X-Factor Matchup: Buccaneers vs. Packers


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a hard fought win in New Orleans over the Saints. It was an impressive showing from the defense which helped move them to 2-0 on the season. However, there isn’t much time to enjoy this victory as the Bucs will have to turn around and take on the Green Bay Packers this week.

The last time these two teams played was in the NFC championship game two seasons ago. Winning a playoff game in Green Bay was a special feeling and a very memorable part of the Super Bowl run. With that said, this week’s home opener in Tampa should be pretty exciting in its own right.

These two teams are very similar to the last time they saw each other, but in some ways very different. This leads us to this week’s X-Factor matchup. This one is truly a battle for the ages.

Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers

I typically don’t highlight a matchup like this because these two are not actually going against each other. Tom Brady will compete against the Packers defense, while Aaron Rodgers will compete against the Buccaneers’ defense. However, I just couldn’t pass up on highlighting these two all time great quarterbacks.

On one hand you have Brady. He’s a fifteen time Pro Bowler, seven time Super Bowl champion, three time Most Valuable Player and that doesn’t even begin to cover his accolades. He is truly the greatest player in NFL history.

On the other hand, Rodgers is no slouch either. He’s a ten time Pro Bowler with a Super Bowl ring of his own. What’s even more impressive is his four league Most Valuable Player awards, including the last two in a row.

These two football icons have a lot in common. First and foremost, they’re both old. We won’t get to watch these two much longer so let’s enjoy matchups like this while we can. But by no means is that the only thing they have in common.

Similar Situations 

Both these men will be in a similar situation this Sunday. Both will face a very good defense and both will do so without some of the biggest playmakers they had the last time they saw each other.

For Rodgers, this is his new normal. After losing star wide receiver Devonte Adams in the offseason, the Packers are still trying to figure out who their go to pass catchers are. This includes a cast of guys like Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, a few mid round draft pick rookies, among others.

Brady will have a similar problem this weekend. Mike Evans is currently suspended from this game and Chris Godwin was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Brady needs to find chemistry with an aging Julio Jones and Russell Gage (who are both listed as questionable for the game) while leaning on the role players he knows like Scotty Miller.

This will by no means be a career defining game for either, but it will be interesting to see which can lead his team to victory in similar circumstances. Which quarterback can elevate the role players around them? Whatever the answer is, it will most likely reflect which of these NFC contenders will walk away with a win this weekend.

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