Green Bay Packers: 3 bold predictions for Tampa Bay Buccaneers showdown with Tom Brady
The matchup on Sunday between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a very juicy one. Obviously, the individual matchup between arguably the two greatest quarterbacks of all time in Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will steal headlines. However, both teams are dealing with injuries and suspensions.
Tampa will be without Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and possibly Julio Jones too, who are both dealing with injuries. The Packers are still waiting on All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari, and receivers Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, and Christian Watson were all on the injury report Friday.
This could be a defensive showdown against all-time great signal-callers. With that said, here are three bold predictions for Green Bay when they face Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon.
Without potentially his top three wide receivers on the field, Tom Brady is going to have a difficult time against a talented Green Bay secondary. There is nothing Brady hasn’t seen. But without maybe the best trio of receivers in the league, he is going to have a very trying day.
Last week against Chicago, the Packers only gave up seven completions (fewest since December 4th, 2005). Last season, they finished tied for fourth in interceptions (18). Green Bay has an arsenal of cornerbacks in All-Pro Jaire Alexander, standout slot defender Rasul Douglas, and talented NFL sophomore Eric Stokes.
This is one of the games that these guys had circled on the schedule because they were prepared to go against the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones. Now, only one of those three options may be available for Brady, and Co. Green Bay should give Brady fits and create turnovers if they play up to their capabilities. Remember, the Packers did force three interceptions in the second half of the NFC Championship game two seasons ago, so Brady doing so again isn’t out of the question.
So far this season, Romeo Doubs has six catches for 64 yards in two games as a rookie. He has mostly been used on wide receiver screens and plays designed not to go very far. Also, Tampa Bay’s defense is tied for second in turnovers with six. All signs point to Doubs possibly having a rough Sunday afternoon.
However, Green Bay could be missing some of their own receivers on Sunday, with Sammy Watkins already ruled out. Doubs is also very talented. He took a screen pass on 2nd and 28 for 20 yards to set up a manageable third down in Week 2. The team would score a touchdown a few plays later. Doubs is both tall and shifty. He has soft hands and takes long strides. He has all the characteristics to be great.
So far this season, when he has been given opportunities, he has taken advantage of them. Look for No. 87 to have a big day, including the first 100-yard performance of his NFL career, if Aaron Rodgers looks his way a lot.
In two games, Kenny Clark has just five tackles and one tackle for loss. Teams have put an emphasis on preventing the two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle from making any sort of highlight reel plays. Clark is due for a big performance.
Green Bay will have to create pressure in order to beat Brady and the Bucs. Tampa’s offensive line is banged up. Most notably, Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen has been out for a while with a knee injury. With Clark’s hunger and power going up against a new offensive line and immobile quarterback, No. 97 should have a big-time performance on Sunday. We’re predicting three sacks from the big fella.