The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Green Bay Packers, 20-3. That will surprise no one. They kept the game surprisingly close and were very stout on defense, but the Bucs never really looked like they could win this game. The Packers didn't play a great game, and they didn't look dominant, but they still outclassed Tampa Bay.
The key to their victory was the Green Bay pass rush, which absolutely obliterated a terrible Bucs offensive line. The result was seven sacks, and a ridiculous line of 12/26 for 130 yards and an interception for Josh McCown.
The Bucs defense played reasonably well. They couldn't stop the Packers from racking up yardage, but they certainly did stop them from scoring points. They only gave up a single touchdown, and held firm inside the red zone multiple times -- including a great, fourth down, goal-line stop.
Their run defense struggled, though, in part because of Gerald McCoy's absence and because Mason Foster left with an Achilles injury early in the game. Giving up 114 rushing yards on 25 carries isn't good, although it's not disastrous either. And as long as the Packers couldn't score touchdowns, this needn't have been the death knell for the Bucs.
Unfortunately for them, the offense was even more horrendous than usual. It took them 26 minutes to get their first down, 29 minutes to get on the board, and they had -1 offensive yards with 4:30 left in the third quarter. The offensive line couldn't stop the Packer pass rush, and Oniel Cousins was especially terrible -- as usual. So no matter what the defense got done, they simply couldn't win the game.
But at least we had Tampa Claus.
The Bucs got off to a good start, forcing the Packers out with a three-and-out on three straight runs up the middle. Apparently they didn't want to tire Aaron Rodgers out early by actually throwing the ball. And the Bucs defense kept up that stout play, forcing another punt and even a sack-fumble.
Of course, that didn't matter much: the Bucs offense was as incompetent as ever and couldn't get a single first down in the first quarter. And that killed them at the end of the quarter, when the Packers got their fourth chance and finally broke a big play. Danny Lansanah missed a tackle on Eddie Lacy, and that was all she wrote. 44 yards later, the Packers were up by 7.
Yes, you're reading that right. The Buccaneers managed -1 yards with just 4:35 left in the second quarter. They'd score their first field goal just before the half, thanks to some vintage Mike Evans/Vincent Jackson plays and a characteristic stalling in the red zone. That got the Bucs to within seven points, as the Packers had managed a field goal earlier in the game.
Somehow, despite some incredibly incompetent offensive play, the Bucs were down just a single touchdown heading into the second half.
The third quarter went by incredibly quickly. It was over at 3 PM ET, a slightly ridiculous pace. But it wasn't a very exciting quarter, with the score remaining 10-3 throughout. One interesting thing happened: the Bucs got a goal-line stop against the Packers, holding on even on fourth down. Of course, the Tampa Bay offense couldn't do anything with it, but it was certainly exciting.
The fourth quarter featured, well, more of the same. The Bucs offense couldn't do a thing, but didn't turn the ball over. The Packers steadily moved down the field, and got a field goal out of it, but couldn't get in the end zone. And while they got to the goal-line with just a few minutes left in the game to score a touchdown, it took them a long, long time to finally get into the end zone.
Not that that mattered. In the end, this was a comfortable win for Green Bay.
Bucs linebacker Mason Foster left the game with an Achilles injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Bucs defensive end William Gholston left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return.