The Buccaneers defense remains an elite unit as it overcame early 1st quarter struggles to hold the Packers in check for most of the game, but the offense looked completely lost in a 14-12 loss Sunday.
One hopes the eventual returns of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones will get this team back to normal, but until then Tom Brady must continue to make the most of spare parts.
We’ll commend some players for jobs well done despite the loss.
Offensive Top Performer: QB Tom Brady
There is nothing wrong with Brady on the field. The 45-year-old may not be putting up gaudy stats, but that’s much more the result of ineffective game plans and disappointing skill players. He looked excellent against Green Bay, completing 31 of 42 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown.
He hoisted his teammates onto his back in the final minutes, as he often does, and delivered a precision needle to Russell Gage for the team’s first touchdown. Alas, communications and issues and an ill-fated 2-point conversion call prevented the tie.
Brady will continue to compete week after week, but he needs his prime targets back to be truly lethal.
That said, Gage produced a strong outing if you ignore his fumble early in the game. He finished with 12 catches for 87 yards and a score.
Defensive Top Performer: S Logan Ryan
Ryan has brought clear leadership in the backend of the secondary, and it helps that he’s still productive as well. He came up with key moment changers in the form of a fumble recovery and interception to halt Aaron Rodgers and Co., keeping the contest within reach.
Lavonte David looked strong as well, as he made 7 combined tackles to help keep the dangerous Packers run game in check. He also sandwiched Aaron Jones at the goal line with Vita Vea to force a critical fumble to keep the game from getting out of hand early. After struggling through most of last year with a foot injury, he’s returned to his elite form.
Special Teams Top Performer: P Jake Camarda
Camarda continued to do his part in helping the battle of field position. He was busy Sunday, and Packers often put the Bucs in difficult positions with strong special teams play of their own, but Camarda managed to pin two kicks within the 25 yard line and averaged 49.5 yards per punt on 6 kicks. Outside of one clunker, he’s continued to show he’s a worthwhile investment.