Packers @ Bucs Preview
You have 10 seconds to name five players from the Buccaneers. GO! Name their quarterback. GO! Didn’t think so. To show how bad the Buccaneers are this season, you can’t even access their 2009 stats on their website. They must not want to inflict any more pain on their fans. On a good note, the Bucs will be decked out in the old Tampa orange Sunday. Nothing brings back the memories of bad Tampa teams like the old Bucs colors and logo. Remember legendary coach John McKay, when asked of his team’s execution? “I’m all for it.” Here’s a video from the 1976-77 seasons. Enjoy.
On to the present. Unfortunately, it’s becoming evident that Mike McCarthy has no control over this team. When Johnny Jolly was asked about his asinine head butt against the Vikings, he said, “It was a call they could have called either way. It is what it is. I play like that every game. It ain’t going to change from here.”
When asked about the play and whether or not he should have been benched, McCarthy’s answer was, “By benching somebody, you could be taking away from your defense.” WOW. I guess that answers the questions about our penalty problems. If the head coach isn’t going to require and enforce discipline on the field, fans might as well expect the normal 42 penalties a game. McCarthy is asking for as much discipline as he shows at the buffet table.
Keys to the game
1) A repeat of Cleveland. Tampa Bay is 28th in the league in rushing defense and total defense. We pounded the run against the Browns, we’ll do the same against the Bucs. Ryan Grant is averaging 4.1 yds per carry, and he should average that or more Sunday. This is also the perfect week to debut Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton at tackle. We’re going to need production from these two guys if we want to make the playoffs, and this will be a good warmup for the Cowboys and 49ers.
2) Execute in the Red Zone. The Packers are 21st in the NFL in RZ offense and 28th in RZ defense. The Buccaneers are 7th in RZ offense. Improvement will get us in the playoffs, status quo will knock us out of the running.
3) Continue to win the turnover battle. Green Bay is currently T1 in the NFL with the Eagles at +12. They have the least amount of turnovers in the league with 5. They should be able to feast on the 28th ranked offense in the league.
4) The Packers need to dominate the first quarter. Tampa is running out of chances to prevent an 0-16 season. They still have to play the Saints and Falcons twice, @ Miami, @ Carolina, @ Seattle, and home against the Jets. The line will be +10 or more in every game. They might think this is one of those games they have a chance to win. End those ideas early.
Prediction- Green Bay 38, Tampa Bay 10