What 2 Watch 4: Packers Versus Bucs

The Packers take on the Bucs at Raymond James stadium this Sunday and the stakes could not be Eddie Lacy vs Atlantahigher. Green Bay is a game behind the Lions with an epic match-up coming the following week against that same team. Packers fans will also be watching the Arizona Cardinals who need to drop a game but if they drop it to Seattle, the Packers would lose the tie breaker because of the head to head loss to Seattle. Best case scenario would be for the Cards to beat the Seahawks and then lose to the 49’ers, a scenario that seems highly unlikely. But a chance to avenge an ugly early season loss at Seattle seems likely but the Packers could still get a round one bye out of the deal.

The captains have been chosen, and while the poor showing against the Bills is in the rear-view mirror, that loss had a big impact on the Packers’ post season scenario as they are no longer in the driver’s seat. The Bucs, on the other hand, seem like the perfect tonic for a Packers team that was over-penalized, undisciplined, and mistake prone last Sunday. But we can’t fall asleep on this one. Here is what I will be watching for:

1. Take what the defense gives you

Lovie Smith runs a Tampa two…if he leaves two safeties high…run the ball! Eddie Lacy looked like he could have single handedly won last Sunday’s game but he was not given the chance. If the Bucs stack the box, the Packers need to take advantage of their 24 ranked pass defense and throw the ball. I know this sounds rudimentary but there are some who are calling for the Packers to “take what they want” and that is not how successful football is played. This is a match-up game and any game against Lovie Smith will be a chess match as much as a full-on brawl.

2. Defense…dominate

clayThe Packers defense has continued to improve this season and in point of fact had a great game against the Bills last Sunday. Kyle Orton and the Bills offense has been treated like the red-headed stepchild of the NFL but they are not. They are efficient and Sammy Watkins is one of the several great wideouts to come out of this year’s draft. The Bucs are not in the same league. This is a chance for the Packers defense to have a statement game going into the Detroit game and take with it the confidence that brings. Detroit’s offense has been barely beating teams and if the Packers can manhandle the Bucs, they will be happy to come back home to Lambeau and do the same to the Lions.

3. Offense…get back in sync

It was crazy to watch the Bills game and see Aaron Rodgers out of sync with his receivers. So many Aaroncowboydropped passes and so many miscues on the back-shoulder pass. The Packers beat themselves last Sunday and still had an opportunity to win the game at the very end. Playing the Buccaneers at Raymond James stadium gives the Pack the perfect opportunity to get back together away from Lambeau Field. This team, if it has to travel during the playoffs, cannot afford ONE dropped pass, much less the multiple drops and miscues of this past week. Look for Aaron Rodgers to get back in the saddle and make a statement in this game.

All in all, the Packers have every opportunity to secure a playoff spot and make a statement in this game. We need a dominant though unemotional performance in this game to set us up for the season finale versus Detroit. It feels like the playoffs are already here and the Packers are right in the mix!

Go Pack!


What 2 Watch 4: Packers Versus Bucs
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2 thoughts on “What 2 Watch 4: Packers Versus Bucs

  • December 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Basically the playoffs are starting with this game because if they lose either of these last two then its a good possibility that they do not make the post season plain and simple!

    Its not a given on this Bucs game either so the Pack better bring their best game to this one. Losing to Buffalo was a lot bigger than most are taking this. They are like oh well we lost lets move on! Now even if they do win the Last two game it looks like and very well may be that the Pack will play for the NFC title game in Seattle instead of Lambeau! Honestly I don’t think the Pack can beat a good defense on the road, They have yet to do it this year as it is. They might have had a chance if that game was held in Lambeau but by losing to the Bills and having to play away I hope I am wrong but it looks like another one and done post season this year!

    • December 20, 2014 at 12:07 am

      I think you need to recheck the standings. There are only 7 teams that have a shot at the 6 NFC playoff spots; Cards, Seahawks, Cowboys, Eagles, Lions, Packers, and winner of NFC South.

      If the Packers win 1 of their 2 remaining, they’re 11-5 and in the playoffs, period (either as division winner or wild card). The Eagles have to win out to be 11-5 and lose the tie breaker to GB.

      The only way GB is not in the playoffs is if they lose the last 2 games, the Eagles win out, and Dallas wins 1 of theirs.

      I think our playoffs started last week. Luckily we weren’t eliminated, but it definitely made our playoffs more difficult. And remember, when the Packers went into the 2010 playoffs with a 10-6 record and the 6 seed, no one (outside of GB fans) thought we had a chance to win 3 tough games on the road, in Philly, in Atlanta, and in Chicago, to make it to the SB. But we did, and it can be done again. Go Pack go!


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