Packers Beat Bucs In Underwhelming Fashion

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Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson

The Green Bay Packers came away with a win at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had lost three in a row coming in, but no one was terribly excited about it.

The good news is the Packers are 10-0 and remain one game ahead of the now 9-1 San Francisco 49ers.

The bad news is the Packers played a team they should have handled and they let them hang around until the final moments of the 4th quarter.

After Green Bay jumped out to a 14-0 lead, which made the game look like it would be over before halftime, the defense decided to do their best impression of a Benny Hill skit by letting Tampa running back LaGarrette Blount run through five tackles to give the Bucs momentum. The run closed the score to 14-7 and it would be 21-10 at half, after Jordy Nelson’s first touchdown catch of the day.

Nelson, for one, continued his phenomenal season, catching six balls for 123 yards and two TDs. The final one, a 40-yard strike from Aaron Rodgers, was the winning margin, as the Packers escaped 35-26.

Rodgers, despite throwing for 299 yards and three touchdowns, had somewhat of an off day. He threw one pick and missed several passes he normally hits. The Bucs essentially rendered the offense’s two biggest weapons moot — Greg Jennings, who appears to have some sort of leg injury, had only two catches for six yards and Jermichael Finley had only one for 30.

The main problem for the Packers was their defense, though.

After registering a dominating performance against Minnesota, the Packers defense more closely resembled the unit we’ve grown accustomed to seeing the rest of the season — bend, a lot, but come up with opportunistic turnovers to save the day.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers rotated between his base defense and the nickel and the Buccaneers were able to take advantage accordingly. When Capers used his base to stop Blount, the Bucs threw the ball. The strategy worked, as Josh Freeman threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns.

His two picks were ultimately the difference — both were grabbed by Tramon Williams. His second interception, late in the 4th, went a long way toward sealing the win.

While the defense didn’t make many plays outside of Williams — the team had only two sacks on the day and let Freeman pick them apart — you have to wonder about the play calling.

The Packers gave their running backs only 17 carries on the day. One of those went to B.J. Raji on a goal-line touchdown run. While Raji’s touchdown is swell, it’s at best questionable why Mike McCarthy called a pass on 1st and 10 with under six minutes left and the Packers trying to kill clock. The play resulted in Rodgers’ interception and kept the Bucs in the game.

Oh, and at worst, that play call is goddam asinine, but, hell, I digress.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I’m hungry for some deep-fried turkey, some whiskey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and some goddam Lion.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

21 Comments on "Packers Beat Bucs In Underwhelming Fashion"

  1. Madcity Packer Fan

    We let them get way to close in the score. Not sure why we always seem to have problems when we play the Bucs. c+ performance at best.

  2. Chuck W.

    I think we’ve struggled with them because they’ve had good running backs (Cadillac Williams in the past and Blount now) and a good tight end (Kellen “The Soldier” Winslow had a good game yesterday and I believe was on the team in ’09). Our run defense has never been tremendous and we’ve struggled to cover TEs, too.

    And I wouldn’t shit on McCarthy too much for the play call that resulted in Rodgers’ interception. Starks wasn’t having a lot of success on the ground and you’ve got the best player in the league throwing to the best corps of receivers. Rodgers can also scramble to pick up yards and keep the clock running, making the play call even less risky. McCarthy’s a good coach — if you’re going to shit on him for something, shit on him for being Irish.

    • ay hombre

      Taking a knee in that spot had more upside than throwing.

      We were up by 9 points with under 6 minutes left in the game. We could have run two minutes off the clock and maybe picked up a first down by running three times in a row. If we don’t pick it up then simply punt. With less than 4 minutes left and the Bucs needing 10 points to win, while being pinned deep in their own territory. I’d have felt pretty good about that.

  3. darrin

    Here’s hoping this team plays better against good teams and crappy against the shitty teams. Wait, that wouldn’t explain the defense last week against the Queens then…. Well shit, I just hope they decide to tackle this Thursday.

  4. TimL

    It’s so annoying to see every blah quarterback we play on a crap team have his year best in completions and yards against the Packers defense.

  5. Rob

    Our offense is firing on all cylinders but will our defense holdout in the playoffs? Seems like they’re just getting worse as the season goes on.

  6. Xavier

    Why is it always the coaches fault?! The defense is playing bad because the players are playing bad and i cant even believe you are blaming McCarthy for Aaron Rodgers throwing an INT! WTF is wrong with you monty?! Did it ever occur to you that Mike McCarthy isnt the one out there making the throw? And dont even say we should of ran the clock out because i bet if we had ran and James Starks fumbled you’d be saying why dont we put the ball in Rodgers hands to kill the game off!

  7. Andy

    my only real gripe aside from the blount td run was the inability for the offense (and the kicker) to put up points after the 2nd williams pick to really kill the game off. You get the TD and it goes from a close one to a 3 score game. That said it doesnt matter as long as we stay one ahead of San fran and get 1# seed.

  8. Shawn iltarion

    Don’t need the #1 seed. Just get the bye.

    I believe this article has been written before.

    Tampa Bay is better than their record. When they are healthy, which they were for the most part yesterday, they are a tough out. Plus, A-Rodge has some bad history against them, and it showed a little yesterday.

    10-0. 16-0 over the last 16. This is as good as it gets regardless of how you got there.

  9. Ryan

    Blaming MM for the play calling seems a bit hypocritical when in the past he has been blasted on this very blog for being too conservative. It was his aggressive play calling that won us this game. (The touchdown PASS to Jordy.)

    Rodgers had an off day; the INT was a poor decision, but it was not the result of a poor play call. Our running game had done NOTHING the entire game.

    Kudos to MM for staying aggressive.

  10. Shawn iltarion

    I put that more on A-Rodge. Tampa was clearly in a pass defense for that play with only 6 guys around the line of scrimmage. He should have checked off and handed the ball off.

    The idea of the play was sound: they load up against the run, you play action and throw it over them. But as soon as we lined up it was obvious that they were ready for a pass.

    • Ryan

      Completely agree. I’m tired of MM constantly getting criticized on this blog. I defended him against the blog writers and many of the other readers last year and am shocked that I still have to defend him this year. Fortunately, it seems like most of the readers have laid off the criticism of MM.

  11. Hacksaw

    Quit fuckin’ bitching! We won, yeah it got hairy when they came within 2, but we won. There are teams that can’t go down the field and score the winning touchdown. I’ve seen our pack blow games in the past. The same games that we are winning this year. Last year we were happy losing by 4 or less, this year we have won by 6 or more. Don’t act like spoiled bitches! Be happy with what we have, enjoy this shit, because when is the last time the Pack has been 10-0. Tear those kitties a new asshole on thanksgiving Packers. This will be the test of the year. We win in Detroit, we win in Indy. Go Pack Go!

    • nurseratchett

      One of the things I love best about Packer Fans is our ability to bitch equally whether we are winning or losing….

      It a family thing–you give your little brother all the hell in the world, but let someone else do it, and we’re on you like a hair shirt!

      We bitch because we LOVE :D

  12. Harry Hood

    I like throwing on 1st and 10 in that situation, we have Rodgers, now we have the one bad one out of the way. Usually we can’t keep the ball moving when they know we will run.

  13. nurseratchett

    Failed to mention Drive–he had a great game yesterday, and would’ve had a TD but for being held in teh endzone.

    Thank goodness the bux ignored the white guy & the old guy.

    GO PACK GO!!!

  14. DaliRama

    A win’s a win. But F N A, I would like to see Bishop or Hawk occasionally get home when they both blitz! Or even once.

    This defense is the definition of bend, but don’t completely break.

  15. ay hombre

    I respectfully disagree with you all that there was any reason to throw the ball when Rodgers threw his INT. We’re up by 9 on their side of the field for crying out loud…and with 5:55 left! Each running play, assuming the runner’s sole job is to not fumble, means at worst you will run off two minutes of clock time taking it down to under 4 minutes. If we get a first down it’s pretty close to game over and if not….who cares? Punt the ball, pin them deep and let them march the field twice in 3:55 to beat you.

    I have not bashed McCarthy at all this year and have come around big time on him being a great coach…which he is…but that was a horrible call. The goal in end game situations is not always the most logical thing. We don’t need to score points. We don’t really even need first downs there. All we need to do is hand the ball to a warm body three times and work the clock.

    I would have no issue with the call if we were up by 8 because it is a one possession game. Duh. But with a two possession lead, the ball in their territory, and under 6 minutes left there’s no way in hell anyone is going to tell me that was a good call.

    Your goal there is to run time, and keep control of the ball. Period.

    • Harry Hood

      But every team has that set of plays for 4 mins left, any team is capable of marching the field, and they love to do it against us. Our bend but not break will llet them to the 30 like every time, and then one of these times they’ll get that TD.

      I say NEVER give the ball back, you want your destiny in your own hands? Well do it your self!

  16. Xavier

    Everyone was moaning that when we were winning late in a game we would become conservative and now because AARON RODGERS threw an interception everyone aid moaning saying MM was being too attacking!

  17. Hacksaw

    After reading these posts you would think that we lost the game. Move the fuck on. The Pack won by 9. I’m excited to see some Lion ass kicking. Go Fuck some shit up in Detroit Packers! Cat shit everywhere!

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