The Green Bay Packers crashed back to reality in a big way during Week 6, giving up 38 unanswered points and blowing an early 10-0 lead. The Packers that played the final three quarters of that game looked nothing like the Green Bay team that played the first four weeks of the season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came ready to play, and were rewarded with a win. There are a plethora of issues for the Packers players and coaches to break down in their film room. However, let us take a look through some of them ourselves in this Week 6 Recap.
Turnover-Free No More
The Packers had their first two giveaways of the season in Sunday’s game. Even worse, they happened on back-to-back drives in the 2nd quarter. The first was a pick-6 that made it a 10-7 ballgame and the second positioned the Buccaneers inside Green Bay’s 5-yard line. In just a few seconds, the Packers went from having possession, and a 10-point lead to being down 14-7. They never recovered. Such a quick and complete momentum swing seemed to crush team morale. Furthermore, we knew from the beginning that the Packers are a team that’s built to play with a lead, not come back from a deficit.
Offensive Line Struggles
The offensive line gave up more sacks in Week 6 than the previous four games combined. That was 5 total for those keeping track. Part of that can be attributed to the overall ineffectiveness of the rushing attack. That and the negative game script that forced the Packers into passing situations more often than not. The bottom line was the offensive line was dominated all game. The Buccaneers defense came ready to win in the trenches, and the offensive line could not match the intensity. Seeing the pocket collapse was a regular sight. The looming question is if the poor performance can be chalked up to bye-week rust or if it’s more a result of playing their first great defensive line. Only time will tell, but it’s a huge storyline to keep track of, especially after David Bakhtiari left the game with an injury in the second half.
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Bend & Break Defense
The already much-maligned Green Bay rush defense took another hearty beating on Sunday. This was mostly at the hands of Ronald Jones, who averaged 5 yards per carry and scored twice. Even with Kenny Clark back in the lineup, they could not seem to generate any push into the backfield or create impact plays. The defense as a whole was regularly on the backpedal and ultimately gave up 31 points.
The offense struggled for the first game this season, and the defense couldn’t pick up the slack. They generated no turnovers and could not get any sacks. Rob Gronkowski easily had his best game of the season going against Green Bay. They gave up 4 plays of 19 or more yards as well as 21 first downs. While they had played well enough to win games alongside a historically-efficient offense, the Buccaneers exposed just how fragile the balance between offense and defense can be.
Offensive Inefficiency Rules the Day
Aaron Rodgers completed fewer than 50% of his 35 pass attempts. Also, Aaron Jones managed merely 1.5 yards per carry on 10 attempts. Save for a couple of big plays of 20+ yards, the offense was completely ineffective. They failed to consistently move the football downfield.
All said and done, J.K. Scott ended up punting 7 times, equaling his cumulative total for the first four games. They went 3-and-out 7 times. That’s right 7 TIMES! It was a nightmarish performance from an offense that had shown so few signs of weakness through the first four weeks. Again, it’s hard to know for sure how much of that can be blamed on rust after the bye week. The Buccaneers defense is obviously the best unit they’ve faced so far this season and maybe the toughest they will face all year. However truly great offenses find ways to put up more than 10 points against even the best of defenses.
The Packers got stomped. They got obliterated. This game wasn’t even a contest. The Buccaneers saw a 10-0 deficit and turned it into a lead in a matter of 4 minutes and 46 seconds of game clock. The Packers never recovered and gave up a total of 38 unanswered points. Green Bay came in with a high-flying offense and the Tampa Bay defense made them look like the New York Jets for the final three quarters of play. The Packers defense gave a vintage performance, harkening back to the swiss cheese defense days of 2011. It was an all-around pathetic display, one that Green Bay must learn from and never repeat. At least not if they hope to be true contenders instead of pretenders.
Thank you for reading this Week 6 Recap. Be sure to check out Full Press Coverage for more great NFL content.