The Green Bay Packers traveled to Tampa Bay on Sunday to meet the Buccaneers with a mission to solidify their place as the best team in NFC. Instead, they were handed a tough loss that seriously shakes their position as a Super Bowl contender.
Everything was going as planned for the Packers early in the game, as they scored a field goal and a touchdown via Aaron Jones to finish the first quarter with a 10-0 lead. It is hard to believe that this will be all they did by the end of the game.
Packers started unraveling early in the second when quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw his first interception in 2020 and only his third career pick-six. On 3rd&10, deep in his own half, Rodgers threw to wideout Davante Adams on the left sideline. But just as Adams was about to make a catch for a new first down, Bucs’ safety Jamel Dean jumped in front of him, snatched the ball, and carried it all the way to the endzone.
Packers were hoping to put this ugly play behind them on the following possession but stumbled on another third-down conversion. On 3rd&4, Rodgers tried to find Adams once again but the throw bounced off of the wide receiver’s hands and was picked up by Tampa’s Mike Edwards.
Edwards carried the ball all the way to the Packers’ 5-yard line, making it easy for quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of the Bucs’ offense to find a way into the endzone.
After this quick turnaround, Packers completely lost it. The defense wasn’t able to stop anything, while the offense couldn’t start cooking no matter what they tried.
Bucs continued to pile up points and scored two more touchdowns to end the first half. They added 10 more points in the third period, allowing themselves a comfy cushion to see out the rest of the game.
Tampa Bay improved to 4-2 and is showing that the early struggles were just a result of adjusting to new players and changes in the system.
Packers were handed their first loss of the season, and are now 4-1. But it appears that Rodgers believes losing at this point of the year will prove beneficial for his team.
“You don’t ever want to lose like this,” said Rodgers after the game. “I felt like we needed a little bit of a wake-up call at some point this season because things have been so good and there’s been so much talk maybe outside the building about the ease with which we’re moving the ball on offense and scoring. I think we needed kind of a kick in the ass a little bit.“