The Green Bay Packers went to Tampa Bay and got dog walked by the Buccaneers. For all the talk of a “Battle of the Bays”(and my back and forth game prediction on Quick TO:SS.), this was a one-sided affair.
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t going to go all season long without throwing an interception. He came into the game with 13 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. That changed in the first quarter as he threw a pick-6, only the third of his career. (Yes, folks, his career!) Needless to say that wasn’t what you wanted, but you had confidence the Packers would get those points backs and extend their 10-7 lead. Boy were we wrong.
On the very next drive, Rodgers tried to hit Davante Adams on a slant route. The Buccaneers make an exceptional defensive play, tip the football, and pick it off… again! Two straight interceptions and the game is changed for good. The Packers would not score again, but Bucs did, and often. Tampa Bay outscored Green Bay 38-0, on their way to a 38-10 mud hole stomping of the Packers.
The loss, in Rodgers’ eyes, was a wake up call they needed. “I think we needed a kick in the ass a little bit.”, Rodgers said in a post-game interview. They did get an ass whooping, but is it something they will learn from? What I saw on Sunday afternoon, was reminiscent of their games against the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers, last season. Three games where they were thoroughly dominated on both lines of scrimmage.
One could chalk this up to being a tough a loss and moving forward. The Packers will, undoubtedly do just that. My hope is: they learn from this, unlike last season. Their inability to stop the run, get pressure on the opposing quarterback, create turnovers, and protect their own quarterback, was their downfall last season. Credit must be given to the Bucs for their gameplan, but some of these were glaring issues, dating back to last season, that weren’t properly addressed in the offseason.
This was a tough loss, learn and move on. The Packers have another game to prepare for, so the move on part is simple. The learning part is one that continues to plague the Packers, in games like this. The season is still young and there will be opportunity for Green Bay to show they have learned. You just hope applied knowledge creates a better result… and fills the mud hole.