Green Bay Got An Ass Kicking

Tampa is damn good.

Jim Rome
October 19, 2020 - 11:56 am
Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady

USA Today

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I went on The NFL Today yesterday before the games and I called my shot – Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were going to take care of business against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

I felt pretty good about that statement. No reason not to. The Packers were undefeated, Rodgers was playing some of the best ball of his career, and the Buccaneers were still figuring themselves out.

And when the game started, I felt even better. Because the Packers got on the board with a field goal on their first possession and then forced a three and out. Nice start. And that nice start got even better when Rodgers led the offense on an 11-play, 80-yard drive that he capped off himself.

Life was good. Not only were the Packers up 10-0, but Rodgers went with the Hingle Mccringleberry TD celebration.

And then the Packers forced a punt on Tampa Bay’s next possession as well. So, with the Packers up double digits and everything rolling, I turned off the TV and went about the rest of my day.

I assume since the Packers were up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, they won 40-0 and everything was great.

ERRRNNNNT – not only did they not win 40-0, but I did not turn off my TV. In fact, I was glued to the couch watching what happened next, because it all fell apart for Green Bay and when it fell apart, it fell apart fast.

Starting with this.

Fine. That’ll happen. It’s rare, but it’ll happen. 10-7 Green Bay.

Then two plays later, another INT.

And one play after that, a Tampa TD.  

Okay, now it’s 14-10 Tampa Bay. That flipped in a hurry. And then the avalanche started. The Packers offense went from doing what it wanted to doing PRETTY MUCH NOTHING AT ALL. The Bucs defense was everywhere. AND it felt like there were 11 dudes named Lavonte David on the field. They were absolutely swarming everyone and everything. You almost never see a game flip that dramatically and that quickly, especially against a legitimate Super Bowl contender. That was insane; that was like the SF-KC Super Bowl in terms of how fast it changed.

Within minutes, it was 21-10 and then this play made it 28-10.

Getting that touchdown before halftime was so big for so many reasons. One because it pretty much ended the game just before the half ended, but because it was Brady’s first touchdown to Gronk as a Buc. And because it was part of a game where the two of them hooked up five times for 78 yards and that touchdown.

About the only thing that was missing was a solid spike on that. Sure, there was a spike, but it wasn’t that good. As Gronk said afterwards: “The spike was not monstrous. It was a lefty. The right arm is a little sore so I had to do a lefty spike. Just overall, I'm just glad I got a spike.”

And the whole team got a spike from that. Because that was Gronk’s best game as a Buc and if that’s sustainable, this team goes to another level. And not just because of the offense.

The defense was unreal yesterday. They were in Aaron Rodgers face seemingly on every play. They dominated that game and the Packers had no answers. It’s week 6, the Bucs are 4-2. All the folks who were freaking out after they started 0-1 can chill. They’re right where they should be right now and if Gronk can show up like that on a weekly basis, they could be about to take off.

Because while Rodgers was wearing a Buc or two on his face mask nearly every time he dropped back, Tampa Bay kept Brady clean. Yes, the Bucs offense was good and Brady looked sharp, but it’s not like he lit it up.

He only threw for 166 yards, but only because he only had to throw for 166 yards, thanks to Tampa’s defense and Tampa’s ability to run. That was exactly what you’d want from Tom in a game like that. He didn’t need to throw for 400 yards and air it out deep.

His numbers might not win you a fantasy game, but they will win you real games. He’ll run the show, manage everything around him, and show guys how to handle business on the big stage.

It was easily Tampa’s best game of the season, not just because of the defense, and the offense, but because of the lack of penalties and mistakes.

Let’s not overreact to just one game. The Packers aren’t trash and Rodgers isn’t washed just because they dropped one game. Yes, they have stuff to work on, but so does every other team. And yesterday, they ran into a hurricane.

They ran into a team that flipped the game with one play and then completely piled on. That was impressive as hell from the Bucs. That went from a Green Bay route to a Tampa Bay rout in about a second flat.

And as a reminder, again, when you’re watching Tampa Bay, don't just focus on Brady and Gronk and B.A. Check out that Tampa Bay defense. Better yet, check the defensive coordinator. Check the guy who’s calling the shots with that group: Todd Bowles. 

And then remember this: the New York Jets fired Todd Bowles so that they could hire Adam Gase. Never forget that. Something else to remember: it’s just one game: Green Bay got an ass kicking and a wakeup call: they’ll figure in this thing at the season: and so will Tampa Bay, and I’m guessing this may not be the last time these two run into each other.