The Green Bay Packers stay undefeated, in overtime games, this season after a walk-off 26-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The rest of the season is a must-win for the Packers and they were able to get it done today, albeit in a very ugly fashion. A win is a win, however. Uncharacteristically, it was the defense that kept the Pack in the game, but rookie running back Jamaal Williams had a fantastic day on the ground. On 21 carries for 113 yards and touchdown, including a dominant drive in overtime, the Packers were able to get back to .500 for the season.
The Packers took the conservative approach in route to a big win against Tampa Bay. Fans are equally angry that McCarthy was too conservative, and that he didn’t give Jamaal Williams the ball enough. They also booed the team during their overtime game-winning touchdown drive if present at the stadium or called for benchings, and firings online. I doubt a Super Bowl gives these people what they crave since you know the last one didn’t.
Hundley clearly didn’t have his best game, but he led the team to points on their final two possessions. The bumpy road still got us to our destination. When backup quarterbacks keep your playoff hopes alive, they played a great game. Buy him a beer out of respect, like a good man.
I’m sure y’all woulda taken the win if Wisconsin beat the Buckeyes in the same fashion. Survive and advance baby! Go Pack go, I get to talk myself into caring about the Cleveland game, cheers.
Hunter Van Asten
Perhaps the most depressing part of the past six games without Aaron Rodgers is how the team around Brett Hundley has played. Not that they’ve played poorly, but that they’ve played better than they have in years. Multiple young, fresh running backs who are playing well, healthy and capable offensive line, a slew of quality receiving targets, and a serviceable though not stifling defense. The Packers look like a team that could be a legitimate threat, if only they had Aaron. Knowing this very well could’ve been a year in which the Packers snatched the No. 1 seed and forced the playoffs through Green Bay makes the ineptitude at quarterback that much harder to watch. But the season isn’t over yet, so let’s cling to the hope we have.
The biggest takeaway from the game should be the performance of running backs, Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. Williams pounded the rock all day (in truth, he deserved more than the 21 carries he got), and the team surely would not have made it to overtime without him. With the game on the line in OT, Jones showed the burst of speed he can provide by turning a shutdown run into a 20-yard walk off. Imagine what they could do if defenses feared the pass. If Rodgers comes back and the Packers slip into the playoffs, they could make some noise. It wasn’t a pretty game on Sunday, but it showed the team can’t be ruled out quite yet.
For weeks I have been clamoring for the Packers pass rush. Against Tampa Bay, the pass rush had itself a sack party. Recording a season-high seven sacks, Clay Matthews, Mike Daniels, Jake Ryan, Dean Lowry, and Kenny Clark recorded a sack. While the success is likely due to the numerous injuries for the offensive line of Tampa Bay, the defense will be able to build confidence after what they did to Jameis Winston and co. Hopefully, they can translate the performance today to next week against a Cleveland Browns team without star left tackle Joe Thomas.
Brett Hundley has had a roller coaster type season. He started off very shaky, then had great performances against Chicago and Pittsburgh, but today he seemed to return to the Hundley we saw against New Orleans, Detroit, and Baltimore. Only 84 pass yards against the league’s worst pass defense is absolutely horrendous, especially after showing what he is capable of. If not for the defense and Jamaal Williams, the Packers may have dropped their fourth in a row at home.
The Packers had some good areas on both sides of the ball. On offense, they were a powerhouse running the football. Jamaal Williams ran for 113 yards and a touchdown, while Hundley ran for 66 important yards and Aaron Jones ran for the game-winning touchdown. This was all excellent because Hundley did not play well when he was throwing the football. On defense the Packers did a great job pressuring Winston. The team had a total of 7 sacks with Matthews getting 2.5, Kenny Clark getting 2. Defensive end Dean Lowry had a big game collecting a sack and a fumble recovery, running it back for a touchdown. The special teams also blocked a punt which led to a touchdown on offense.
Passing the ball, Hundley was absolutely awful. He overthrew Geronimo Allison who was wide open for a touchdown specifically and he was overthrowing his other receivers all game. Once again, he doesn’t pull the trigger early enough which leads him to scramble and throw the ball away. It was not his game when he was passing the football. A lot of three and outs and predictable playcalling led the Buccaneers to really control the play clock throughout the entire game. They had the ball 11 minutes longer than Green Bay. They also couldn’t stop the run led by Peyton Barber as he had a big game. They had a big long drive which resulted in the go-ahead touchdown in the 4th quarter.