The Green Bay Packers suffered an extremely difficult loss to the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay on Sunday. Let’s take a look at the few studs, and many duds, of this week’s game.
He punted more times against the Bucs than he had all season long. He didn’t have any egregious shanks when kicking for the Packers. In this game, that was good enough to be a stud.
He made a couple of nice plays in the run game that helped the Packers force a few three and outs on Tom Brady’s Buccaneers. He’ll need to keep playing well for Green Bay to have success against the run this season.
Two interceptions and the second-lowest passer rating of his career tell the story of Aaron Rodgers’ day in Tampa Bay. The offense was playing well to start the game, holding a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Things sputtered out of control after Rodgers threw a ball to Davante Adams on an out route that was jumped and picked off by Jamel Dean and taken all the way to the house.
What followed was a drive that ended similarly, in which an Aaron Rodgers pass to Davante Adams was tipped off his hands and picked off once again. A 10-0 lead with the ball turned into a 14-10 deficit in a matter of seconds. It was just the third pick-six of his career, and those INTs were his first turnovers of the season.
Things just weren’t clicking with anyone on offense for Rodgers. He had little to no time to throw on a large portion of his dropbacks as well. He took more sacks in the game than he had all season prior as well. All this combined to make it one of the worst offensives outing the Packers have had in the Matt LaFleur era. Rodgers will look to bounce back against a generous Houston Texans secondary next week.
The group had an incredible start to the season, but in this game, were playing completely out of sync. Aaron Rodgers was getting hit at a ridiculous rate and he was fighting for his life on most play-action dropbacks.
The running game could barely get anything going as well. Things somehow got worse when David Bakhtiari left the game with a chest injury. This Tampa Bay defense deserves some credit, but the Packers offense was just uncharacteristically bad in all facets.
The Packers’ number one playmaker in the passing game looked lost at times in his return to the field against the Bucs. There was little to no cohesion within the 12 to 17 connection, which seemed like it was sputtering even on the completions. Adams needs to get his flow back with A-Rod, and the offense needs to figure out how to utilize him without trying to force-feed him the football. It was difficult for the Packers to have success in the passing game without a consistent second weapon to throw to.
Equanimeous St. Brown
Miscommunications and drops were the issues for EQ in his first game back from injury. He just wasn’t where the team hoped he would be. He flashed potential in his rookie season, but they’ll need to see more out of him in the coming weeks.
Matt LaFleur’s Offense
This was one of his worst games as a head coach, and the worst part of it was the fact that we didn’t go for a fourth-down conversion once in this game. We punted down 21 and 28 points on numerous occasions.
Where was the aggression that we’ve seen on fourth down in games where we’re ahead by double digits? Play calls were becoming predictable early on, and he had no answer for a Buccaneers defense that dominated the Packers offense from the second quarter on. The offense will look to bounce back in next week’s game against the Texans.
Mike Pettine’s Defense
The Packers’ often criticized defensive coordinator’s unit had an embarrassing performance in Tampa Bay, including 12 men on the field penalties on two out of five snaps in the second half. While the unit did have a few nice stops on the Buccaneers, there were too many instances where they couldn’t keep the Packers’ struggling offense in the game. There are more questions than answers about Mike Pettine’s defense at this stage of the season, and they’ll have to improve for the Packers to be a serious contender this season.