By Leo Haggerty


The Buccaneers recorded a 38-10 shellacking of the Packers at Raymond James Stadium last Sunday.  Tampa Bay moved to 4-2 on the campaign and Green Bay suffered its first loss after opening the 2020 season with four victories.

Now, if you had watched the first 15 minutes and went out to cut the grass, you’re probably wondering what happened.  Well, let me fill you in.

The Pack took the opening kickoff and put the first score on the board at the 10:27 mark of the opening period.  The Green & Gold took 4:33 to march 54 yards in 10 plays.  K Mason Crosby was true from 39 yards out to give the Packers a 3-0 lead.

Green Bay increased its margin with 48 seconds left in the first quarter.  RB Aaron Jones burrowed in from a yard out to cap an 11 play drive that took 7:32 to traverse 80 yards.  Crosby converted the PAT and the Packers went up 10-zip and it wasn’t looking good for the Pewter Pirates.

That all changed in the second quarter when the Buccaneers defense turned up the heat.  To say they were successful was an understatement.

The Pewter Pirates got on the scoreboard with 12:42 left in the second period when the defense provided a Pick-6.  CB Jamel Dean stepped in front of Packers WR Davante Adams and took the pigskin 32 yards to the house.  K Ryan Succop was good with the extra point and the Green Bay lead was cut to 10-7.

Tampa Bay took the lead for good just a 1:40 later.  Again it was with the help of the defense.

GB QB Aaron Rodgers tried again to find Adams on a quick slant but Bucs CB Carlton Davis deflected the pass into the arms of S Mike Edwards.  #32 returned the interception 37 yards to the Packers 2 yard line.

From there, it only took the Buccaneers one play to convert the turnover into points.  RB Ronald Jones II did the honors and Succop split the uprights to put Tampa Bay up 14-10.

I asked Dean how important the pass rush and the blitz schemes were to their success in the secondary today against an experienced veteran signal caller.  He replied, “Oh, that was very important.  It made our job that much easier.  Knowing that all we had to defend was first move.  Having that pass rush is lovely”

The Pewter Pirates scored again with 4:35 left in the first half.  QB Tom Brady found rookie WR Tyler Johnson in the back left corner of the end zone to cap an 11 play drive that took 6:05 to go 65 yards.  Again, Succop converted the PAT and the Buccaneers increased their margin to 21-10.

But Tampa Bay wasn’t done.  With 62 ticks left before halftime, Brady found his old buddy TE Rob Gronkowski.  #87 made a great adjustment on a fade route to, again, the back left corner of the end zone.  It only took 1:40 seconds to go 62 yards in seven plays and Succop’s kick culminated a 28 point 2nd quarter explosion by the Bucs.  Both teams went to the locker room with the Buccaneers leading 28-10.

The Bucs picked up where they left off immediately after intermission.  After taking the second kickoff, the Bucs went 43 yards in six plays that took 2:24 of clock time that culminated when Succop hit a 50 yard field goal at 12:14.  That moved the Tampa Bay lead to 31-10.

The Bucs concluded the scoring 2:40 left in the third quarter.  Jones capped a seven play drive that went 85 yards in seven plays with a one yard burst.  Succop was good again with the PAT to make the final arithmetic 38-10.

The real story of the game was the Tampa Bay defense.  DC Todd Bowles dialed up a myriad of blitzes and pressures that effected Rogers.  #12 was constantly harassed and it led to a 16-of-35 for 160 yards with no TDs plus 2 INTs day.  Advantage, Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay now get ready to take on their former HC Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night.  Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 at an empty Allegiant Stadium in Sin City.

How will the Pewter Pirates do in a dome with no fans in attendance?  Only way to find out is to gather around the TV and check it out.  See you then.