Packers Vs. Bucs: First Impressions – 2014 Game 15

Daniels and Burnett vs. Tampa bay Bucs

Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  2014 Game 15 (Packers 20, Bucs 3)

As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it.  Everything is up for discussion.

 

GAME NOTES:

The Packers have been instructed by Mike McCarthy to not even talk about the Buffalo game -put it well behind them.

The Packers clinch a playoff spot with a win, but even if Detroit loses, still have to beat them next week to win the Division.

Bryan Bulaga is surprisingly active today. I guess he passed all of the concussion protocol tests. I thought the Packers would keep him out regardless.

No other surprises with the inactive list today.

Captains for the rest of this season (as voted on by the players) will be Aaron Rodgers (offense), Jordy Nelson (offense), Julius Peppers (defense), Morgan Burnett (defense), Randall Cobb (offense/ special teams) and Jarrett Bush (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
31 CB Davon House
54 LB Carl Bradford
72 C Garth Gerhart
80 TE Justin Perillo
83 WR Jeff Janis
99 DT Bruce Gaston

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10 WR Robert Herron
11 WR Solomon Patton
25 RB Mike James
32 CB Isaiah Frey
73 T Anthony Collins
77 DL Lawrence Sidbury
86 TE/FB Evan Rodriguez

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Atlanta

 

Win and in: That’s what you want. First step is to get into the playoffs. This is a game we must have. Great week of prep I like the way things have gone this week.

Captains.: It’s about getting into a postseason mindset. It was recommended, I thought about it – thought it was a great idea/ being a playoff captain is a great honor.

Peppers: The fact that Julius is knew… his credibility and what his teammates think of him.

Leaderships is not something that’s in your contract, it has to be earned. A great honor.

Buffalo: Any time you have a contest that things don’t go the way you wanted, you have to look at the things you can control, mental errors, focus on your fundamentals.

Played good defensive teams on the road:  The environment makes a big diff in any contest. We’ve done pretty well on the road in the past, this hasn’t been our best year…

Bucs WRs: Jackson and Evans – 2 big physical receivers that go up and get the football. Both do a great job separating at the stem of there routes.

McCown: He’s been around, very astute about getting into favorable plays, good at getting the ball out.

Lovie Smith Defense: Personnel is the biggest change. Fundamentals and base principles are intact. Very similar to his Chicago defense.

Special teams changes: We’ve had way too many kicks blocked – the numbers are absurd, frankly. You have to overcome injuries. Had a padded practice on Thursday, spent some extra time there.

 

 

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Packers vs. Bucs – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and elect to receive.

Packers had come out running Lacy in the first series last few games. I would have changed thing up – Tampa Bay looked ready for it.

I already don’t like the look on Rodgers’ face.

Rodgers has already been hit about as much as he was in Buffalo game…

Defense balling with the pressure on McCown.

Matt Flynn warming up. Rodgers wincing as he jogs back onto the field. Something is wrong.

John Kuhn leading the way as Lacy rips off a big run. Announcer calls him “Kahn.”  Wrath of Kahn, I guess?

Davante Adams had a bad game last week. Not a good start here. Drops what would have been a big 3rd down completion. Right in his hands, nothing difficult about it.

On the bright side, the Packers defense is not showing any propensity to allow the Bucs to do anything.

Eddie Lacy, shedding linebackers without breaking stride and running 44 yards to a TD.

 

Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 7 TB 0

I really wish the #Packers would teach  James Starks to find a hole in the zone when he releases instead of just turning around at the LOS

I only start to worry about Crosby now if I see a hook in his kicks… slight one thereon a missed 48yd attempt.

Rodgers struggled to get the ball to Lacy on an outside zone play. Had to reach out at the end to get it there.

Guion gets totally owned on a run play, but it’s like it never happened. Penalty against TB.

Mike Evans get’s TB’s first 1st down of the game (3 min. left in the half).

All Tampa Bay has is jump balls to their big receivers. They really should do that a lot more than they do.

 

Score at end of 1st half:   GB 10 TB 3

 

Packers vs. Bucs- First Impressions – Second Half:

Randall Cobb finally fair catches a punt after some near mis-adventures in the first half.

Don’t get going 4 wide receivers, empty backfield on fourth and one on the goal line. Either make them stop Lacy for 3rd straight time. Or at least have a RB so you can fake a handoff.

And that’s  after handing off to John Kuhn on 3rd down. That’s where I would have gone play action.

Nascar D frees up Mike Neal to record the Packers 4th sack of the day.

Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 10 TB 3

This has to be the least concerned I’ve ever been with Packers only leading by 7 in the 4th quarter.

Peppers with the forced fumble, but Bucs recover.

Rodgers looking for a deep shot to Nelson, instead dumps off to Quarless. First Quarless sighting…

Eddie Lacy with 99 yds, looks like 2nd straight game he’ll fall just short of 100 yds. Something’s hurting him, so he’s watching from sidelines as Packers close out with Kuhn and Starks.

Another 1st and goal from the one. Packers pass three straight times this time. Bring the 4 WRS in on 3rd down and Rodgers finds Nelson.

Rodgers records his first TD pass in two games.

McCown unloads ball to avoid 8th sack. Errant toss picked off b y Datone Jones, who proceeds to show that running with a football is not on the list of things he does well.

Final Score:  GB 20 TB3

 

Final Thoughts:

Packers defense had a great chance to pad their sack stats today… and did so.

Being named postseason captain seemed to agree with Morgan Burnett. One of his best games.

Jordy Nelson had a look of complete and utter focus all game long. Was NOT going to drop anything today.

Packers tight ends fairly invisible in the passing game. 2nd game in a row.

Some pretty questionable red zone play calling today. Way too predictable.

Packers tackling has been much more sure today.

After a very shaky start and an early sack, the Packers OL got it together. Rodgers was hit a few times, but no more sacks.

Packers defense with second straight solid game against teams without a real starting-level NFL QB. So how happy should we be?

No special teams disasters today, but still some shaky moments.

Playoffs baby!

 

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • Mojo

    Wasn’t pretty but we got the W. D played great. Next week the showdown at Lambeau. Would love the bye

  • Taryn Miller

    Do the Packers need home field advantage…..Yes..YES THEY DO! (in Jon Gruden Hooters commercial voice)

    • it’d take a miracle to get it.

      1. GB wins next week.
      2. SEA beats AZ tonight
      3. STL beat SEA (in SEA) next week
      4. AZ loses in SF next week

      Not bloody likely. We’re probably going to have to go to SEA to win the NFC – and that’s going to take a Pats-like effort. 🙁

      • Mojo

        Am watching the Seattle – Arizona game right now. Arizona’s offense is just terrible. Worse than Tampa. They’ll lose tonight and could easily lose to SF next week. GB is favored at home. I like their chances. That leaves STL to beat Seattle next week. Unlikely yes, but STL can ball at times. Unlikely, but not necessarily a miracle

      • Chad Lundberg

        Actually, the AZ, SF game won’t matter. According to Rob Demovsky.

        • It does matter if you don’t want to see Seattle in the 2nd round. I’d prefer that to be the NFC CG.

          • Nick Perry

            By 2nd round you mean the NFC Championship game right? If the Packers were the 2 seeds that’s when and where they’d meet.

            • No. I meant what I said. If GB is the 1 seed, and SEA drops to the 5 because they lose this weekend and AZ wins, that would make DET the 6.

              Therefore SEA would play at ATL/CAR next week and DET would play at DAL. The 1 seed plays the remaining lowest seed. I don’t see DET beating DAL (or anyone other than the NFCS champ) in the playoffs. They’re just not a great team. Ergo, SEA beating the NFCS champ would bring them to GB as the 1 seed in the divisional round.

  • Savage57

    A McDonald’s game. You know you needed it, but you’re already forgetting about it.

    • Sven

      It’s a better win than I think it appears. Tampa has not been good this year on offense, but the have never been held below ten point all season, and they have played some very solid defenses.

      Packers offense was not as sharp today, but we were able to see that the passing juggernaut still exists. It seemed that the bucks relied on a stout pass rush from the front four and kept Seven back for most of the game. The Packers have now seen two weeks of this with another week ahead. They should be ready to execute against the Lions.

      • packett

        Juggernaut? GB is good at times, but not a juggernaut. It appears defenses know how to confound GB’s pass attack, and a juggernaut would still impose its will. GB isn’t there yet. Beat Detroit, and then maybe we can talk Juggernaut. I agree with you on Defense, but again we’ve only faced Orton and McCown.

  • Thegreatreynoldo

    1st Impression is that it’s a win in December to secure a playoff berth.

    So, this is what the bend but don’t break defense is supposed to look like. GB was so much better than TB, so my 2nd reaction is what a good game plan Lovie Smith came up with despite not having his stud, Gerald McCoy. That safety, McDougall, for being JAG, seemed very active.

    3rd Impression is that TEs invisible again, and no production from anyone not named Cobb or Nelson. This is going to be trouble against a team with one shut down corner and a decent CB and S to double our other WR. Adams two drops, only remember one more catch from him after the 2nd drop, which should have been for a 1st down on a 3rd and 11. Drive killer.

    • montana83

      The answer to Adams/Boykin is Jeff Janis. Amazed he doesn’t even suit up.

      • He’s not ready. He should have been active the past 8 games so his training wheels were already off, but it’s too late for that now. They’ve just got to hope Adams/Quarless/RRod show up when it’s most important.

        • Thegreatreynoldo

          We assume he’s not ready. It is not unknown for MM to keep a guy in mothballs long after he is ready, and only plays the guy if there is an injury. It is probably too late for Janis. The other option is playing mistake-free ball (i.e. no holding calls), insert Bostick, better scheming/play calling, if this offense needs a jump start.

        • Nick Perry

          I don’t know Bearmeat, one player that always comes to mind that SHOULD have been starting long before he did, Desmond Bishop. I can’t believe that MM, a offensive guru can’t come up with a few plays that might take advantage of Janis’s size and speed. Boykin has brought nothing to the table this year, nothing. I’ve never been much on 40 times but Boykin has looked every bit of his 4.79 40 this year.

          • Bishop was not assignment-sound until 2010. MM tried to get him in in 09 and it was a disaster. (Remember the 60 yard AP dumpoff TD?)

            I wish Janis was the KR too. Maybe even the WR4. But obviously he’s not ready.

    • Well, fortunately for us, there are only 2 teams in the NFL that have that (other than us). New England, who can’t rush the passer, and Seattle, who can’t throw the ball.

      GB can beat both. Will they? We’ll see.

  • Since ’61

    We’re in! Congratulations to the Packers for their 6th straight playoff appearance. Score doesn’t reflect that Packers dominated time of possession today with 38+ minutes. Defense had another strong game. Only one bad half (against Atlanta) since the bye, that’s a good sign. Rodgers looked good today despite taking some hits early. Beat the Lions and get the bye. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    • WKUPackFan

      With you on that ’61! Six straight years is an outstanding achievement. You’re right about that TOP also.

  • David

    Want to demolish Detroit next week, they, Detroit, almost lost again today. Could have had 4 or 5 more loses. Just blow them out of the stadium and get 2nd seed.

    • it’ll happen. don’t worry.

      • packett

        I’ve seen enough bad teams look good this year when playing the packers; I’m worried. We can win if Detroit beat themselves, but not if both teams play their best.

        • marpag

          GB “can’t win if both teams play their best?” That’s just goofy…

          The world’s foremost authority in predicting the outcomes of games is Las Vegas. If you want who know who is likely to win, ask them. They know better than anyone. Vegas has installed GB as about a 7 point favorite.

          Maybe people think this is overly simplistic. It’s not. No one in the world spends as much time, money and effort investigating, studying, and analyzing teams in an effort to predict future wins or losses than the multi-billion dollar sports betting industry. On their payrolls they have experienced personnel evaluators, former coaches, scouts, beat reporters, spies, snitches, moles, psychics, seeing-eye dogs and whatever else – all in an effort to predict the outcome of games.

          Are they wrong sometimes? Sure… just not as often and you and me.

        • Nick Perry

          HUH? Look at Detroit’s offensive rankings all year long. 27th rushing, 11th passing but with only 19 TD passes and 12 picks. Plus they’ve given up 43 sacks. The Lions have won at least 2 or 3 games this year that the opposing team gave them the game, at least more so than Detroit won them. Yes their defense is playing great, but so is the Packers offense AND defense.
          Lindsey is now playing at home after 16 games, not in his 3rd game in a dome, that’s a HUGE difference. The Packers offense has started slow the last 3 years and normally will because so much is timing. Lastly the Packers GAVE the Lions 9 points in week 3, doubtful that will happen again. Oh, it’s going to be about 11 degrees on Sunday and get colder as the game progresses. Playing in a dome and 11 degrees is a huge difference. If Green Bay plays their best games you can stick a fork in the Lions, at least in week 17!

    • dobber

      Chicago’s sorry defense made Stafford and the Detroit O look pretty average today, and Jimmy Clausen looked more than competent against Detroit’s vaunted D. Get Detroit out of the dome and on grass and they’re better than average, but not much. That DL is going to be the real challenge, but even the Bears could run on them today.

      Maybe the Lions had a letdown today or took the Bears lightly, but they’ll likely be juiced for next Sunday.

  • Gman

    Couldn’t watch the game, but read the stats. According to the stats, we dominated. 2 Questions: Why wasn’t the final score 90-3? and Why do we run John Kuhn?

    • Thegreatreynoldo

      Because he had 4 carries for 22 yards, including 2 runs for 11 yards each. Other two were goal line and 3rd and 1, IIRC.

      • Gman

        My bad. I transposed Flynn’s stats over Kuhn’s stats. Thanks for correcting me.

    • SchenySchen

      Actually, Kuhn ran great today. Goal line play was blocked horribly. Not the call I would have gone with. Kuhn needs quick hitters, not sweeps. GoPack!

  • Thegreatreynoldo

    4th impression: Defense played great, and will have wonderful stats. Just not sure how much credit to give to GB. CMIII and Peppers both bull rushed their OTs. Burnett looked like he bull-rushed Detroit’s RT. Bottom line is they gave up 3 pts, so kudos to the defense. Looks like Peppers got the memo about his recent lack of productivity.

    • Sven

      Biggest shutout on Tampa’s offense all season.

  • Meh. Win. No bad injuries. Moving on.

    Next up – the annual Detroit win at home. There’s NO WAY (short of an ARod injury) that they beat us at home. They’re playing like utter dog crap on offense, we’ll only have to score 20 at home to beat them, and IMO we’ll run up 30+.

    Hoping for a Christmas miracle and Homefield by the NFCW beating up on each other, but the #2 seed will be fine, thank you very much.

    • dobber

      My concern is the Packers inability to finish drives the last couple weeks. They need to score 7s against Detroit. Not 3s and no TOs.

      • They don’t need to score 7s against Detroit to win. They will need to do so against Seattle, New England, Denver and possibly Dallas.

  • montana83

    Hope Rodgers calf injury isn’t too bad. He played the whole game with and it limited him.

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/286507171.html

  • Jerry

    Off Topic here but I think it’s worth mentioning. I’am watching Arizona and Seattle square off on Sunday night football and Mr Marshawn Lynch is sitting on the bench with a bad tummy ache. Looks like he’s playing games in his quest for a new contract extension. I was kinda disappointed that Ted T really didn’t pursue Lynch when the Bills were looking to unload him back in 2010,but in retrospect it looks like TT was right all along! Hopefully this will cause more turmoil for the Sea-Chickens as they enter the playoffs!

    • IF TT had gotten Lynch, we might have won in 2011 – even with a bum D. And Seattle CERTAINLY wouldn’t have even gotten there last year.

      SF would have won it last year. Ugh. That’s just as bad.

      It’s amazing how one decision like that changes the league.

      • Thegreatreynoldo

        You know, Lynch could just have the stomach flu. NFL players do get sick. There is no way for Jerry to know whether what he wrote is true.

        • BubblerBoy

          Jerry, still down on Marshawn and praising TT for not giving up the draft pick he used to select the immortal Alex Green after Beast Mode’s performance last night?

          I like Lacy but he is no Lynch.

          Hope you are still loving TT’s move after the playoffs.

          • Nick Perry

            Lets give Lacy a few more years before we pass judgement. Lynch is great but he’s a headcase. Lets not forget he had a gun charge in Los Angeles when he was traded, Ted wanted no part of that. Lacy has gotten better in year one to year 2. He’s already said he wants to play a little lighter next year so he’s a little faster, like Bell did from Pittsburgh. So far I’m loving Lacy.

        • Jerry

          113 yards on 10 carries, yea he must have been pissing out of his ass. And he’s also very media compliant after the game.”Thanks For Asking”

          • WKUPackFan

            A head case, but Carroll puts up with him. Marshawn is all about the ballin’, and pure West coast. No way his act would work in GB, and he’d never want to be there. Javon Walker x 10.

  • Dear Santa: I only want 3 things for Christmas. I’ll even wait until 12/28 to open the gifts.

    1. A GB win over Detroit
    2. A Rams win over Seattle
    3. A 49ers win over Arizona

    I don’t want to play Seattle or Dallas at all if avoidable, and I certainly don’t want to play them back to back and have to travel for one of them. So, yeah, this will work nicely Santa. And while, you’re at it – try to lose some weight this year. Mrs. Clause is worried about you. 😉

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/machine/_/results/400554447~2~400554449~2~400554404~1~400554405~1~400554407~2~400554409~2~400554411~1~400554412~1~400554413~2~400554435~1~400554441~2~400554448~2~400554446~1~400554445~1~400554443~2~400554440~2~400554438~1~400554437~1

  • packett

    To the ‘win is a win’ crowd; just b/c its a win, I wouldn’t feel very good after last night. Sure D-fense showed up, but it was against Josh McCown. He missed several open throws. TB has one of the worst O-lines. Where did GB prolific Offense gone for the last 10 quarters and where is Tight End group? Why does GB lose at Buffalo, but Oakland beat Buffalo? I miss James Jones. I’ve seen enough of Davante Adams for this year. Special Teams? Ugh…with that group, we can never be confident of a win against any team. One or two Special Team plays makes any GB chance uncomfortable; and how we going to compete there against good ST units? Last night should have been a rout, but the last 10 quarters shows me a one and done year. On the positive side, at least Lacy and GB’s Oline are on the rise.

    • TedTomsin

      Sort of agree with a lot of what you say packett. This offense is regressing. I fear they peaked too early. Seattle and Dallas are peaking at the right time while we lose to Kyle effin Orton and Rodgers fails to blow away one of the worst teams in the NFL. If not for the defense and Lacy we have a hard time winning this game. Very disappointed in this game. They need to bounce back and put on a show at home next week. Confidence is definitely low for me after this game on the offensive side. If they beat Detroit than I’ll be a little bit more optimistic.

    • Thegreatreynoldo

      I agree, Packett. Any big ST play by Tampa, or a turnover (Cobb muffed a punt, for eg.) could have put the Bucs right back in it. And Ted, I wrote last week after Buffalo that teams have learned to drop 7, and even if they can’t get much pressure, and even if they can’t stop the run, they can still hang with GB. Ditto again with Tampa Bay. So, I am not sure that GB peaked to early: just fear that they have learned the best way to play GB. My personal solution is to insert Bostick and/or Janis to spark this offense. Each player brings a quality that this offense lacks right now. Might not work, but Tampa Bay was the perfect game to try them out. Is it too late? Not sure.

      • TedTomsin

        Reynoldo, I know you said that and you are correct. Very scary about our lack of production offensively the past two weeks against two ex Bear qb rejects of the past.
        I would also like to see Bostick and Janis and throw in DuJuan Harris but for some God for saken reason they have been non existent. No way does MM suddenly decide to put them in this late in the game unless there’s an injury.

        I listened to “The Brandon Bostick” radio show a few weeks ago and this guy is about as dumb as a box of rocks so I can see why MM doesn’t play/trust him. Don’t know what Janis’ problem is and am clueless what is going on with DuJuan Harris as just last year MM was in love with him and had him as our starter despite drafting Lacy and Jonathon Franklin.

        The only way we progress on offense is for Davante Adams or Richard Rodgers to up their games. I trust Rodgers a little more at this point but neither gives me much hope in the next 4 weeks to be honest. Our no. 3 receiver position is going to kill us in the playoffs. Having James Jones would be huge right now. Boykin’s demise is a killer for this team.

    • marpag

      You guys might be a bit on the “Nervous Nellie” side…. this was a pretty dominant win.

      Green Bay dominated the points, winning by THREE SCORES. GB dominated the time of possession, 38+ to 21+. GB dominated the total yards 431 to 109. (According to Pro Football Reference, only 14 teams have been held to 109 yards or less in the past 10 years, including playoffs). They had 7 sacks and an INT.

      And did you see that the mighty Lions (whom everyone seems to be so afraid of next week) only beat a pathetic Bears team that was playing with their 2nd string QB by a score of 20-14?

      • TedTomsin

        I’m nervous because I see an offense that peaked a few weeks ago and is now regressing. The defense is actually improving but the offense is going the other way.

        • marpag

          Yeah, I get it. There will always be some aspects of team performance that will make you nervous, and rightfully so. Right now, I’d have to say that SEA looks like the team to beat, regardless of conference, esp if they lock up the 1 seed. But after that, Green Bay looks to have as good a shot as anyone.

          • TedTomsin

            Agreed. Seattle is no. 1 right now in the NFC. I’d like to say GB is no. 2 but Dallas had one hell of a performance holding the great Andrew Luck to zero points. They had a complete game. GB is still all over the place on offense and especially special teams. Not what you want going into the final game.

    • SchenySchen

      You don’t consider a 17 pt victory a route? anyone who watched that game knew we were dominating it. We also left points on the field in the victory formation after an interception. If we won by 24pts instead, would that have classified as a route? GoPack!

      • TedTomsin

        No, alot of us don’t. They needed to beat them by a little more than 17 points and they barely escaped with a win. Seattle had a 35-6 score. Something similar would suffice. AZ has a great defense. TB totally sucks!! Hell yeah, it was disappointing.

  • David

    Well The Packers had a good season now it all ends. They will beat Detroit but what is the point? Nobody but nobody beats Seattle in Seattle. For all intents and purposes their season ended in Buffalo, who just lost to the Raiders, Ouch. Did anyone watch Seattle just manhandle Arizona? No way the Packers can stay with Seattle. Their defense is dominating and how are the Packers going to tackle Wilson and Lynch? Well, they are not. Yes, the Packers blew home field last week and now next week is their “Super Bowl.” I know Marpag and Since 61 are going to say, “let’s play one game at a time,” but if any of you out there think the Packers can beat Seattle I would like to have the stuff you are smoking. Just sayin.

    • marpag

      Alright. See you next year, then.

    • BubblerBoy

      Actually, Dallas with a dominant Oline and good running back, a true #1 WR who can make plays himself, and a pass catching TE might have just the formula to beat Seattle on the road — assuming Romo does not pull a Romo.

      In fact, I think Dallas did that earlier this year?

      The Pack? Um, well we can win the NFC North next week so that should make some folks real proud.

  • Archie

    Bus’ OL was terrible.