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Packers' weapons just keep on coming

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 21, 2011 @ 4:43 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

All for one and one for all.

Think "The Three Musketeers" times five — a group that is carrying gridiron altruism to a new extreme.

The Packers put a unique spin on their perfect season Sunday, adding the unlikely names of B.J. Raji and Tom Crabtree to the team's lengthy list of TD makers so far this season in their 35-26 victory over the Bucs that was far from the cakewalk many observers had predicted.

Don't look now, but in the Packers' first 10 games, an eye-popping 15 different players have scored TDs — WR Greg Jennings, WR Jordy Nelson, TE Jermichael Finley, WR James Jones, FB John Kuhn, WR-RS Randall Cobb, WR Donald Driver, QB Aaron Rodgers, QB Matt Flynn, S Charlie Peprah, RB James Starks, CB Tramon Williams, CB Charles Woodson, Raji and Crabtree.

Since first appearing as a fullback in short-yardage situations late last season, the prospect of Raji becoming a "Refrigerator Perry"-like TD threat has loomed large. Powering behind ORG Josh Sitton from one yard out, he produced Green Bay's first score of the afternoon Sunday.

Early in the second quarter, it was Crabtree's turn to join the TD parade. Primarily a run blocker, he couldn't have been more wide open on a five-yard TD catch off play-action.

The PFW Spin

It has become pretty clear that, if the Packers are going to indeed run the table this season, it will be primarily due to flat-out outscoring the opposition, no matter how great the point total needs to be. With 15 players scoring TDs and counting, no team comes close to having as many legitimate scoring weapons.

With the Packers facing their third game in 11 days after getting a real run for their money from a Bucs team that definitely came to play Sunday, the more bullets the merrier, especially considering how vulnerable the defense once again looked after appearing to finally get its act together in the win over Minnesota six days earlier.

After allowing an average-at-best Buccaneers offense a whopping 455 yards Sunday, Dom Capers' defense is currently on pace to yield the second-most yards in franchise history. The unit has been equally porous against the pass and the run. On Sunday, its horrendous tackling made LeGarrette Blount, who became the third running back to gain more than 100 yards vs. the Packers this season, look like Jim Brown on a 54-yard TD romp.

In addition, you have to think Lions TEs Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler are licking their chops in advance of facing Packers SS Charlie Peprah and the team's LB corps, which had all kinds of problems handling Bucs TE Kellen Winslow (nine catches for 132 yards).

But you also have to think Jennings and Finley, who had a mere three catches combined against the Bucs, will be making some points in more ways than one on Turkey Day in an offense in which nobody ever is relegated to being a decoy for too long, especially scoring threats the caliber of those two.

After placing 15 players on injured reserve last season on the road to the Super Bowl, including seven Week One starters, 15 different TD makers are doing a terrific job wiping away that painful memory.

Is it possible somebody like second-year TE Andrew Quarless, or even undrafted rookie RB Brandon Saine, could make Green Bay a Sweet 16 scoring machine later this week?

Packers fans would be all for it.

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