However, an opportunistic Bucs defense helped turn the tide and quickly put the game right into the able hands of Tom Brady. The rest, as they say, is history as the Tampa Bay offense went on to outscore Green Bay’s 31-0 enroute to a 38-10 win to advance to 4-2 on the year.
As we always do, it’s time for our Best and Worst from the week that was, and what a week it was.
FINALLY, the ‘P’ word is being used in a positive way following a zero penalty outing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zero. None. At all. Not one.
Well...kind of. There was technically one. Near the end of the first half, Ndamukong Suh was flagged for pushing Green Bay Packers. However, the same quarterback was flagged for intentional grounding while attempting to not be pushed by Suh, because those pushes tend to hurt.
I kid, but I don’t want that man pushing me either.
In the week leading up to this game, we were one of many pounding the table for Byron Leftwich and Bruce Arians to rely on their young running back, Ronald Jones II.
They did, and were rewarded handsomely with a 113-yard rushing performance and two touchdowns.
We asked them to #FeedRojo, they fed him, and now everyone is happy. Simple. Not so simple, but still, happy to see it worked out.
For more on Rojo, click here.
Strength on strength as the Packers offense came in against the Buccaneers defense with everyone holding their collective breath to see what might happen without defensive tackle, Vita Vea.
Early on, it seemed the visitors would have a pretty strong outing in Raymond James Stadium, but the Todd Bowles defense had something to say about that, and it all started with Jamel Dean’s pick-six with 12:50 remaining in the second-quarter.
From there, Tampa’s defense gave up zero points and held Aaron Rodgers to just 160-yards of total passing and kept the Packers rushing attack under 100-yards despite 21 rushing attempts and longs of 25 and 20-yards for Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon respectively.
I dare to say, we haven’t seen a defense this capable since the early 2000’s, now we just need the consistency.
Notice the singular usage there. I’m not saying I agree with every play-call made on Sunday, nor do I regularly agree with all of them. However, I try not to use hindsight in my criticism of play-calling.
Bottom line is, a lot of people will criticize a draw on 2nd and 8 when it doesn’t work, and praise it when it does. If I look at a play developing and don’t question it as it’s happening, I try not to question it after it’s happened and failed.
When LeSean McCoy stepped on the field on 3rd and 2 on Tampa Bay’s first possession of the game, I was in a bit of a disagreement of passing in the situation. Thought it’d be wiser to run the ball. But, I thought, Godwin’s back, Scotty Miller is healthier than he was ten days ago as is Mike Evans. Of course, Rob Gronkowski is always good for a clutch catch here and there, and Cameron Brate has shown up in big moments in the past. Passing the ball there has some merit. Ok, I’m on board.
Then, the ball got handed to McCoy. Immediately, I said what all of you said in some form: What?
Granted my language and some of yours were probably different. All I can imagine is someone with a headset on thought the Packers wouldn’t see a run with McCoy coming. They probably didn’t. For good reason though, they shouldn’t have, because it didn’t work. As expected. At least out here.
FIRST QUARTER CELEBRATIONS
I strongly believe if you don’t want your opponent celebrating, then don’t let them have reasons to do so. I don’t know what it was though, watching some of the Packers celebrating up 10-0 in the first quarter just had me feeling some kind of way.
Rodgers’ not-touchdown celebration wasn’t even the worse for me. For me, it was Jamaal Williams animal style celebration after a 25-yard gain. Listen, it was a good run, against the best run defense in the NFL. Granted. The reaction he had though was like something I’d expect to see after he placed first during a tough-mudder or something, not after a big run in the first quarter of a three-point game.
Then, there was Aaron Jones, who scored the touchdown that counted after Rodgers’ was overturned - see those quarterback protection rules aren’t all fun, are they?
Watching him strut along the sideline with his Macho Man shades on - again, after a first-quarter score made it 10-0 - was a little more than unprofessional.
I try not to be the ‘get off my grass’ kind of guy, but whew did it make me happy to see all those guys pouting by the end of the first half, then absolutely deflated at the end of the game.
Those two examples from Williams and Jones are things you expect to see in a college game, not a pro football game. Not in the first quarter. Know what else you normally only see in college? A team getting beat so badly the back-ups finish the game.
HONORABLE BEST: FIRST GRONK ‘SPIKE’ OF THE YEAR
It wasn’t the greatest spike in the world by Gronk, but after waiting this long to get it, who can blame him? Still, eight targets, five catches, 78-yards and a touchdown. Can’t help but feel good about a guy having that stat line after being retired this time last year.
In fact, this tweet says it all.
Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski for a touchdown for the 79th time in their careers, and the first time with Tampa Bay.— Buccaneers Communications (@BuccaneersComms) October 18, 2020
The 79 touchdowns from Brady to Gronkowski match Dan Marino & Mark Clayton (79) for the fourth-most touchdown connections by a pairing in NFL history.
Congratulations, to Gronk and Brady. One hell of a tandem for all these years. You love to see it.
I don’t usually go to the other side of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ match-up for this, but this week was a bit different. We usually have three of each, but this week was a bit different. There’s a trend this week. The polls are back though, so what’ll it be?
Which of these was the BEST part of Week 6?
This poll is closed
Penalties (The Lack Thereof)
First Gronk TD of the Year!
Which of these was the WORST part of Week 6?
This poll is closed
3rd and 2 in the first quarter
Packers Premature Celebration
Not having a third WORST