Photo by Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
TB12 is still not off to the start he probably wants.
Man, three straight weeks of loss predictions? I must be some kind of asshole or something.
I’ll get into my reasoning as to why I truly believe the Bucs will fall this weekend, but also, in my defense, for all the true Bucs fans out there who only care about results, if I’m predicting a loss, based on the first two weeks
of the season, then the Brady Bunch should win, right? So this is a good thing!
The truth is, the Bucs genuinely are fighting an uphill battle in their home opener. Tampa Bay is without its starting and backup left tackles. In the receiving corps, Mike Evans is suspended, Chris Godwin is out and Julio Jones is questionable. On the defensive side of the ball, Akiem Hicks is out. That’s almost a whole roster of injuries.
The Packers, meanwhile, are coming off a Sunday night drumming of the Chicago Bears in Week 2 and a tough opening day loss to Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay is a very intriguing team.
Defensively, it has one of the more complete and talented squads in football, with guys like Jaire Alexander, Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, and Preston Smith. Those guys get to face a pretty banged up Bucs offense which hasn’t hit a groove, and is averaging a measly one offensive TD per game through the first couple weeks. Plus, Brady is now without Evans, and left with newly-signed veteran Cole Beasley (who I’m sure will be hamming it up with fellow anti-vaxxer Aaron Rodgers before the game). Beasley’s role in this game will be something to watch as he hasn’t had a full week of practice to get familiar with the offensive game plan.
The good news for the Bucs is that the Packers might be just as limited offensively, with a receiver group lacking any real explosiveness and their All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari still questionable after suffering an ACL tear last year.
So while I think the Bucs will lose, it’s still early, and as always with these early-season games, the predictions are difficult to nail down (I’m 0-2, people). Plus, the Packers and Bucs are both very talented teams with a pair of all-time greats at the quarterback position.
Speaking of, TB12 is still not off to the start he probably wants, and while Aaron Rodgers isn’t necessarily setting the world on fire, Jameis Winston and an injured Dak Prescott, he is not. Rodgers can pick apart this Bucs secondary a little more easily than those other two guys, in spite of throwing to the likes of Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins.
I think it will be an evenly matched defensive battle, with Rodgers and company snagging a 20-13 victory at Raymond James Stadium.
All of that being said, given my track record, I’ll probably spend Sunday night writing an article about how the Bucs are starting off really well at 3-0.