It’s hard to imagine anyone saw this coming, except for Steffen, who predicted the exact result this morning. The Green Bay Packers have done what was almost unthinkable in losing to the previously-winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 38-28.
The story is the same that it’s been the entire season for the Packers – poor offensive line play, poor special teams play and poor coaching.
The Packers retooled offensive line with Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher installed at the tackles played no better than it has all season, allowing Aaron Rodgers to be sacked six times, increasing the team’s league-leading total to 37.
Rodgers can be blamed for helping increase that sack total, himself, as he continually held the ball as the pocket broke down around him.
Rodgers helped the Buccaneers defense by throwing three interceptions, and although both James Jones and Donald Driver caught touchdowns, the Packers receivers seemed outmatched by Tampa’s cornerbacks.
Tampa Bay’s defense ranks 28th in the NFL.
The Packers special teams continues to be a weakness. A blocked punt in the second quarter was returned for Tampa’s second touchdown on the day.
Clifton Smith returned two kicks for 106 yards. His long punt return was 19 yards. Meanwhile, the Packers return unit did nothing outside of Ahman Green’s final kickoff return, which went for 37 yards.
Jeremy Kapinos averaged 27.6 yards on six punts.
The Packers’ defense registered one sack and one interception on the day, allowing Bucs’ rookie quarterback Josh Freeman to throw for 205 yards and three touchdowns in his first start. The performance begs the question – is the Packers defense bad or is Dom Capers’ game plan?
A rookie quarterback in his first start – seems like blitzing him silly might be a good idea, especially if your corners are Charles Woodson and Al Harris. The Packers threw some blitzes at Freeman, but the results were nill.
It’s hard to say the season is over, but the Packers are 4-4 at the halfway mark and the wild card playoff berth the team had its sights on just got a little further out of view.