TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers withstood a late rally led by Tom Brady to hold off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 14-12 victory on Sunday.
Rodgers tossed TD passes of 5 yards to Romeo Doubs and 6 yards to Allen Lazard on his team’s first two possessions, while the Bucs’ offense sputtered much of the day without star receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones.
For the second straight week, the Bucs (2-1) were held without a touchdown into the fourth quarter. Brady finally got them into the end zone on a 1-yard pass to Russell Gage, capping a 90-yard drive with 14 seconds remaining.
Tampa Bay’s bid to force overtime with a 2-point conversion was thwarted, first by a delay-of-game penalty and then an incomplete pass that allowed the Packers (2-1) to beat Brady for the first time in three tries since the seven-time Super Bowl champion joined the Bucs in 2020.
Rodgers completed 27 of 35 passes and was intercepted once in the first matchup in NFL history in which each starting quarterback has won at least three regular-season league MVP awards.
Rodgers has won four, including the past two, while Brady has three MVPs.
Ryan Succop kicked a pair of 45-yard field goals for the Bucs, the second trimming Green Bay’s lead to 14-6 midway through the third quarter.
Brady, who won three of four previous head-to-head matchups with Rodgers, finished 31 of 42 passing for 271 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked three times.
With Evans serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-field brawl the previous week at New Orleans and without Godwin and Jones — two of Brady’s other primary receivers — the Bucs struggled to get the offense on track while Rodgers built a 14-3 halftime lead that could have been bigger.
Aaron Jones fumbled into the end zone after a 3-yard reception to the Bucs 2, costing the Packers a chance to add at least three points late in the second quarter. The Green Bay offense was never the same after that.
Packers: LT David Bakhtiari played for just the second time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Dec. 31, 2020. … Rookie WR Christian Watson (hamstring) was inactive. … CB Jaire Alexander (groin) did not play in the second half.
Buccaneers: In addition to Godwin (hamstring) and Jones (knee), the Bucs played without LT Donovan Smith (elbow) for the second straight game. Smith was replaced in the lineup by first-year pro Brandon Walton.
Packers: Host the New England Patriots next Sunday.
Buccaneers: Remain at home next Sunday night to face the Kansas City Chiefs, the first matchup between Brady and Patrick Mahomes since the Super Bowl won by Tampa Bay two seasons ago.
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