The Green Bay Packers had everything they wanted. They were a favorite at home with a chance to get to Super Bowl 55. Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stood in the way. The Buccaneers wound up doing much more damage to the Packers than just beating them on the scoreboard.
The Green Bay Packers failed to capitalize
The Green Bay Packers dug themselves a hole last Sunday. They struggled early, especially defending Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on third down. The backbreaker came on the last play before the half when Packers defensive back Kevin King let Scotty Miller get behind him for a 39-yard touchdown catch.
It didn’t help the Packers either when running back Aaron Jones fumbled on Green Bay’s first possession of the second half. Despite the gaffes, the Packers were in the game. Brady threw three interceptions in the second half to keep the Packers in the game. Green Bay failed to capitalize.
From the three picks, the Packers offense was able to generate six points. The Packers cut a 28-10 deficit to 28-23 in the third quarter. After Green Bay got within five points, Brady threw his last two picks, but the Packers were forced to punt on both occasions.
It was a clean sweep for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory Sunday was the second of the season over the Green Bay Packers, who were the top seed in the NFC. Back in Week 6, the Bucs handed Aaron Rodgers and the Packers their first loss of the season. The Packers raced out to a 10-0 lead only to see the Bucs rattle off 38 straight points in a 38-10 victory.
On Sunday, it was the Buccaneers who jumped out to a quick lead. After the Packers tied the game at 7, Tampa Bay outscored Green Bay 21-3 before holding on for the victory. The biggest play was the Brady-to-Miller touchdown right before the half that put Tampa Bay up 21-10.
Buccaneers head coach said he wasn’t content to sit on the ball and head into the locker room up 14-10. “We didn’t come here to not take chances to win the game,” Arians said, according to ESPN. “Love the play we had. Got a great matchup and got a TD. That was huge.”
The loss was devastating to the Packers
Green Bay’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not only prevented them from reaching the Super Bowl, but it also appears to have killed their psyche. Aaron Rodgers said he was “gutted” after the loss. Center Corey Linsley blamed the line, “We didn’t get the job done up front,” he said, according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic.
Perhaps the most discouraging take from the Packers’ side is that they may have been a bit overconfident heading in. “We were very much set on going down to Tampa and playing in that (Super Bowl),” wide receiver Allen Lazard said, according to Schneidman. The Buccaneers quickly shredded that confidence.
Schneidman also said Lazard texted Aaron Jones, who suffered a chest injury and missed most of the second half. Lazard said Jones kept apologizing for his early third-quarter fumble. The Packers appear to be a mess mentally and the Buccaneers can take credit for that.