The Buccaneers are off to a 2-0 start this season and with a win Sunday against the Packers, Todd Bowles can become the first coach in Buccaneer history to start a season 3-0.
The Buccaneers are finally home this weekend after opening the season on the road with games at Dallas and New Orleans.
The Bucs are to a 2-0 start, and Tom Brady finally got a win in New Orleans as a Buccaneer in the regular season.
The defense has been one of the best in the league the first two weeks of the season, leading the NFL in scoring defense, giving up 6.5 points a game.
The Bucs are also second in the league in turnovers with 13. Jamel Dean said the goal of the secondary was to have 25 picks this season. After three against New Orleans and one against Dallas, the Bucs are well on their way to that goal. However, they need to average 1.4 picks the rest of the way to meet their goal.
The offense has struggled this season, producing two offensive touchdowns in two games. However, Ryan Succop has 20 points this season which is eight more than the entire offense has put up.
Tom Brady has looked every bit of 45 years old at times. Nevertheless, Brady has passed for just 420 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception this season.
The strength of the offense so far has been the run game. Leonard Fournette has rushed for 192 yards and averages 4.3 yards a carry. Todd Bowles said in training camp that there would be more of a commitment to run the ball this season. After two games, the Bucs have run 63 running plays and attempted 36 passes.
Scouting The Green Bay Packers
The Bucs will face an old foe in Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon.
This is the first time these two teams have met since the NFC Championship game in 2021, with the Bucs winning the game 31-26.
The Packers bring their 1-1 record to Raymond James Stadium to establish an identity on offense after their number one receiver Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders.
With Aaron Rodgers signing his new contract and Adams wanting record money, there was no way the Packers could afford both players. So they cast their lots with Rodgers, and it remains to be seen how that will play out.
Tom Brady talked about Aaron Rodgers and some of the challenges that he presents.
Video: Tom Brady says Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is “an amazing player” and a tough opponent Sunday and also a fellow Californian, so there’s that. pic.twitter.com/vDvg0NB9oU — Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 22, 2022
The Packers will also bring their top-five running game to Tampa this Sunday. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon anchor the Packer running attack averaging 5.6 yards a carry.
Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, and Alan Lazard return to help out Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. The Packers also have two rookie receivers in Romeo Dubbs and Christian Watson.
The offense was out of synch in the opening weekend loss to Minnesota. That happens when you are trying to get new players to learn how to play together, and you don’t play your starters in the preseason. It can make for some ugly football.
The offensive line has done Rodgers no favors, as he has been sacked seven times in two games already. That is on pace for right around 60 sacks. But, of course, that doesn’t include the number of other hits that Rodgers will take.
Bucs Sign Cole Beasley
It’s been a busy week for the Bucs as they signed wide receiver Cole Beasley to the practice squad. Beasley is excellent at gaining separation on the underneath routes and can play a role similar to what Wes Welker and Julian Edelman did with Brady in New England.
Beasley has 550 catches in his career and a 71 percent catch percentage. With Mike Evans out on Sunday for the suspension and Julio Jones and Chris Godwin, not 100 percent, this was a move the Bucs had to make.
“I’ve been wanting to play with Brady for a long time, so it’s exciting for me. I’m excited for the opportunity and just ready to get back at it. You know, it’s a humbling experience kind of waiting this long. It’s the first time I’ve never been through a camp. So I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
The Beasley signing could mean the end of the road for Scotty Miller in Tampa. Last season, Miller did not have a great preseason and training camp this season.
Miller and Brady have not got that chemistry going that they had so well in the Super Bowl season of 2020.
If Jones and Godwin cannot go, the Bucs will likely go with Beasley, Gage, Perriman, Darden, and possibly Kaylon Geiger/Scotty Miller as their wide receiver group.
Chris Godwin has been ruled out and Julio Jones will be a game time decision.
Running back Gio Bernard and defensive linemen Akeim Hicks were both placed on IR. However, with Bernard not suiting up for the foreseeable future, Ke’Shawn Vaughan should be active on Sunday for the first time.
With Hicks out, that should mean more snaps for Patrick O’conner and Logan Hall.
Three Keys To A Buccaneer Win
-Get Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Rattled
The Buccaneers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and have ten sacks this season. Rodgers can lose his composure very quickly when the offense is struggling. He pouts, sits by himself, and sulks on the bench.
His body language exudes anything but confidence.
The Bucs need to hit him early and often to get him off his game.
-Bucs Offensive Line Must Continue To Keep Brady Upright
Donovan Smith was at practice on Thursday, which bodes well for him suiting up on Sunday. If Smith can’t go, Brandon Walton will start for the first time in his NFL career. Josh Wells suffered a calf injury against the Saints and is on IR. Everyone else appears to be healthy.
The offensive line has also been critical to the running game’s success early in the season. Look for Leonard Fournette to exploit the Packer defense and keeps those chains moving on offense.
-Get The Offense Going And Keep The Packer Defense On Their Hills
It has been a struggle for Brady and the Bucs offense to get going this season. The Bucs will again rely heavily on the running game with Evans, and Godwin, out for this game.
Red zone offense is an area that needs improvement. The Bucs are 1/4 in the red zone this season, and the offense seems to stall once they cross mid-field.
Third-down conversions are another area that needs some improvement. The Bucs are converting 32 percent on the season after leading the NFC with a 47.1 percent conversion percentage last season.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph should be active this week, which should help the Buccaneer’s pass offense.
The Packers never play well in Florida. In 2020, the Bucs beat the Packers 38-10 in a mid-October game. Last year in Jacksonville, the Packers played the New Orleans Saints, and Rodgers played one of the worst games of his career in the 38-3 loss.
Aaron Rodgers also seems to have some of the worst games of his career against the Buccaneers. Rodgers has eight touchdowns and nine interceptions against Tampa in his career. The chemistry with his receivers is not where it needs to be due to his not playing in the preseason; that looks and smells like a Buccaneer win.
I like the Bucs to win this game. The Buccaneer defense will be too much for the Packers. Look for the offense to have a breakout game as Tom Brady throws for three touchdown passes, and the Bucs win this game 28-10.