The cards were stacked against the Bucs, and they couldn’t finesse their way out of a bad hand

The defense did a serviceable job, but the offense only mustered up a single TD in the loss to Green Bay.

click to enlarge Aaron Rodgers (L) and Tom Brady after the Green Bay Packers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sept. 25, 2022. - Photo via Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Photo via Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Aaron Rodgers (L) and Tom Brady after the Green Bay Packers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sept. 25, 2022.
On Sunday, 69,197 fans packed in to see a battle of the Bays, a record for the Bucs as far as attendance at Raymond James Stadium. But the Packers rained on the parade by coming out on top in the expected defensive battle that also saw two legendary quarterbacks hamstrung by receivers that, well, weren’t exactly up to snuff.

At the end, the Bucs offense had a chance for one of those Brady moments—and almost pulled through for a fun comeback—but a delay of game penalty on a 2-point conversion cost Tampa Bay five yards. The offense, fittingly considering how the whole game went, was unable to convert, leaving fans to swallow a 14-12 loss and start thinking about the impending Hurricane Ian that’ll surely have an effect on the Bay area this week.
Up until the final, and potential game-tying, drive, the matchup never really felt that close. The Bucs looked out of it offensively, and the defense tried its best, but NFL teams simply aren’t going to win very many games scoring a single offensive touchdown.

Brady didn’t look awful either; he did about as much as he could with what he was given. Wide receivers Breshad Perriman and Russell Gage each had fumbles that ruined otherwise productive drives, but the latter contributed otherwise, racking up 12 receptions for 87 yards and hauling in Tampa Bay’s lone touchdown.

The ground game never got going, as the team ran for 76 yards of total offense, with Leonard Fournette managing an inefficient 35 yards himself behind an offensive line that simply struggled to provide running lanes.
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Rogers’ first half was pretty productive and featured the team’s only scoring—and Green Bay really could have had three touchdowns if not for running back Aaron Jones fumbling inside the 10-yard line after a big hit from 347-pound defensive lineman Vita Vea. But the defense was able to get a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery on a Packers offense that looked pedestrian in the second half.

The last two quarters were incredibly uneventful until the final two minutes, with the Bucs managing a measly field goal and the Packers being shutout.

Neither side looked particularly sharp, but the Packers were unfortunately able to squeeze enough production out of their below-average receiving corps to score their two touchdowns.

It just wasn’t enough for the Bucs. When you’re missing the first first receivers on the depth chart and are on your third left tackle and backup center, there aren’t going to be very many victories in the win column. The cards were stacked against the Bucs, and they weren’t able to finesse their way out of a bad hand.

Worse, so far the Bucs have scored three offensive touchdowns in as many games. Not good.

A lot can be blamed on a lack of health in the receiving position and a banged up offensive line. But regardless of the reasoning, it needs to change quickly. The only problem is, there aren’t any viable solutions out there. Tampa Bay can’t sign anyone of note, and the trade market is a non-starter.

Unfortunately the Bucs are going to have to roll with the punches for now, and hope that the injury monster eases up soon.

Hopefully they can recover a bit next week and get some help from Mike Evans and Julio Jones, because boy do they need it.

@CTBrantley12

@RBLRSports
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