Packers vs. Buccaneers – Unfiltered Game Day Commentary and First Impressions: Green Bay 35, Tampa Bay 26 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Raji celebrates after his touchdown run. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs are struggling. The Packers are not. This looks like another blowout win for the Packers, but I guess we have to play the game first. Personally, I see this game going more like the Rams game than the Vikings game. The Packers will always be in control, but it won’t be the complete domination that everyone expects.

With the Thanksgiving showdown against the Lions just a few days away, I also think the Packers might get a little bored today. Speaking of bored, you’ve probably had enough of my pregame ramblings. Lets get to the game.

Packers inactivies: CB Davon House, LB Robert Francois, LB Jamari Lattimore, LB Frank Zombo, OG Ray Dominguez, OT Chad Clifton and TE D.J. Williams.

Mike Neal makes his 2011 debut today. I thought the Packers would wait until the Thanksgiving game, but this is a nice surprise.

Safety Tanard Jackson is inactive for the Bucs. That’s going to make it even more difficult for Tampa Bay to slow down Jermichael Finley and Green Bay’s WRs.

First half

We get Joe Buck and Troy Aikman today. I love my touchdowns called in a monotone voice.

The Bucs convert on 3rd and 7 and Clay Matthews leaves the game with some sort of injury. Not a great start.

With Matthews on the sideline, AJ Hawk hits Josh Freeman’s arm on 3rd and 4 and the Packers offense will go to work. Dom Capers brought the pressure on that series.

Josh Sitton with a hold on the Packers second play. His struggles continue.

Well, that’s a new one. The Packers offense can’t get a first down, so P Tim Masthay runs for the first down after a Bucs rusher comes at him unblocked. Masthay also shows why he’s a punter by fumbling the ball out of bounds with nobody around him. He was actually credited with two fumbles and a fumble recovery on the play.

The Packers are driving after Masthay’s run. Rodgers just used James Starks as a checkdown option. Good sign.

So Masthay runs for a first down after a failed punt, then BJ Raji plows his way for a one-yard TD. The Packers are just trying to amuse themselves at this point, right?

Also, that drive was 15 plays and 88 yards. It’s good to see this offense put together a long drive without relying on a big scoring play, even if the drive was a bit, um, unconventional.

The Bucs go three-and-out and the Packers get the ball around midfield. Neal has been getting a good push up the middle when he’s in there.

Nelson makes an amazing catch on 3rd down to keep the Packers second drive alive. A few plays later Rodgers hit an uncovered Tom Crabtree for a TD. This team keeps rolling.

Just when you thought this game was over, LeGarrete Blount runs over the entire Packers defense on a 54-yard TD run. Desmond Bishop, Tramon Williams, Morgan Burnett, A.J. Hawk and Erik Walden missed tackles. Championship defenses do not allow plays like that to happen.

Wait a minute, just saw the replay of Blount’s run and it looks like you can add Sam Shields to that list.

Rodgers floats a perfect pass to Jermichael Finley and Finley drops it. Finley had to alter his route to try and make the catch, but that’s a catch that needs to be made. Packers punt.

The Packers offense is making some plays, but it looks ragged. A lot of their yards have come from Rodgers scrambling and making insane throws to Nelson.

Blount continues to steamroll the Packers. AJ Hawk looks helpless trying to bring him down.

The Bucs try an onside kick. It’s going to be like this the rest of the season if the Packers keep winning. Teams will be emptying their playbooks and taking all sorts of risks to try and beat the undefeated champs.

Finley gets called for pass interference, then catches a 30-yard pass on the next play. Finley appeared to be too angry about the penalty and previous drop to celebrate too much.

Rodgers to Nelson makes it 21-10. That’s what happens when risks taken by teams playing the Packers don’t work out.

I don’t enjoy watching the Packers LBs try to cover people.

However, I do enjoy watching Tramon Williams try to cover people, mainly because he actually can cover people. Tramon with the pick to thrwart Tampa’s attempt to score before halftime.

Second half

Not a good start to the second half. Scott Wells gets beat on the 3rd down and Rodgers gets sacked. The Packers tried to get the running game going but it’s slow going so far. Today has been another lackluster day for the offensive line.

Bucs convert on 3rd down at midfield. They’re 4 for 7 on 3rd downs today.

The Bucs have a TD called back after Kellen Winslow pushed off leaping for a catch over Sam Shields. It was a good call, but the Packers won’t get that call every time, especially in the postseason. I’d like to see Shields a little more aggressive there.

Rodgers shows that he’s human by missing two throws to start the Packers next drive.

Rodgers rushes a throw to Jennings and the Packers have to punt. Rodgers had excellent protection on the play, but he might be a little jumpy given the OL’s poor job of preventing inside pressure the last couple of games.

Winslow catches a long pass over the middle. I thought Brad Jones was held on the play, but regardless, the Bucs are driving again. The Tampa offense looks more dynamic than the Packers’ offense right now.

Attention Dom Capers: Putting Charlie Peprah on Winslow is not working.

Mike Williams catches a touchdown and Winslow drops the two-point conversion pass. 21-19 Packers lead. We’ve got a ballgame, folks.

John Kuhn dives in from two yards out, extending the Packers lead and taking taking fantasy points away from James Starks and my fantasy team.

Starks got rolling on that drive. He’s a load when the OL gives him some space. I love the diversity of this offense, too. Rodgers is a bit off today, so instead of going with their traditional vertical passing game, the Packers got the run game and check down passing game going. Huge drive.

I was in the middle of writing a rant about why the Bucs didn’t go for it on 4th down, then Rodgers throws a pick. I guess that’s why they didn’t go for it. Also, No. 12 is human after all.

Freeman throws a TD to some guy I’ve never heard of as Peprah stares in bewilderment. Once again, we have a ballgame, folks. 28-26 Packers. Think Raheem Morris regrets going for that two-point conversion? Probably not as much as Winslow regrets dropping the conversion pass.

For some reason, the Bucs try another onside kick and fail miserably. You’re actually slowing down this Packers offense and you try an onside kick? I don’t get it.

James Starks fumbles and needs help getting off the field after getting all twisted up on the tackle. Scary. Hopefully he’s ok.

Tampa blitzes all out on 3rd and 4 and Rodgers hits Nelson for a TD that should (hopefully) ice the game. Obviously, Tampa coaches have not yet caught on that Rodgers is unstoppable when you blitz him. A terrible call to blitz Rodgers in that situation.

Tramon picks it off and this one is over. There should be plenty to write and complain about from this one. Meantime, I’m going to enjoy 10-0.

Well, I guess Mason Crosby wanted to get his first missed FG out of the way. He clanks a 29-yarder and the score stays 35-26.

One more thing: Rodgers wasn’t at his best and he was still 23-for-34 for 299 yards and a QB rating well over 100.



Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


29 thoughts on “Packers vs. Buccaneers – Unfiltered Game Day Commentary and First Impressions: Green Bay 35, Tampa Bay 26

  1. The good news is the “Manic” part of GB’s “Manic/Dpressive D is due to show up Thursday. Just how bad can tackling get?

    1. The Packers will never be a good tackling D. Even at their peak in the playoffs they weren’t. It’s just not how they are taught, and not how they operate.

      But as well as you can expect missed tackles every single game, you can also count on at least 1 turnover every game.

      1. Hell RS they had 6 missed tackles on one damn play. That can’t be excused for any reason. No one is asking for perfection, mediocre would do. Hawk is totally useless. They’re wasting Des Bishop in coverage. He’s the only guy in the front 7 who can tackle worth a shit. OK, so Raji can score a TD, I’d rather he’d be plugging the gapping holes in the middle of the line.

        1. One play doesn’t make the defense bad.

          Go and re-watch that play. Before it, the Bucs could only manage 1 single 1st down. Then, in that play, a lot of players didn’t give 100%, because the Bucs had 2 rushing yards till that point, but they kept missing and missing, and it went the way it went. They underestimated the guy, and their team as a whole. Before they realized, the Bucs got into the game.

          And, let’s remember, the team didn’t had the focus in that game. An example of that is that in that week they practiced and studied against Detroit at times, because they wouldn’t be able to practice this week.

          AND THEY STILL WON BY 9!!!!

  2. Well, the tackling was bad, but at least the pass D was terrible.

    AR is actually human…. who knew.

    Hope Starks is ok. And giving up 450 to a bad offense is really pathetic. I’m going to say once again, I hope this D doesn’t get GB beat in the playoffs, because they are playing with fire.

    1. What if the offense gets this team beat in the playoffs, will that be okay?

      How few points does the offense have to score to make it an offensive failure? less than 24? less than 17? 14?

      Always wondered where the cut off line is for blaming the offense or the defense for a loss.

      1. If the offense scores less than 28 points, it’s on them. If the D allows more than 21 points and doesn’t get a turnover, it’s on them. All other instances are Slocum’s fault.

          1. How about if the offense puts up 35 but the D gives up 38? I’d say that’s on the D.

            Yards may be for ‘losers’ but even Dom has admitted they are playing with fire.

            I thought the D had righted the ship somewhat last week, but it seems that someone forgot to mention covering Kellen Winslow was a part of playing good D. This is a concerning pattern = stick the head in the sand all you want, but it should be concerning..

    2. 9th consecutive week the D keeps the opposing QB under 100 rating.

      4th consecutive week that the D gets 2 ints, 8 of 10 weeks the D has had at least 2 ints.

      The D has forced at least 1 turnover every single game this season.

      The last game this D didn’t cause a turnover was against the Patriots (they did force a fumble but did not recover).

      Sorry for being harsh in here, but yards are for losers.

      When your D is expected to cause at least 1 turnover every single game and it’s able to keep opposing QBs under 100, and when you have Rodgers on the other side, you win by at least 1 TD every single game.

      1. That one game you don’t get the turnover could be in the Super Bowl. Turnovers are not entirely in the power of the players, more like the power is in the players they’re playing against.

        That aside, it’s plays like the one below average running back legarrate Blunt today that demonstrate that if the Packers were to just stop making so many mental mistakes, we wouldn’t NEED turnovers so much. That game would be over a LONG time ago.

        The talent is there to do as well, so I simply don’t see many excuses for Dom Capers. 10 games is enough time to fix up the miscues in your defense.

        1. Any game could be the game we don’t get the turnover but I think you underestimate the way the Capers D is built for turnovers. In his 3 years the Packers have finished 1st 2nd and are currently 1st in interceptions. That includes 2009 when we gave up 28.8 points a game remember. I get that interceptions are not entirely within our control but the Psckers D is better than most at forcing bad throws.

          I’m also not sure the Blount run was more mental mistakes than simply poor technique. Bishop met him in the hole and at least 3 others had a chance to stop him before the run got out of control. Blount is a decent RB IMO and hard to bring down but still..

        2. “Turnovers are not entirely in the power of the players, more like the power is in the players they’re playing against.”

          Yet, as I’ve illustrated before, they’ve caused turnovers every single game this season and since Dom Capers took over have been in the top 2 every year…

  3. Not pretty. I’ve largely defended the D but the tackling on that TD run was beyond poor.

    Much closer than it should have been but still a wire to wire W and 35 points. This team has a precious ability to find a win even when not firing on all cylinders..

  4. Jordy Nelson is a stud. The Pack is 10-0! We avoided injuries to Jennings and Finley, Starks knee , initially, is structuraly ok, but will prob miss the Lions game, hopefully not the Giants game. Arod has a 110 rating on a somewhat off day. The O-line look shaky at times which gives the coaching staff fuel for motivating the unit against a better Lions D line . The D can’t cover a tight end and looked terrible again but add to their interception lead…..if the O-line can protect Arod in Detroit, the Pack wins a shoot out. If not, first loss of the year. The defence can not be trusted .

  5. Well this all but locks up at the Playoff spot, two more division wins will get us the Division crown we want.

    I am not sure on Detroit’s run game, so we may luck out on that aspect but Capers will have to adjust for what is not working again because parts of the defense while improved still needs a healthy pass rush and there were times when Matthews and Woodson was close.

    Go Pack Go.

    1. Detroit’s RB Kevin Smith racked up 140 yards and scored three touchdowns against the Panthers. The Packers will have their hands full on Turkey Day. 🙁

  6. I just wish the D would have bristled UP when Aaron threw that pick. Just so Aaron would know that when he makes a mistake, there are others on this team that will cover his back. When Tampa got that easy six right after that pick, I thought the game could go down the toilet. And the way the 49ers are playing, we cannot afford that. We may need home field advantage the way our defense is playing.

    I think the lions are beatable, but we are going to need a complete game from everybody if the Packers are going to make turkeys out of the lions.

  7. I will take this win. From the very beginning of this one, you could feel that the Pack was not clicking on all cylinders. This just shows how special this team is, they play lousy and still win. I think we are a bit spoiled. How do you bring your “A” game week in and week out, for 16 straight weeks? Just think about it, Packers play at this high level for 6 more games. That would be 22 wins in a row going back to last season. I get nervous just thinking about the posibilty of that happening. I don’t care if we lose a regular season game, as long as we win all of our playoff games.

  8. all part of strategy of capers to be vanilla for thanksgiving game to unleash hell on mr stafford….mark mr. bills words down, detroit wont know what hit them.people worry wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy to much…….this will be a laugh-fer….pack 52-20

  9. Will take the W. With such a short week coming up there’s no time to dwell on the D’s short comings. Just have to let it loose on Turkey day and give the Lions there annual national exposure beat-down.

  10. It was.good to see Neal and So Oto getting snaps, neither one did much but getting live reps will help their play. I don’t mind if san fran gets home field as long as the Pack can get the 2 seed. Playing the NFC champ game in warmer weather helps our best asset, the passing game. Non of the NFC teams worry me except the saints, the have the QB and offencebto tear up our leaky D. Arod would have to be perfect to beat them, which is possible. Dallas ,if they play well, could be a hard team to beat but Romo would prob choke in a big game. The bears lost cutler, so they are prob done. Go Pack!

  11. I knew if we beat CHI at Soldier Field, we’d start 10-0.

    My crystal ball couldn’t see the outcome of the Lions game but considering the O-Line’s play and lack of Starks, I’m going to say “10-1”.

    I pray that I’m wrong.

  12. I’ll not try an defend the defense for this game but merely ask those of you who are pissed about the Blount run,have you seen what this guy has done to better run defenses than ours.
    This guy digs graves as he runs,for the defenders to fall into after jumping on and in front of a truck.

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