This was a statement game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With most of the country getting this game, once again Tampa was on the national stage and the Buccaneers delivered.
It did not start well for the Buccaneers as they quickly fell behind 10-0.
A Jamel Dean interception returned for a touchdown was the play the Buccaneers needed. That was the play that turned the momentum in the game.
Aaron Rodgers has not taken a beaten like this in a long time. Rodgers was sacked five times, was hit 13 times and was under pressure most of the afternoon.
The Bucs defense allowed the Packers 201 yards of total offense. In their last two games, the Bucs are giving up an average of 217 yards a game. That is an impressive number.
In the Packer’s last 41 offensive plays, they gained 54 yards of offense. That is how dominant this defense was in shutting down the high powered Packer offense.
The Packers came into the game averaging 38 points a game. For the Bucs to hold them to 10 is a testament to how good this defense is becoming.
Tom Brady was a surgeon as he sliced and diced the Packer defense and took whatever the Packer defense gave him.
Brady completed 17/27 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back Ronald Jones had his third straight 100-yard rushing game as he ran for 113 yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. This was also a new career-high for Jones.
Arians was happy to see the Bucs take control of the game in the fourth quarter with a running game. “I thought they played outstanding. Just to take that game over in the fourth quarter, and run the ball like that, was just a joy to see.”
This was also a coming-out party for the Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski connection as Gronkowski led the Bucs in receiving with five catches for 78 yards and scored his first touchdown in a Buccaneer uniform.
What was equally as impressive as the defensive domination of Aaron Rodgers, was the composure with which the Buccaneers played.
After committing a season-high 11 penalties in the loss at Chicago, the Bucs had zero penalties against the Packers.
After watching the Bucs impressive play against Green Bay, you wonder how in the hell this team lost to Chicago. It looked like a different team than the one that played the Bears.
This was as close to a perfect game that a team could play. The Bucs did not commit a turnover, did not turn the ball over, and did not allow a sack.
Bruce Arians commented on the near-perfect game in his post-game press conference. “I don’t think we had any penalties, I don’t think we had any sacks, and if you don’t have any turnovers, we’re going to be hard to beat. We kind of set a new standard for ourselves in that regard, against a quality opponent.”
The Bucs are 4-2 and remain in first place in the NFC South. The last time the Bucs started the season 4-2 was in 2013 under Raheem Morris.
The Bucs ended up imploding that year and lost 10 straight to finish the season 4-12.
The Buccaneers have 24 hours to enjoy this one before they start preparations for the Las Vegas Raiders.
This will be Jon Gruden’s first match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team he led to the Super Bowl following the 2002 season.
The game against the Raiders will again put the Buccaneers on the national stage as the game is the Sunday Night game of the week.