TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-5) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-0)
Sunday, 1:00 P.M. ET, FOX, Direct TV (711), Sirius (TB 136, GB 86)
To see if the Packers can beat the odds against a perfect season. Green Bay will lose someday to some team. Why not Tampa Bay? There is no incentive for the Packers to look past the Buccaneers. The 8-1 49ers would love to snatch playoff home field advantage. That means no rest for the Packers starters.
The young Buccaneers are learning a tough lesson about resting on your laurels. Their 10-6 finish last season left them thinking they were ready to challenge NFL powerhouses. But, they couldn’t get past Atlanta and New Orleans last season. Now, they’ve gone 1-4 against juggernauts 49ers, Saints, Bears and Texans. Up next, the Super Bowl champs.
What To Watch
The Buccaneers have a middle of the pack offense that suffered in RB LeGarrette Blount’s absence. The go away from the ground game when they fall behind, even early in games. Blount had 10 carries in the 37-9 loss to the Texans. Tampa Bay’s real concern is its defense that allows over 400 yards per game. That is a poor match-up to the Packers’ fourth-ranked offense. The Bucs signed Albert Haynesworth to shore up its injury-riddled defensive line. Haynesworth disappeared in the Patriots defensive scheme. That’s why the Pats released him. By now, everyone should know that the Titans made Haynesworth great, not the other way around.
Is there a superlative that has not been said about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers? Of all the gaudy stats produced by the NFL’s highest scoring team, the most impressive is this one: the Packers convert 50 percent of their third-down attempts. As MC Hammer said of the Addams Family, “They go where they wanna go.” Only the Packers can beat the Packers. Green Bay is favored by 14.5.
Who Will Win
This figures to be a blowout. Green Bay