Upon Further Review: Packers no longer unblemished after battle of the Bays
Well, you can’t win them all.
The Green Bay Packers’ chance of a 16-0 regular-season finish is over after a 38-10 road loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Well, there is a chance no team in the NFL even plays 16 games this season, but you get the point.
Green Bay (4-1) underwhelmed in pretty much every aspect of the game against the Bucs. The defense gave up 324 total yards and 5.1 yards per play and the offense wound up punting seven times after going up 10-0 early in the game.
Aaron Rodgers, who had thrown for 13 touchdowns and no interceptions before this game, had one of his worst games as a professional with a pick-six and another interception that was two yards shy of going to the house.
Rodgers finished 16-of-35 for 160 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. The rest of the offense was not much better, since the offensive line surrendered five sacks and the Packers rushed for only 94 yards on 21 attempts.
On the other side, the Buccaneers (4-2) did not have a particularly high amount of total yards (324) but made more than enough offensive plays to win. Ronald Jones II led the ground game with 113 yards and two scores and scored on a two-yard run right after Rodgers’ second interception while Tom Brady finished with 166 passing yards and two touchdowns. Brady connected with his old New England teammate Rob Gronkowski five times for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Tampa Bay’s linebacker duo of Lavonte David and Devin White terrorized the Packers, combining for 5.5 tackles for loss. Those two led a Buccaneer defense that had five sacks and took over against Green Bay’s offensive line that lost David Bakhtiari in the second half.
In the end, it is a long season and just one game. Green Bay is 4-1 and still has one of the best quarterbacks in football. The Packers have opportunities to prove their lopsided loss to Tampa Bay was an outlier and not a sign of a trend.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Nobody on the Packers really jumped out in this game. Aaron Jones scored Green Bay’s only touchdown, but he also rushed 10 times for just 15 yards so it was not exactly his best day at the office. Davante Adams led the Pack with six receptions for 61 yards but also contributed to Rodgers’ second pick.
A.J. Dillon gets the nomination here. He ran five times for 31 yards and even popped off a 20-yard scamper. The Boston College product came into the game with eight career NFL rushes for 34 yards, so maybe this performance will earn him more touches down the road.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME
Mason Crosby made his only field goal attempt and connected on his only extra point attempt of the game. He made all his kicks, something that does not always happen for NFL kickers. It was one of those games for the Packers.
The Jamel Dean pick-six of Rodgers completely shifted the momentum of this game. With 12:50 left in the second quarter, Rodgers threw a dart to Adams on the sideline. Dean smartly undercut the route and it was a house call. After that play, the Buccaneers went on a 31-0 run.
PICK 6! Jamel Dean takes it to the house! #GoBucs
— NFL (@NFL) October 18, 2020
1 – That is the number of combined tackles for loss and sacks recorded by the Packers. Green Bay had zero sacks and one tackle for loss by Montravius Adams. That has to be a worrying sign to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and if it is a trend that continues at the line of scrimmage against upper-echelon teams, then the Packers could be in trouble in the playoffs.
THEY SAID IT
“I think we needed kind of a kick in the ass a little bit. There’s a little bit of wake-up to stop feeling ourselves so much and get back to the things that got us to this position.” – Rodgers on the team’s collective mindset.
“I don’t feel like we ever got into a rhythm, or even the 10 points to start the game. We had off-scheduled plays to keep our drives alive. They deserve credit, they got us out of our rhythm.” – Rodgers on Tampa Bay’s defensive game plan.
“Obviously, that was a pretty frustrating day today. Got outcoached, got outplayed. Gotta give the Bucs all the credit in the world. They had a good game plan and really took is to us.” – Packers head coach Matt LaFleur on the team’s overall performance.
“Us as a defense, we’ve got to step up and help the offense.” – Packers safety Adrian Amos on the defense.
Green Bay will head to Houston for a Week 7 matchup against the Texans. The Texans come in with a 1-5 record and a porous defense, but Deshaun Watson is still a dangerous quarterback. Plus, Houston has played inspired football after former head coach/general manager and Peter-Griffin-lookalike Bill O’Brien was fired after Week 4. Houston lost to the 5-0 Tennessee Titans 42-36 in overtime on Sunday and appear to be playing much better than their record would indicate.