MILWAUKEE — For a second straight week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Steve DeBerg built a 20-0 lead against an NFC Central Division opponent only to watch it slither away.
Against Chicago last week, the Bucs couldn't hold on, losing, 27-26. But Sunday they prevailed, 23-17, over the Green Bay Packers.
"Sure I had flashbacks to last week," Buccaneer Coach Ray Perkins said. "I get worried anytime anybody comes back on us at the end."
Tampa Bay stunned the Packers with two touchdowns and a field goal, then withstood a strong relief appearance by Green Bay quarterback Randy Wright.
"It's very big anytime the Tampa Buccaneers can win on the road," DeBerg said. "It used to be like 'oh boy,' but not anymore.
"There's a big difference between these guys (Packers) and the Bears. This is a good team, but they're not the Chicago Bears," he said.
The victory moved the Bucs into second place in the NFC Central Division with a 4-3 record while the penalty-prone Packers dropped to 3-3-1.
Green Bay was penalized 13 times for 85 yards, losing 2 of 5 fumbles. Tampa Bay had 8 penalties for 67 yards.
Leading, 3-0, at halftime, Tampa Bay drove 84 yards in 11 plays with DeBerg completing passes of 12 yards to Calvin Magee, and 12 and 20 yards to Mark Carrier. Jeff Smith's one-yard run capped the 5 1/2-minute drive.
Don Majkowski, the Packers' rookie quarterback, fumbled on the second play after the touchdown, teammate Rich Moran picked it up but also fumbled and the Bucs' Mike Stensrud recovered at the Green Bay five-yard line.
On first down, DeBerg passed to Gerald Carter for the Bucs' second touchdown in little more than a minute, making it 17-0 with 8:21 left in the quarter.
When Green Bay's Kelly Cook fumbled the kickoff out of bounds at his own one, the Packers had to punt from the three. The Bucs moved in for a 36-yard field goal by Donald Igwebuike for their 20-0 lead.
Wright replaced Majkowski, who completed only 4 of 13 passes for 43 yards and finished with 13 completions in 19 attempts for 161 yards.
Wright's four-yard touchdown pass to Frankie Neal with with 6:25 left in the game and Brent Fullwood's one-yard touchdown run with 3:51 remaining brought Green Bay to within six points.
But DeBerg hit Magee with two key third-down passes in the closing minutes as the Bucs ran out the clock.