It came down to the wire. It took every inch of the 6’3” De’Vondre Campbell to deflect a game-tying two-point conversion pass to beat Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are Green Bay Packers fans who will bemoan this two-point victory. They will cite that the Tampa Bay offense was decimated by injury. Make the claim that the difference should have been more.
The Packers beat Tom Brady. That’s all that needs to be said. It’s cliche, but you play the teams on your schedule when they are on the schedule. Tom Brady has won games with lesser-known and less talented receivers. He’s debatably the goat, the greatest of all time. And the Packers’ defense – minus their best defensive player – held the goat to one touchdown pass.
Despite Margin of Victory Bright Spots Both Sides of the Ball
Brady and what was left of his offense were stymied by the Packers’ defense. The Packers’ offense also had success against a stout Tampa Bay defense. Touchdowns on the first two offensive drives. A third touchdown was nearly in reach. But alas, Aaron Jones fumbled on a tough catch with defenders bearing down on him.
On the road in vomit-inducing heat – gross Allen Lazard – the Packers controlled the momentum of the game. It shouldn’t be lost that the Packers too were without key contributors. Jaire Alexander left after the first series. Christian Watson was on the sidelines. And after a 93 yard game against the Bears, Packer receiver Sammy Watkins is now on the IL.
There were numerous positive takeaways from this game. First and foremost, David Bakhtiari played the entire game alternating series with Yosh Nijman. An unusual approach. But given Bakhtiari hasn’t played yet this season and has only played 27 snaps since 2020 it was the right move. Especially considering the wretched Tampa Bay heat and humidity.
Packer Fans Fall in Love with Romeo & Cobb’s Still Got It
The biggest story on offense was the continued emergence of Romeo Doubs. Against Tampa Bay he snagged eight Aaron Rodgers passes for 73 yards. The first Packers wideout to haul in eight passes in a game since Davante Adams did it in 2018. Doubs is making a case for WR1. A fourth-round steal in which the Packers may be just scratching the surface on his potential.
Not to be upstaged by the rookie pass catcher, Randall Cobb put all those who said he was over the hill on notice. Two catches for 57 yards and proved he still has moves in the open field.
Clark & Gary Wrecking Game Plans
What was most impressive about this victory was the play of the defense. They controlled the line of scrimmage and held contain on the edge throughout the game. Kenny Clark is establishing himself as a top interior defensive lineman in the NFL. Not far behind him is Outside Linebacker Rashan Gary. Through three games the two of them have combined for five sacks. With a sturdy supporting cast at both outside linebacker and on the defensive line, the Packers’ defense is going to ruin a lot of game plans.
The difference in this game may have only been two points. But the reality is the Packers controlled this game on the road for four quarters and beat Tom Brady. This team is still simmering and their best is yet to come. That said, there are plenty of positives to take away from this game. If you can’t see that then your expectations may need an adjustment. Or you’re just a hater, don’t be a hater.