Brady vs Rogers: part 5. This could be the last time we see these two all-time great go head-to-head as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon. The Bucs come in with a record of 2-0 while the Packers are 1-1. Tom Brady is 3-1 in his career versus Aaron Rodgers, and the Bucs have won the last two meetings, both with Brady under center. This Sunday afternoon game at Raymond James Stadium is listed as a pick 'em.
Packers tame the BearsUnless they meet each other in the playoffs, which is entirely possibly, this could be the last time we get to see two all-time great go head-to-head -- Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. For that reason alone this game is a must-watch. Brady and Rodgers have met 4 times as starters, with Brady winning 3 of them -- two with the Bucs. The Packers come into this game at 1-1 after beating the Bears 27-10 last weekend. They lost the opener to the Vikings in Minnesota 23-7. Rodgers is still adjusting to life without Davante Adams. Against the Bears, he was 19 of 35 for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. He seemed to click with Sammy Watkins, who had 3 catches for 93 yards -- we'll see if that continues.
But the real story of the game was the rushing attack. Aaron Jones rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and also caught 3 passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. And his running mate AJ Dillon was not too shabby either with 61 rushing yards. This team has turned into one that is led by their running attack -- which is not typical of a team with Aaron Rodgers. The [packers completely dominated in all phases, but take it with a grain of salt. The Bears are not a very good football team. The Packers got smoked in their opener at Minnesota, so we're not quite sure what the Packers are yet. That's not unusual, as they typically start slow.
But a big issue here is injuries and illnesses are running rampant for the Packers. Watkins, Allen Lazard, Christian Watson, and Randall Cobb are all questionable, as is tight end Mercedes Lewis and kicker Mason Crosby.
Tempers flare in Bucs winThe Packers aren't the only ones with a slew of injuries. The Bucs also have a lot of players banged up, including receivers Brent Perriman, Russell Gage, and Julio Jones -- all of whom are questionable. Then they have Chris Godwin, who is out, and Mike Evans, who is suspended. Also, Leonard Fournette is questionable. The receiver ranks re so thin, they brought in Cole Beasley this week and he could get a lot of looks. Oh yeah, Brady banged up his finger. He is probable, but reports say he was bothered by it at practice this week. Also, starting cornerback Carlton Davis is questionable, as is defensive lineman Akiem Hicks.
Tom Brady throws his tablet in frustration. pic.twitter.com/d6QTX8dRyV— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 18, 2022
So, there are obviously concerns on both teams., The Bucs come into this game with a record of 2-0. Last week they took care of business against the Saints, winning 20-10. But it wasn't easy. Brady was frustrated by the Saints and threw a nutty on the sidelines, a couple of times, throwing a helmet and a tablet. He also was barking with Saints defenders, and Mike Evans came on in his defense and promptly got tossed from the game and suspended for one game -- this one. So there are obviously lots of frustrations here in Tampa Bay. The game was tied at 3-3 after three quarters, but then the Bucs finally got going in the fourth, scoring 17 points to win. Brady was a pedestrian 18 of 34 for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Brady was obviously embarrassed by last week's game and his performance -- on and off the field. He apologized for throwing the tablet and called the fight-marred game ugly. I fully expect him to regroup here and put on a more Brady-esque performance in a big game against his rival. Rodgers should bring out the best in Brady. Both of these teams are saddled with injuries, but the Bucs have a few advantages. One, they are home. Two, the Packers' strength has been the run game and the Bucs are among the best run stoppers in the league. Normally, Rodgers would say, fine, I'll start chucking, but with a decimated, and not very good to begin wit, receiving corps, I don't think he can. It should be a close, ugly game, but I like Brady to beat R0dgers again. Take the Bucs.
Full-Game Total Pick
The total here is set low, but it is not low enough. Both of these teams have struggled offensively this season -- due to injuries, mainly for the Bucs, and lack of weapons for the Packers. Tampa Bay only averages 19 points per game while the Packers average 17. Add in all the injuries on the offensive side of the ball and the fact that these are two top 10 defenses, and you have a low-scoring game. I don't think we'll see either of these teams break 20. The fact that the Bucs have one of the best run defenses in the NFL should help them keep Jones and Dillon at bay -- and Rodgers doesn't have the weapons in the passing game to hurt them. Brady will pull this out late at home -- as he so often has, but the game will be a slog. Take the under.