It’s the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Buccaneers on the NFL on FOX. It’s an old school rivalry from years ago, when the two clubs played in the same division. The game has juice. The game has sizzle. The FOX “A” team, featuring the great Joe Buck and the iconic Troy Aikman, will be live at Lambeau Field.
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Except, the turning point in the game is the coin flip.
The Packers will win by 21 points if things DON’T go the way they have planned. It has blowout written all over it because the Packers are going 19-0 and the Bucs are struggling mightily at 4-5 and searching for answers to the same questions that have plagued them all season.
It’s Aaron Rodgers world and we are simply living in it. On Monday night against Minnesota, Rodgers became just the fifth quarterback in NFL history to start a season with two or more touchdowns in the first nine games of the year. He’s the first quarterback in NFL history to post a rating of 110 or higher in nine games in a row in a single season. In his last 20 games, including the playoffs, 17 of them have featured a quarterback rating over 110. Rodgers is having a season for the ages, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history with over 2,800 yards and 28 touchdowns in the first nine games of the year. Need more? No problem. Aaron Rodgers has only three picks this year. He has a quarterback rating of 140 in three straight games. His pocket presence, his pin-point accuracy and his footwork, are all simply phenomenal and breathtaking.
The beleaguered Bucs, fresh off of a demoralizing performance at home against Houston, have no chance. They haven’t played well in weeks. Talking to head coach Raheem Morris on SiriusXM NFL Radio, he lamented the lack of tackling in the last game. Wait until the Bucs try to keep up with Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and company.
If there was an area of “weakness” for the Packers this year, it was the pass defense. Dom Capers’ defense bounced back brilliantly from the San Diego game to smother poor Christian Ponder, with Charles Woodson once again leading the charge. I thought Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman would emerge as a sleeper MVP candidate this year. Instead, he has regressed. He can’t start fast. The Bucs don’t start fast. And if you can’t put points on the board quickly against the Packers, how the heck are you going to have a chance? Freeman will throw his standard three picks in this game.
Morris and maligned offensive coordinator Greg Olson have not done a good job with this offense this season. They get away from LeGarrette Blount and the run too quickly. This better change or the Bucs will be looking for a new offensive coordinator next year.
Mike McCarthy is one of the best coaches and play callers in the league. Raheem Morris is in a pivotal stretch to keep his job in Year 3.
I give my guy Peter Schrager credit for stressing the positive on the Bucs. But he has a better chance of dating Jennifer Aniston than the Bucs do winning in Green Bay.