This week’s game of the week featured the undefeated Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Both teams came into the game with one of the league’s best defenses. The matchup was not about Brady vs. Rodgers, rather it was Brady vs. the Packers defense and Rodgers vs. the Buccaneers defense.
The Packers took an early lead in the first quarter with a 39-yard field goal by kicker Mason Crosby. Rodgers than ran the ball for seven yards that was initially ruled a touchdown until video review overturned the call and ruled that the play was broken down on the one yard line. Instead Rodgers set up running back Aaron Jones for a one yard rushing touchdown to give the Packers an early 10-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Tampa Bay’s defense led the game from that point and they managed not to let Rodgers or the Packers add any more points throughout the game. Rodgers threw his first interception of the season as corner back Jamel Dean picked the pass off from Rodgers to run it into the end zone to put the Buccaneers on the board 10-7.
PICK 6! Jamel Dean takes it to the house! #GoBucs
— NFL (@NFL) October 18, 2020
The next play for the Packers was intercepted again as safety Mike Edwards picked off the pass from Rodgers. This set up Brady to hand the ball to running back Ronald Jones II to put the Bucs on top 14-10. Tampa Bay put up 28 points in the second quarter, including a 12 yard touchdown catch by tight end Rob Gronkowski. This was Gronk’s first touchdown catch from Brady in over 600 days.
The Tampa Bay defense did an extraordinary job shutting down Rodgers and not allowing him to put any more points of the board for the rest of the day. The Bucs’ defense forced Rodgers to throw his first two interceptions of the season and sacked him four times throughout the game. Linebacker Devin White had a huge game with 10 tackles and one sack, while linebacker Lavonte David had eight tackles and one sack and cornerback Carlton Davis had six tackles.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 18, 2020
Head coach for the Packers Matt LaFleur weighed in on the loss and explains how his players must start working harder during practices in order to perform better in the games.
“Our practice this week was not up to our standard the guys have developed the first year-and-a-half” said LaFleur to the Bleacher Report. “That’s what happened today. You practice like crap, you go out and play like crap.”
Rodgers also reflected on the brutal lost and how this loss is a wakeup call for his team to start performing better as the season goes on. “You don’t ever want to lose like this” says Rodgers according to the NFL.com. “I feel like we needed a little bit of wake-up call this season. I think we needed a kick in the a** a little bit to stop feeling ourselves so much.”
Tampa Bay’s head coach Bruce Arians praised defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ play calls and how well the defense performed on Sunday. “I thought Todd mixed it up really, really good with his fronts, blitzes, and coverages” said Arians to ESPN. “You don’t usually get Aaron confused; I don’t think I’ve ever seen him confused. When you start running him down and chasing him out of there-early in the game he chased out and he made a lot of plays. We just kept chasing, it hemmed him up a little bit, and we got some hits on him. The defensive line, linebackers and the secondary-it was a great defensive performance.”
With this loss, the Packers fall to second in the NFC North after the Bears defeated the Panthers 23-16 on Sunday. The Bucs remain in first place after the Saints had a BYE last Sunday. The next opponent for the Packers will be the Houston Texans who are coming off a heartbreaking loss against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Bucs will travel down to the new Allegiant Stadium to play against the Oakland Raiders for a Sunday Night Football matchup.