When the Green Bay Packers come to town this Sunday, the 36 year old Aaron Rodgers will take on his elder opponent. The 42 year old Tom Brady. Rodgers has been on an absolute tear since the season began and it’s not likely he’s going to slow down this week going head to head with the GOAT.
There’s no question that this is far and away the game of the week. Let’s break it down and see why the Packers are a formidable matchup for the Buccaneers.
Here’s How The Packers Measure Up
Just like their NFC North rival the Chicago Bears, the Packers are entering this week with a very healthy lineup. Despite sending tight end Josiah Deguara to injured reserve this week, Aaron Rodgers is going have a breadth of options on offense.
Before going down in the middle of week 2 against Detroit, star wideout Davante Adams was unstoppable. In week one, Rodgers couldn’t keep his eyes off Adams. With a heavy target share of 17 attempts thrown his way, Adams posted a big league day of 14/156/2.
Even with the Rodgers to Adams connection being just as advertised, there’s been a new favorite target for Rodgers. Tight end Robert Tonyan had a monster showing against Atlanta with three scores of over 15 yards. This wasn’t his breakout game either.
Robert Tonyan by week (excluding week one having no targets):
– 2 catches / 25 yards / 1 Touchdown
– 5 catches / 50 yards / 1 Touchdown
– 6 catches / 98 yards / 3 Touchdowns
Tampa Bay’s secondary has had it’s peaks and valleys this year, but they will absolutely be tested against this Packers offense. The Bucs are the 18th best defense against tight ends and are 18th overall in pass yards defended and 6th in Pass TD’s allowed.
– 19th in Passing Yards / 10th in Rushing Yards
– 3rd in Passing TD’s / 16th in Rushing TD’s
– 7th in Pass Yards Allowed / 4th in Rush Yards Allowed
– 6th in Pass TD’s Allowed / 14th in Rush TD’s Allowed
Defensively, the Packers have one of the best defenders in the game right now with Za’Darius Smith, who is just starting to heat up. Last week he had 6 solo tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks.
Kenny Clark is regarded as one of the leagues top nose tackles and the secondary has been blessed to have all-pro play out of cornerback Jaire Alexander. The offensive line took a major step back last week allowing three sacks to Khalil Mack and multiple pressures after allowing no sacks the week prior.
What We Might Expect
Yes, the Packers have one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. Naturally, that means they just have to run the ball, right? With the way Aaron Jones has been running the ball it’s actually not that big of a surprised. The 2019 touchdown leader for running backs, Jones has not slowed down heading in to 2020 and Coach Lefleur doesn’t intend to let off the gas either.
The Packers have the 9th highest rush attempts per game (54.41% Pass / 45.59% Rush). Jones is the currently on the top 5 for both rush yards and touchdowns, but he’s also an accomplished receiver. With two scores through the air already, he’s going to need our own all-pro Lavonte David to be on him all day.
After the devastating loss of Vita Vea last Thursday, the Buccaneers stout rush defense is going to have their resolve tested. Green Bay loves to run right at defenses and has been very successful in doing so. Ndamukong Suh and Rakeem Nunez-Roches should expect to have increased play time as a result.
The good news for Buccaneers fans is the team has had over a full week to prepare. The bad news is the Packers have had longer coming off a bye. In order for Brady to avoid back to back losses for only the 2nd time, the Buccaneers must play disciplined football. Last weeks penalty laden game can not repeat or it’s going to be a long Sunday.