After a loss in Chicago last Thursday night against the Chicago Bears, the Buccaneers will be back in action against the Green Bay Packers in a nationally televised game on Sunday afternoon.
The Packers come to Tampa as one of four unbeaten teams in the league.
The Packers are 4-0, while the Bucs come in at 3-2.
This is a great matchup of two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
This will be the third meeting between these two quarterbacks and they have split their only two games.
Rodgers and the Packers defeated Brady and the Patriots 26-21 in 2014 the last time they two squared off.
This matchup will be a test for the Bucs defense, as Rodgers has 13 touchdown passes this season and has yet to throw an interception.
The Packers bring the league’s second-best offense to Tampa averaging 445.5 yards per game. Aaron Rodgers has the Packers averaging 38 points a game which leads the NFL. The Packers passing game ranks third with 294.8 yards per game through the air.
The Packers are fifth in the league in rushing averaging 150.8 rushing yards per game. Aaron Jones leads the way for the Packers. Jones has 374 yards rushing with four touchdowns this season while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
The Bucs have the best run defense in the league giving up 58.4 yards per game. The Bucs allowed the Bears 35 rushing yards in the loss to Chicago.
Linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul said he doesn’t think anyone can run against the defense. Even with the loss of Vita Vea, Pierre-Paul says this team has confidence in Rakeem Nunez Roaches who will start in Vea’s absence.
Linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David will need to have great games in supporting the run game to keep Aaron Jones in check.
The Bucs are an undisciplined team right now as they lead the league in penalties and had 11 penalties against the Bears.
The team has to get this corrected. You will not be a playoff team, let alone make a Super Bowl run playing undisciplined football.
Mike Evans said that it is on the players to get this corrected. “We want to be a championship team, which we’re capable of being. We have to eliminate these penalties. It’s not up to coaching, it’s us the players. We have to fix that.”
This will be the healthiest the Bucs have been since opening day.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin is expected back, and defensive back Carlton Davis is listed as questionable on the injury report.
It will be important to have a healthy Davis to help cover one of the best receivers in the game in Davante Adams.
Running backs LeSean McCoy, and Leonard Fournette are both healthy and ready to go.
The Bucs placed Vita Vea and Jack Cichy on the IR this week joining tight end OJ Howard.
The keys to this game will fall on the defense.
Aaron Rodgers against the Bucs secondary. Jordan Whitehead and Carlton Davis must play well. The defense cannot Rodgers nickel and dime them down the field and eat up the clock. They need to force some three and outs to keep Rodgers off the field.
Contain Aaron Jones. The Bucs front seven has to stop Jones. If they don’t it will be a long afternoon for the Bucs.
The Bucs offense will need to have penalty-free drives to keep the chains moving and the clock moving. Keep the ball out of Rodgers’s hands. The longer Rodgers stays on the sideline, the better the chances are for the Bucs.
The Packers are slight favorites this week, but this is another chance for Bucs to make a statement on the national stage.
This will be a high scoring affair. Brady is still getting used to Bruce Arian’s offense. He has had flashes of brilliance, but the second half in Chicago was not a good half of football. Brady and the offense must be better.
Packers will win this 34-31 as Aaron Rodgers will make a couple more plays than Tom Brady.