Green Bay – His picture graced the GameDay program along with defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a 62-yard fumble return. And he celebrated with his inaugural Lambeau Leap, albeit a partial one, after his extended sprint.
Sundays don’t get much better for a defensive lineman than the one Dean Lowry experienced against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field.
First and foremost, it was a victory — one that the Green Bay Packers had to secure to harbor any hope of postseason play. And in a game when Brett Hundley and the Packers offense again struggled mightily, Lowry’s unlikely scoring jaunt off the turnover produced much-need points.
“I showed off my speed a little bit,” said Lowry with a smile in the boisterous home locker room. “I saw myself on the big screen at the 20-yard line (and said), ‘Alright, here’s my chance right now. Don’t mess it up.’ So I just finished it, jumped in there, and saw some cool fans.”
The second-year pro from Northwestern estimated his 40-yard dash time in the 4.8 range, but his leap into the south end zone stands was a bit short as the 6-foot-6, 296-pound Lowry could only get his upper body into the first row of awaiting Packers fans.
“My vert there was pretty minimal,” he said. “I was definitely gassed afterwards, and I had to go back on field goal (unit) too. So, it was like, I got to block for Mason (Crosby) and celebrate later.”
Lowry had a career night, registering four total tackles, one sack for a 14-yard loss, two tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, and a fumble recovery. His runback was a game-changer for the Green Bay defense, which also recorded seven sacks of quarterback Jameis Winston.
It all started with defensive tackle Kenny Clark, who strip-sacked Winston late in the second quarter. The football popped up perfectly into the arms of Lowry, who secured it and raced 62 yards untouched for a touchdown to extend Green Bay’s lead to 17-7.
“A defensive lineman’s dream,” Lowry said. “It was a play-action play where Kenny Clark sacked him, the ball came out.”
Lowry told reporters that he has a reward for his teammate who created the opportunity.
“I’m going to buy Kenny a steak dinner,” he said. “We are always ready for that chance when the ball’s on the ground or in the air to make that play and finish it. I had my shot today and I made it count.”
Turnovers and sacks seem to come in bunches for the Packers defense this season, and Lowry wants to keep the positive momentum going as Green Bay enters the home stretch with no room for error.
“Having Kenny and Clay (Matthews) back obviously was a huge part of that (success),” Lowry said. “Coach Capers had some great pressures drawn up for us. We didn’t stress too much a few weeks ago when the sacks weren’t coming. We stayed the course. We trusted the guys in the room and our strategies and we’re getting home now.
“I think momentum is a big part of that and we got to keep it going. The playoff mentality has come early again this year.”
PLAYBOOK ON DEAN LOWRY
Full name: Dean Vincent Lowry
Born: June 9, 1994, in Rockford, Ill.
My favorite meal: Steak and potatoes
Music I enjoy: Drake, Kanye West
What I read: History, World War II stuff
My ride: 2013 Ford F150
First real job: Now, with the Green Bay Packers. I was always playing sports (in high school and college), so I didn’t have a job.
My hero: Michael Jordan. I grew up in Illinois and Jordan was the ultimate competitor.
Two people — living or dead — I’d like to dine with: Michael Jordan and Abraham Lincoln
On life as a Packer: I was a Bears fan growing up, but now it’s all green and gold.
Favorite tradition: There’s nothing else like riding a bike with a kid at training camp. You get to know them, and it’s just such a cool tradition in Green Bay.
The last time I scored a TD: Sophomore year of college against Maine (interception return).
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