Packers Periscope: Week 6 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady going head to head will be the highlight of this week’s matchup, but this game is going to serve as a good measuring stick for the Green Bay Packers. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the most talented team the Packers have faced so far and it will be a great test to see how they stack up against one of the NFC’s better teams.

Including one playoff game, Sunday will mark the 56th meeting between Green Bay and their former divisional opponent from the days of the NFC Central. The Packers currently lead the all-time series against Tampa Bay 33-21-2, which includes three consecutive victories.

The Packers haven’t always reigned supreme over the Buccaneers. From 1979-1981 Green Bay had a record of 0-5-1 when facing Tamp Bay. Since the NFL split into eight divisions in 2002 with the Buccaneers joining the NFC South, the former divisional rivalry is neck in neck at four wins each.

The last time these two teams played each other was in week 13 of 2017. Brett Hundley started in replacement of an injured Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers came away with a 26-20 win to keep the season alive by improving to 6-6.

It was none other than Aaron Jones who sealed the deal in overtime, taking it 20 yards to the house on his only carry of the game. Green Bay’s rushing attack led the way with 199 yards on the ground, 113 of which came from Jamaal Williams. Hundley completed 13 of 22 passes for 82 yards.

Running the ball could very well be the key this time around. Tampa Bay is ranked second overall in total defense and is first in the entire NFL at stopping the run. Not a single team has eclipsed 100 yards rushing mark against this Buccaneers defense yet this season.

So, while this game may appear to be a heavyweight contest between Rodgers and Brady, the real focus should be on how the number two ranked offense fairs against the number two ranked defense.

Another large component of this week’s game will be if the Packers’ offensive line can hold up against Tampa Bay’s pass rush.  As a team, they have accumulated 17 sacks on the season, which is fourth in the NFL.

Jason Pierre-Paul has a team-high 4.0 sacks, but Shaquil Barrett isn’t far behind with 3.0 of his own after finishing with a league-high 19.5 sacks in 2019. You can expect David Bakhtiari to face Pierre-Paul and Barrett at some point on Sunday.

The good news is Green Bay should be healthier this week now that two key players are possibly set to return from injury. Both Davante Adams and Kenny Clark were on the practice field this week preparing for the Buccaneers. The Packers haven’t had both in action since week one.

Now is a good time to be closer to full strength so that Green Bay has a better chance of keeping the undefeated streak going and improve to 5-0.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (13)

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Leatherhead's picture

October 16, 2020 at 03:53 pm

I agree this is a test of our offense, especially the line, because if we can get guys blocked we’ll be able to move the ball and score points. If we can’t protectRodgers, or we can’t open holes in the run game, it’ll be an unpleasant dose of reality.

I think we’ll score 30 or more, and that should be enough. Our line looks pretty good to me.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 16, 2020 at 09:32 pm

Turner will be getting help.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 17, 2020 at 03:16 am

Buccaneers are extremely overhyped. They've underperformed in 2020. I don't buy for a second that they the first big test for the Packers. The Saints beat the Bucs game 1 34 to 23. Packers humbled the Saints. The Bears just beat the Bucs and they have next to nothing on offense. The Packers are the big test for other teams in the NFL until someone can stop our offense. Go Pack Go!

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PhantomII's picture

October 16, 2020 at 07:13 pm

ML has done a good job at scheming guys open. I'm pretty sure with an extra week and two pro bowl level players back on both sides of the ball we'll be good on offense and better on Defense. I am wondering about our Defense though. Missing a starting CB is not a good start. If our D is solid I think we get a W. Good game for Dillon to get some live reps. How about a RB pass on their aggressive LB's.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 16, 2020 at 09:34 pm

Ka'dar Hollman to step up as the dime.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 16, 2020 at 08:48 pm

The way I look at it is Ariens , Pierre-paul and their teams may have had at various points in time ,the Packers number, but Not anymore. Protect Rodgers, dont be predictable and we will be more than fine. Even in Tampa.
Another statement win, against Brady no less.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 16, 2020 at 09:40 pm

LeFleur will go go full outside zone and make them chase. Perfect for Rodgers to toss lasers from the b oot. He is the most accurate QB passing on the roll, along with Steve Young and Elway. Now Russell Wilson in another zone,
at his finest mastery of the game. He is outstanding and has a cause. The Pack has to keep the creativity flowing, getting everyone involved is his coaching strength.

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mnbadger's picture

October 16, 2020 at 08:59 pm

Pass on first down, run on 3rd down out of same alignment. Keep them guessing all game. Pack 37-30. GPG

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

October 17, 2020 at 02:33 am

Watching that game-ending run reminds me of how it seemed that other teams always knew what plays we were running. On this one the safety (21) starts moving pre-snap and totally fills the hole causing Jones to bump it outside (and through the hole left by the vacating safety). This year’s offense is so much less obvious. I expect MLF to call another excellent game neutralizing the Tampa Bay blitz while AR continues to shine against those blitzes. Meanwhile, I expect we dial up the pressure making Brady uncomfortable forcing at least one INT. Pack wins 32-22.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

October 17, 2020 at 05:47 am

One issue that has not been addressed is the Packers playing in the covid19 hotbed of Florida. With the "Florida Man" mentality (or more appropriately non-mentality) being championed by their idiot governor DeSantis, one has to be concerned that the team hotel and other facilities that the Packers are forced to use will not be as safe as those located in more enlightened areas.

Hopefully the Packers can stay safe and escape with no infections.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 17, 2020 at 10:36 am

And yet Tampa Bay is fine. Right. Covid-19 is very much the luck of the draw even with good preventive care. Just ask New England and Huston. The Packers are a mature team, with a smart coaching staff and front office. They have their eyes on the prize. Just in case you forgot, Brown Country just went through a surge of cases over the past month. The Packers had not one player infected...

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jh9's picture

October 18, 2020 at 06:02 am

I have been impressed with how well-coached the Packers have looked this year. From the very first game, the OL has moved together almost flawlessly. With no preseason games, it has been amazing.

And matching that amazingness has been the offensive scheming of MLF, and the play of QB1. It doesn’t matter who he has around him, Rodgers is elevating the play of everyone. Averaging 35 points a game the offense has been a joy to watch and a pleasant distraction from the times we’re living through.

I expect Tampa Bay to play tough to start the game, but the Packers will take advantage of a turnover and not look back. Packers 34 - Buccaneers 24.

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murf7777's picture

October 17, 2020 at 06:50 pm

I was an MM supporter till the last year cuz I believe consistency in management is very important for a franchise to have long term success. That said, him not playing Jones early in his career is very puzzling. Good to great RB’s don’t sit on the bench from day one or at least break out in year one normally. Probably another reason Arod lost faith in his coaching towards the last few years.

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