Today the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be watching today’s slate of NFL games.along with the rest of us, at home.
The Bucs are on their bye week but they will be watching an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers visit the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers hope that Chiefs can come out on top in this one and drop the Packers to 7-2 on the season.
Then there are the Rams who beat the Buccaneers in week three. The Rams are another 7-1 team and host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football. This is again a case of wanting another conference team to lose and fall to 7-2. The hope here is that neither gets to far ahead of Tampa Bay when they face the Washington football team next Sunday.
Let’s look at the two games that Bucs fans hope the Rams and Packers are losers.
Packers Player To Watch
Quarterback Jordan Love. Could it be anybody else? The Packers learned Wednesday that Aaron Rodgers was going into the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols, shelving him for at least one week. That means Love, who was picked in the first round of the 2020 draft, is expected to make his first career start. And whereas Rodgers is the reigning NFL MVP and one of the game’s most accomplished quarterbacks, his understudy has thrown just seven regular-season passes in his short career.
Chiefs Player To Watch
Linebacker Nick Bolton has led the Chiefs in tackles the past two weeks while taking over for Anthony Hitchens, the veteran linebacker who has been sidelined with a triceps injury. Bolton had 15 tackles with four for a loss in a loss to Tennessee, then made 11 stops with a quarterback hit as the Chiefs rallied to beat the Giants on Monday night.
Packers running back Aaron Jones against the KC run defense. Jones will undoubtedly be Love’s best friend against Kansas City, taking some of the pressure off the young QB to win the game through the air. Jones will face the league’s 22nd-ranked run defense, which just allowed more than 100 yards on the ground for the fifth time in six games.
Rodgers was joined on the COVID-19 list by backup CB Isaac Yiadom. OT David Bakhtiari still hasn’t made his 2021 debut after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 31, though he is practicing with the Packers again. CB Kevin King (shoulder/back) has missed Green Bay’s last three games but has been practicing this week, and DLs Jack Heflin (illness), Kingsley Keke (concussion) and Dean Lowry (hamstring) didn’t practice Wednesday. … Hitchens returned to practice for Kansas City this week, but RT Mike Remmers (knee) remained out for the second straight week.
The Packers have won three of the last four meetings in a series that famously began with their victory over Kansas City in the inaugural Super Bowl. The Chiefs dominated the series in the 1990s, but Green Bay has won both meetings since former assistant Andy Reid took over in Kansas City.
Tennessee, which not only owns a three-game lead in the AFC South but has swept the only possible threat there, Indianapolis, placed running back Derrick Henry on injured reserve. The 2020 Offensive Player of the Year, leading rusher in the NFL this season and probably the best player in the division is out with a foot injury.
“If anybody can, I guess come back, it would be Derrick,” coach Mike Vrabel said, “but not going to put any expectations on any sort of timeline.
“I know that he’ll be around our team as soon as he can. I know that’s important to him. I know that’ll be important to our team. We will have to move on. We’ll have to move on unfortunately without him here in the short term and not look back.”