The Good, Bad And Ugly From The Green Bay Packers’ Win Over The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history — and arguably the greatest winner in the history of sports.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the top quarterbacks of his generation.
Yet these two icons have rarely met.
When Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers traveled to meet Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, it marked just the fifth time these two future Hall of Famers have squared off.
Rodgers won the first meeting back in 2014, but Brady had captured the last three matchups — including the 2020 NFC Championship game.
Rodgers and the Packers got the better of Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday, though. On a day both defenses dominated, Green Bay did enough on offense early, then held on for a 14-12 win.
The Packers and Buccaneers are now both 2-1 on the young season.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly from Green Bay’s win.
DOMINANT DEFENSE: Brady was without his top three receivers — Mike Evans (suspension), Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee).
Still, Green Bay’s defense was absolutely sensational in holding the Buccaneers to 285 total yards and 4.8 yards per play.
Green Bay forced two fumbles and recovered both. The Packers also got two sacks from nose tackle Kenny Clark and one from outside linebacker Rashan Gary.
The Buccaneers drove 89 yards in the final minutes for a touchdown that pulled them within 14-12. On the two-point conversion, though, Tampa Bay had a delay of game penalty that pushed the ball back to the seven.
Brady tried hitting Russell Gage in the right corner of the endzone for the tie. But Green Bay linebacker De’Vondre Campbell knocked the ball away and the Packers prevailed.
HE’S BAAAAACK: Nearly 21 full months after David Bakhtiari tore his ACL, he was back at his familiar left tackle spot.
Bakhtiari played the opening series, then split time with Yosh Nijman the rest of the way.
When Bakhtiari tore his ACL on Dec. 31, 2020, he was arguably the NFL’s best left tackle. That season, Pro Football Focus gave Bakhtiari a pass blocking grade of 91.6, which was No. 1 among offensive tackles.
Bakhtiari also had his best season when it came to run blocking. PFF
gave him a grade of 86.7, which was 17 points higher than any of his first seven seasons.
Bakhtiari has had at least three surgeries on his knee since that injury. And after playing 27 snaps in Week 18 last year against Detroit, Bakhtiari hadn’t been played again in a game.
That brutal streak ended Sunday, which should be tremendous news for Green Bay’s offensive line moving forward.
ROMEO DOUBS: Green Bay’s rookie, fourth round wideout was thrust into an expanded role after Sammy Watkins (hamstring) went on the injured reserve list Saturday and Christian Watson (hamstring) couldn’t play.
Doubs finished with a team high eight receptions for 73 yards and his first career touchdown. Doubs caught all eight passes thrown in his direction, and on the Packers’ opening touchdown drive, he caught three passes for 35 yards and a score.
THIS AND THAT: Keisean Nixon forced a fumble and downed a punt on the 1-yard line. … Rodgers began the game 15-of-16 for 171 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. He finished the first half with a 143.3 quarterback rating. … Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard recovered an onside kick with 13 seconds left. … Campbell finished with 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed.
: Green Bay’s ballyhooed defense hasn’t been particularly good at the start of games.
The Packers allowed touchdowns to Minnesota and Chicago on their opening drives of the game in Weeks 1 and 2. Then Tampa Bay began Sunday’s game with a 10-play, 48-yard drive that led to a Ryan Succop field goal.
Green Bay’s defense was stout most of the game. But the Packers’ early struggles need to be corrected.
BALL SECURITY: The Packers led, 14-3, late in the second quarter and reached Tampa Bay’s 5-yard line.
On a third-and-goal, Aaron Jones caught an inside slant and was fighting his way toward the endzone. Jones reached the 2-yard line, then was drilled by Buccaneers’ nose tackle Vita Vea.
Jones fumbled and safety Logan Ryan recovered in the endzone.
Instead of going up by at least 14, Green Bay’s lead stayed at 11.
THIS AND THAT: Packers top cornerback Jaire Alexander left in the first quarter with a groin injury and didn’t return. … Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady completed 13-of-14 passes in the first half. … The Packers ran the ball 25 times for just 67 yards, an average of 2.7 yards per carry.
SECOND HALF OFFENSE: Green Bay’s offense in the second half was dreadful.
The Packers’ seven second half possessions went punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, punt.
After Green Bay head coach/play caller Matt La Fleur got the better of Tampa Bay’s defensive staff in the first half, LaFleur’s offense couldn’t get anything going in the second half.
FOX: Greg Olsen is one of the top young analysts in television. But his bosses at FOX are clueless if they think viewers are interested in seeing a “sweat cam” focused on Olsen.
It was 90 degrees in Tampa on Sunday. People were warm. We get it.
But viewers certainly didn’t need to be shown time and time again how Olsen’s shirt was holding up in the muggy Tampa Bay temperatures.