In a season built upon uncertainties, the Green Bay Packers decided to add to that total with their gross, terrible, awful performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming out of the bye. While the start of the first quarter looked to produce status quo results that had pushed this team out to its 4-0 beginning of the season, the remainder of the game showed just how far this team still has to go to earn its spot at the top of the NFC.
The 38-10 defeat was as one-sided as it sounds, but the issues seem to be with the offense more than the defense after this defeat.
First two drives for the Green Bay Packers – a field goal and a touchdown.
Remainder of the game for the Packers – zero points.
Stringing together a 10-play drive to open the game, Green Bay looked to the passing game to move them down the field, as Aaron Rodgers connected with Davante Adams and Aaron Jones for 40 total yards.
After the drive stalled out, Mason Crosby knocked through a 39-yard field goal for the first points of the afternoon.
Tampa Bay was held to a three-and-out to open their game, which was followed up by a one-yard TD run by Jones. Originally, Rodgers was thought to have crossed the goal line on a scramble (which brought forth the Key and Peele celebration from Hingle McCringleberry), but was ruled down at the one-foot line, putting the ball into Jones’ hands for the score.
Nothing else really happened in the opening quarter, as it was relatively quiet.
The GB defense yet again forced a punt after seven plays, but when they got the ball back, everything unraveled.
Rodgers not only through his first interception of the year on this drive, it was also returned for a touchdown, and that quick change in momentum was exactly what changed the remaining course of the game. And the worst part of it was that on the ensuing possession after TB kicked it back, Rodgers was picked again off of a deflection, truly putting the GB defense in a tough position to try and hold the door closed, which they were unable to do.
After the Bucs cashed in on the short field (interception #2 was returned to the GB2), Green Bay produced two three-and-out drives and a drive that ended the first half, earning a cumulative negative 2 yards along the way.
On the other side, TB put up 28 points in this quarter, as Ronald Jones II, Tyler Johnson, and Rob Gronkowski found pay dirt on offense, and Jamel Dean returned the pick-six for the Bucs to turn a 10-0 first-quarter deficit into a 28-10 lead going into half.
More of the same for Green Bay, as the Packers gained 32 total yards across three drives and 15 plays in the third quarter. While the turnovers were non-existent thankfully for the remainder of the game for GB, their offensive performance was absolutely just not there.
For Tom Brady and the Bucs, they received the ball first coming out of half time and marched down for a field goal to open the half. From there, two punts and the second TD run by Jones II pushed the lead up to 38-10, which ended up being the final score of this game.
A big topic to keep tabs on happened in this quarter for Green Bay, as left tackle stalwart David Bakhtiari went down with an apparent chest injury on the team’s first drive of the second half. While no specific diagnosis has been released yet, head coach Matt LaFleur did note in his post-game comments that he was optimistic that it was not a length or serious injury that Bakhtiari suffered, a sigh of relief for the Packers.
The final quarter saw nothing fun or cool happen really for either side, as both Tim Boyle and Blaine Gabbert entered the game for their respective teams, putting a cherry on the top of this one-sided contest.
We also got to see rookie AJ Dillon get involved in the game, something that gave Packer fans a look into what this offense could have for a new weapon as soon as this year.
Standouts in this game were mostly on the defensive side of the ball, which, even though the Bucs did put up 38 points, overall held their own.
Undrafted rookie free agent Krys Barnes led the way on the defense with 10 total tackles, Montravius Adams ended up in the backfield quite a few times (earning the only tackle for loss for GB), and Josh Jackson, even with his coverage struggles resulting in multiple costly penalties, knifed into the backfield and brought down LeSean McCoy for a key third-down stop early on in the game.
Looking ahead, the Packers travel to Houston to face the Texans in a noon affair to hopefully help get this team back on the right foot. With the Texans taking the undefeated Tennessee Titans into overtime, that passing attack, led by Deshaun Watson, could give the GB secondary fits, especially if Kevin King remains out.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23