40-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide right. The game went into overtime, and the Packers won the coin toss. On the first drive of overtime, kicker Ryan Longwell won the game for Green Bay.
The loss was devastating for Tampa Bay, especially when Minnesota lost later that afternoon. After forcing four turnovers, and battling back from a 14-point deficit, Tampa Bay's postseason outlook changed dramatically. Instead of winning their division and securing a first-round bye (and a legitimate shot at a "home game" for Super Bowl XXXV held at their very own Raymond James Stadium), the Buccaneers instead saw themselves fall to a wild card, having to play on the road at the Eagles. The loss also meant Tampa Bay fell to 0–19 in games under 40° F., and their losing streak at Green Bay extended to 11 games.
Afterwards, Gramatica took blame for the loss saying "It hurts because I let the guys down."
- REFEREE: Ron Winter
- UMPIRE: Ed Coukart
- HEAD LINESMAN: Tom Johnson
- LINE JUDGE: Byron Boston
- SIDE JUDGE: Dave Wyant
- BACK JUDGE: Perry Paganelli
- FIELD JUDGE: Bob McGrath
- REPLAY OFFICIAL: Bill McCabe
- VIDEO OPERATOR: Fred Gallagher
- PACKERS: 05:57-1Q Green 3 run (Longwell kick)
- PACKERS: 10:07-3Q Green 2 run (Longwell kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 02:07-3Q Gramatica FG38
- BUCCANEERS: 09:07-4Q Johnson 18 pass from King (King run)
- BUCCANEERS: 07:55-4Q Gramatica FG43
- PACKERS: 08:32-OT Longwell FG22
- WR: #81 J. Green
- LT: #69 P. Pierson
- LG: #64 R. McDaniel
- C: #62 J. Christy
- RG: #73 F. Middleton
- RT: #71 J. Wunsch
- TE: #83 D. Moore
- WR: #19 K. Johnson
- QB: #10 S. King
- RB: #28 W. Dunn
- FB: #40 M. Alstott
- LE: #72 C. Ahanotu
- NT: #92 A. McFarland
- DT: #99 W. Sapp
- RE: #78 M Jones
- SLB: #53 S. Quarles
- MLB: #59 J. Duncan
- WLB: #55 D. Brooks
- RCB: #20 R. Barber
- LCB: #21 D. Abraham
- SS: #47 J. Lynch
- FS: #24 D. Robinson
- 3 Royals, 7 Gramatica, 25 Kelly, 27 Abdullah, 31 Young, 33 Vance, 34 Jackson, 46 Gibson, 50 Gooch, 52 Webster, 58 Davis, 68 Unutoa, 79 Hegamin, 80 Yoder, 82 Hape, 85 Anthony, 86 Williams, 94 White, 97 Jackson, 98 Cannida
DID NOT PLAY
- 15 Zeier, 60 Coleman, 65 Dogins,
- 14 Hamilton, 22 Stecker, 48 Kirby, 51 Singleton, 75 Washington, 76 Curry, 87 Murphy, 95 McLaughlin
- BUCCANEERS: Dunn 15-40, King 6-20, Alstott 2-7.
- PACKERS: Green 27-74, Parker 5-35, Favre 4-23, Driver 1-4, Schroeder 1-(-1).
- BUCCANEERS: King 42-21-237-0-1.
- PACKERS: Favre 42-20-196-2-0.
- BUCCANEERS: Johnson 6-69, Dunn 5-44, Green 4-50, Anthony 3-48, Moore 3-26.
- PACKERS: Green 9-78, Schroeder 3-51, Driver 2-21, Parker 2-15, Henderson 2-12, Franks 1-11, Wetnight 1-6.
- BUCCANEERS: Duncan 1-15, Lynch 1-5.
- PACKERS: none.
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 3-65.
- PACKERS: Rossum 3-61, Henderson 2-36.
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 2-3.
- PACKERS: Rossum 3-14.
- BUCCANEERS: Sapp 1-12.
- PACKERS: Thierry 2-20, Holliday 2-9, Gbaja-Biamila 1-3.