Review: Packers 14; Buccaneers 12 ~ this ended up being just a solid win. The first 2 drives were what you want to see from your veteran QB and offense, getting off to a perfect start. That being said…
Since the Aaron Jones fumble (above), the Packers had 8 drives (9 if you include the 1-play kneel down), totaling 32 plays amassing 90 total yards and obviously, 0 points. Seven of those 8 drives resulted in punts, and another was a bad interception. Rodgers needs to close a game like this, out, somehow.
The running back duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon were held down. Combining for just 85 total yards on 29 combined touches (2.93 yards/touch). Dillon seemed to have some of the better runs, but still keep it up. With them being held down, enter rookie wideout, and training camp Hall of Famer, Romeo Doubs.
Romeo Doubs was open and often, garnering 8 targets, catching all of them for 73 yards and a score. There’s a chance he could produce for the entire season, especially if Lazard can get on the field, which should open up single coverage for Doubs whom seems to get open and has solid hands, thus far.
Kudos the the defense for stepping up, limiting Tampa Bay to just 12 points, and an absolute clutch defensive play on the game-tying 2-point conversion. They also held the Bucs to just 285 yards on 59 plays and forcing 2 turnovers, which is crucial when playing against the best QB of all time. All in all a great team win, but Green Bay must score more than 14 points should these teams face each other in January…but you knew that.
Preview~ The Packers come in fairly healthy, the only question marks are CB Jaire Alexander and LT Yosh Njiman. Jaire is nursing a groin, which is worrisome as he’s a quick-twitch athlete and the groin is an injury that can linger, forever. As for Njiman, he had an illness and seems like he should be ready to go – even if David Bakhtiari is ready to go, again, he struggled a little and still needs to get into game shape. Counting on him for an entire game may be too much to ask, and I’m also not sure if he’s nearly as good as he once was…either way, those seem to be the only 2 potential injuries and as of Sunday morning, they’re both listed as QUESTIONABLE.
As for the Patriots, most noticeably, they’re missing starting QB Mac Jones. Before you think it’s an auto-win, their backup QB is Brian Hoyer. He’s going to make his 40th career start, going 16-23 in his previous 39 starts. He’s a solid backup and is capable of running the Pats offense and winning some games.
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These teams are virtually the same. Solid defenses, offenses built around their run game, and try to win a close one. The difference is who they’ve played so far. The Packers have played 2 solid teams and one bad/awful team, where the Pats have played 2 very good teams and 1 unkown team. This could be, yet another, measuring stick-type game for both squads. It’s setting up to be another defensive struggle and low-scoring affair. It may be tough for the Packers to cover the 9.5 points, but could if the defense shuts down New England for 60 minutes. Let’s see if Rodgers and LaFleur can get Jones and/or Dillon going again this afternoon, like they were able to in the week 2 matchup vs. Chicago.
Patriots 17 (+9.5)