Can the New Style of the Packers Keep Up with the Buccaneers in Week 3?

The Green Bay Packers are coming off a big win for their sake against the Chicago Bears after a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings in week 1 to get to 1-1. Now the Packers are heading down to Tampa Bay, Florida to take on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The Packers looked more like the team we expected them to in week 2 as the Packers run game and defense dominated the game against the Bears. Packers running back Aaron Jones led the way with 15 rushes for 132 yards plus 3 catches 38 yards with 2 total touchdowns. The Packers made it an emphasis to get not only Jones but also fellow running back AJ Dillion the ball more. After the Packers week 1 let down head coach Matt LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers both voiced their displeasure with how many touches Jones and Dillion had in week 1.

The Packers defense also improved drastically from week 1 as they held Bears quarterback Justin Fields to only 70 yards passing with half of those yards coming on one play and one interception. Now the Packers run defense was shaky allowing the Bears running back to run for 122 yards on 15 attempts. The Packers had their way in this one, but will it be enough to upset Brady and the Bucs? Now the biggest thing to watch heading into this game is the Bucs receivers. Bucs receiver Mike Evans may be out due to being suspended a game for his actions in week 2. Evans has appealed the suspension so something to keep an eye on whether his suspension is upheld or not. Another issue for the Bucs is that receivers Julio Jones and Chris Godwin were both out in week 2 and are not guaranteed to play this week. The Bucs may very well be without their top three receivers against the Packers. That would benefit the Packers greatly.

Now every team the Packers are going to play knows the Packers goal is to get the ball into Jones and Dillion’s hands. The question will be, even though teams know it is coming will they be able to stop them?

The Vikings accomplished that while the Bears could not. Now the Bucs have a better defense than both teams the Packers have faced. The two main guys that will be defending Jones and Dillion are two of the best in the game. They are linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David. This should not slow down the Packers offense. Rodgers said after the win against the Bears that the Packers have only taken one handful of jelly beans out of the bag of what they can do with Jones and Dillion with plenty of more handfuls to go. Rodgers feels the Packers are just scratching the surface of what they can do with Jones and Dillion.

On top of those two the Packers have been spreading the ball in the pass game with no one having more than 4 targets in week 2. Rodgers is doing exactly what is being asked of him in spreading the ball around and making a couple of clutch plays here and there. The most encouraging thing is that the receivers are getting open and a little bit of a surprise is that rookie Romeo Doubs has the most targets on the team while fellow rookie Christian Watson is tied for second most.

This offense is going to figure it out and it’s going to be good, especially since Allen Lazard and Elgton Jenkins returned to action last week with the potential of David Bakhtiari coming back this week as well. The Packers offense should have no problem going against the Bucs defense as the Packers are figuring out that their offense can attack all defenses in different ways. Now the Packers defense has been good this year besides on opening drives.

The Packers defense has been forcing three and outs at the third highest rate through two weeks and that is not a coincidence. They may have not played the best offenses but at the end of the day these are all professional and it is hard to impose your will on other professionals. The Packers defense have only had three to four bad drives this season and two of them were opening drives. Not to mention the Packers front 7 have been dominating teams up front as through two weeks Kenny Clark is putting up Aaron Donald type numbers and Rashan Gary and Preston Smith are both in the top 7 for pressure rate through two weeks with guys that have at least 30 pass rush snaps. The way to beat Brady and the Bucs is to get pressure with your front seven and let your secondary cover the receivers. If the front 7 can get home and do their job it may be a long day for Brady and the Bucs especially if their top receivers cannot go on Sunday.

Now Rodgers said that they must play better if they want to compete with the Bucs. Although, Rodgers is already comparing last season to this season in terms of getting blown out in week 1, beating a division opponent in week 2, and heading on the road against a very good NFC opponent where the Packers are underdogs. The Packers can definitely win this game vs the Bucs with their new style of winning games. Not only this game but a lot of games. It will all depend on how the Packers execute their game plan and how effective their in-game adjustments are. If the Packers go down to Tampa and upset the Bucs, it will bode good for their season and give them all the confidence they need to realize they can compete with these teams and set the tone for the season.
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