Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history – and arguably the greatest winner in sports history.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the best midfielders of his generation.
However, these two icons rarely meet.
When Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers traveled to meet the Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, it was the fifth time these two future Hall of Famers had stepped out.
Rodgers won their first meet in 2014, but Brady has held the last three matches – including the 2020 NFC Championship game.
Despite this, Rodgers and the Packers beat Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday. On a day when both defenses dominated, Green Bay did enough in attack early, then held on to a 14-12 win.
The Packers and Buccaneers are now 2-1 in the youth season.
Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly from Green Bay’s win.
dominant defense: Brady was without his top three receivers – Mike Evans (suspensioner), Chris Goodwin (hamstring), and Julio Jones (knee).
However, Green Bay’s defense was very impressive holding the Buccaneers to 285 total yards and 4.8 yards per game.
Green Bay forced two senses and recovered both of them. The Packers also got two nosepiece bags from Kenny Clark and one from outside quarterback Rashaan Gary.
The Buccaneers drove 89 yards in the final minutes for a touchdown that pulled them within 14-12. Despite this, in a two-point conversion, Tampa Bay trailed in a game penalty that pushed the ball to the seven.
Brady attempted to hit Russell Gage in the right corner of the end zone in order to equalize. But Green Bay full back de Funder Campbell knocked the ball off and the Packers won.
He sold you: Nearly 21 full months after David Bakhtiari ruptured his ACL, he’s back in his familiar left position.
Bakhtiari played the opening series, then split time with Josh Nijman the rest of the way.
When Bakhtiari tore up the AFC Champions League on December 31, 2020, it was arguably the best left-wing intervention in the NFL. That season, Pro Football Focus gave Bakhtiari a pass blocking score of 91.6, which was No. 1 among offensive tackles.
Bakhtiari also had his best season when it came to blocking runs. PFF
Bakhtiari has had at least three surgeries on his knee since that injury. And after playing 27 shots in Week 18 last year against Detroit, Bakhtiari has never played again in a game.
That brutal streak ended Sunday, which should be massive news for Green Bay’s offensive line going forward.
Romeo Dobbs: Green Bay’s rookie, fourth-round player wide was pushed into an expanded role after Sammy Watkins (hamstring) went to the injured reserve Saturday and Christian Watson (hamstring) was unable to play.
The Doubs finished high on eight receptions for 73 yards and the first touchdown of his career. Doubs picked up all eight passes thrown in his direction, and in the players’ opening touchdown drive, he had three passes for 35 yards and a point.
This and that: Keisean Nixon forced a fumble and dropped a kick at the 1-yard line. …Rodgers started a game of 15 of 16 for 171 yards and two touchdowns without interceptions. He finished the first half with a midfielder rating of 143.3. … Wide Packing player Allen Lazard reclaimed a side kick 13 seconds before the end of the match. … Campbell finished 14 tackles, a losing tackle and a defensive pass.
The Packers were allowed to land on Minnesota and Chicago in their opening command of the game in the first two weeks. Tampa Bay then started Sunday’s game with a 10-play, 48-yard sprint that led to a Ryan Sukop field goal.
Green Bay’s defense was gritty for most of the match. But the early struggles of the packers need to be corrected.
ball security: The Packers, 14-3, advanced late in the second quarter and hit Tampa Bay’s 5-yard line.
On the third goal, Aaron Jones snapped an inward slash and was making his way toward the end zone. Jones reached the 2-yard line, then was drilled by a pirate nose tackle Vita Via.
Jones fumbled and Safety recovered Logan Ryan in the finish zone.
Instead of going up by at least 14, Green Bay’s lead remained at 11.
This and that: Packers rookie Jayer Alexander left in the first quarter with a thigh injury and hasn’t come back. … Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady completed 13 of 14 passes in the first half. …the Cricketers ran the ball 25 times for just 67 yards, averaging 2.7 yards per carry.
The second half of the offense: Green Bay’s attack in the second half was awful.
The Packers’ seven possessions went into the second half from penalty, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, punt.
After Green Bay’s head coach/playing player Matt LaFleur outmaneuvered the Tampa Bay defense crew in the first half, Lafleur’s offensive could do nothing in the second half.
the Fox: Greg Olsen is one of television’s best young analysts. But his bosses at FOX don’t know if they think viewers are interested in seeing the “sweat cam” focused on Olsen.
It was 90 degrees in Tampa on Sunday. People were warm. We’ve got it.
But viewers certainly didn’t need to repeatedly show just how well Olsen’s jersey held up in the humid Tampa Bay temperatures.