SnotapWI Packers Preview Game 5: Green Bay at Tampa Bay
Years ago, they called this matchup the ‘Battle of the Bays.’ This was a real rivalry in the 90s and 00s when Tampa and Green Bay were both in the NFC Central. These were the two best teams in that division for years. Who can forget the iconic moment between Warren Sapp and Mike Sherman “PUT A JERSEY ON!” commentary. The rivalry could be renewed here this weekend with Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady as this might not be the first matchup of the NFL season. Can Green Bay keep their undefeated alive? Or will the Tampa Bay hype train finally start?
STORYLINES TO WATCH
1. Yes, there is somewhat of a rivalry between these quarterbacks: We’ve talked about it a lot this week and yes, this will be what FOX promotes heading into the game at 3:25p. Rodgers or Brady will not be lining up at corner though so quarterback rivalries are kinda weird in general. If I had to handicap on who would perform better, it would be Rodgers. I like the matchup with Tampa’s young secondary plus the Packers’ pass rush could be a real issue for Brady.
2. Packers’ pass rush is going to eat – This could be a game where the pass rush comes up huge for the Packers. Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs are both rookies which is a bad thing against guys like Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and others. This is the day for Preston to step up. It’s been a rough year thus far, and this could be one he shines. It also helps Green Bay that Kenny Clark will be back in action.
3. Will Kevin King be able to go? – Kevin King has not practiced this week with a quadriceps injury. If I recall, King has hurt this quad in the past so this is a recurring issue. Not having him out there against Mike Evans would be a huge issue. Evans is battling an ankle injury so maybe this is a moot point. Yet not having King for Evans would be an issue.
4. Adams is going to have a major game – Last year, Davante Adams complained about his touches against Denver then he got the ball 13 times in the first half. Adams was a bit of a squeaky wheel two weeks ago about not playing. I have a feeling he is going to get fed early and often. And if Carlton Davis cannot go for Tampa, look out. This could be a massive game for Adams.
5. Mike Pettine is the one guy who has seen Brady the most – Mike Pettine and Brady have actual history against each other. They’ve played each other nine times when Pettine was the Jets defensive coordinator then he had a cup of coffee with the Bills. The results are varied. But Pettine has gotten Brady’s number a couple of times. In those years, he was 3-6 with a playoff win. We’ll see if he dials it up against Brady.
This feels more low-scoring than we should expect to be. People want fireworks and I don’t think they’re going to happen here. Rodgers and the Packers offense will find some holes though leading the Packers to yet another victory. And the Packers’ defense will start to get a little buzz. Packers 27 Buccaneers 17