It’s a Victory Monday as the nation watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers 38-10 on FOX Sports America’s Game of the Week. The game was the top-rated event across all of television.
Brady and the Bucs ➕ Rodgers and the Pack =— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) October 19, 2020
No surprise here, AMERICA'S GAME OF THE WEEK featuring the @Buccaneers win over the @Packers was last week's top-rated event across all of television. pic.twitter.com/xMKdqe6MDL
Peeling back the curtain a little bit, my reactions article is supposed to be after we all calm down, the dust settles and we’ve all caught our breath a little bit. Win, lose, or draw it’s an opportunity to remove emotions and any knee jerk reactions to remain as unbiased as possible.
Well honestly, I haven’t been able to come up for air yet. I’m still elated at what this team was able to prove Sunday afternoon against a top rated offense, in front of a home crowd at Raymond James Stadium. This was the most complete, exciting and fulfilling win I have seen from the Bucs in years.
You’ve likely already read ‘Yarcho’s Pick Six,’ David Harrison’s ‘Best and Worst,’ or Evan’s ‘Instant Reactions.’ The same themes echoed across Bucs Nation: Run Rojo run, Dominating Defense and NO PENALTIES!
Happy #VictoryMonday pic.twitter.com/uKVbUABrRv— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 19, 2020
What jumped off the page for me was how the Bucs were able to pivot the flow of an entire game with just one key play.
Let’s replay it shall we? Just for fun......
It’s 3rd & 10 on the GB 22 with 12:42 left in the 2nd quarter. Packers are in the lead 10-0. Rodgers drops back, goes through his progressions, throws left intended for Davante Adams and HE’S PICKED OFF by Jamel Dean! Dean takes it to the house for 6! (You heard the crowd roar, didn’t you?)
IT'S JUST DEAN pic.twitter.com/HQD9hgiKvk— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 18, 2020
That interception was only the 3rd pick six of Aaron Rodger’s career. Oh, but the Bucs didn’t stop there......oh no!! Rodgers was picked off two minutes later by Mike Edwards which led to a Ronald Jones touchdown. Awesome wrap up to the first half!
The Bucs were able to get 5 sacks for a loss of 53 cumulative yards on the day. Suh and Rodgers obviously continue to have bad blood from his day with the Lions. Suh was talking smack all day, and Rodgers just kept getting more and more frustrated.
Devin White continues his DPOY campaign with 10 total tackles and a sack. I just love how this guy is able to get in there and be so disruptive. The secondary kept it together and didn’t get one pass interference or holding call.
Run Rojo Run!
This was the 3rd straight 100+ yards for Ronald Jones. He dominated the game with his legs and was rewarded with 2 touchdowns. He proved he can be the bellcow back for the team. I even found myself remitting my own fantasy football advice to keep Rojo in at all times. Even when Leonard Fournette returns.
That's ✌️ on the day for @rojo! pic.twitter.com/s2DBFhj3Et— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 18, 2020
I’m just awestruck at how effective he’s been recently running the ball. The holes are opening up like the red sea, and he’s able to follow his lead blocks. Mind you, this is a system with no full back. He’s able to rely on Cappa and Marpet, two of the best at the Guard position.
Even with Fournette out, he’s proven he can handle the primary rushing responsibilities. He’s nimble and has significantly improved his yards after contact from 1.86 in 2019 to 2.27, which is eighth most in the league. I say keep feeding Rojo!
The last time the Bucs laid a goose egg in the penalty stats column was against the New Orleans Saints, week 16.......in 2016! I went as far back as 2009 and couldn’t find any other game that they didn’t have a penalty.
Byron Leftwich said in a press conference a couple of weeks ago about their guys being aggressive. It’s really difficult to remain aggressive and not get penalties, but of course they weren’t going to stop players from playing aggressively.
It’s the pre-snap penalties that were killing them. The Bucs still have the second most pre-snap penalties (15). At least they now have one game where they didn’t hemorrhage penalties and made a lot of haters believers.
Technically there was one penalty that David Harrision reported - Ndamukong Suh was flagged for pushing, but it was negated when Aaron Rodgers was also flagged for intentional grounding in the same play.
After the 20-19 loss to the Bears last week on Thursday Night Football, Mike Evans expressed how badly the penalties have continued to kill them.
We definitely have to be better if we want to be a championship team, which we’re capable of being.
We have to eliminate these penalties. It’s been like that since Day 1 since I’ve been here.
They played 60 minutes of solid penalty free football on Sunday. It was surprising yet satisfying to see this team come together as the championship team they are expected to be this year.
GRONK SEE BALL
In my weekly Commissioner’s Corner where I break down each week’s fantasy football starters and sitters for the week ahead, I missed every single week with Gronkowski. I felt he was primed for the perfect game against the Bears with Howard going down, but I was let down so I preached to bench him until he proves himself. I guess he did just that, but now I want to see consistency.
When it came time for Sunday’s game against a really good offense, and we all thought they would be clawing back with each drive, there was no chance Gronk (nor Brate for that matter) would get the ball. it was going deep and often to Evans or Godwin.
Wow.....what a change of the tides! Jones was a beast and the short throws were the keys to the game. For the second game this year, Gronk caught the most receptions (tied with Godwin) with 5 completions. Brady only had to throw 166 yards with 2 touchdowns, one of which went to Gronk! He FINALLY got his first touchdown as a Buccaneer. It was so exciting to see.
Perfect way to end a drive pic.twitter.com/0sJSIDtcjw— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 19, 2020
To wrap up, there weren’t many bad things in this game to really react to. I mean.....there were a couple of odd plays called like the 50 yard field goal.
Evan Winter said it best in his instant reactions podcast on the Bucs Nation Podcast. You’re up 28-10 at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Ryan Succop struggled over 40 yards in his career missing over 40%, and he apparently has a prior injury to his kicking leg. “Things that make you go, hmmmm!” Just no point in risking that, but it paid off I guess.
There was also the McCoy run on 3rd down that a lot of us struggled with, but it didn’t seem to matter much. Noticed I said it was the most complete game, not the most perfect game.
They got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters. The Bucs prepare to head out west for a week 7 contest against the Las Vegas Raiders in their shiny new stadium under the lights on Sunday Night Football. Let’s have a repeat and take it to ‘em.