Photos from the second half of Buccaneers vs. Packers at Raymond James Stadium.
S Bradley McDougald led the team in tackles for the second straight week, this time racking up nine of them, including eight solo stops, while also breaking up an Aaron Rodgers pass in the fourth quarter. McDougald delivered a series of hard hits and showed no hesitation to hit big Green Bay running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks head on. Green Bay came into the game leading the league in passing plays of over 40 yards but had a long of just 30 on Sunday as McDougald and the Bucs' defense forced the Packers' high-powered offense to fight for every yard and point.
Play of the Game**
In a game in which, as mentioned above, Green Bay's big-play passing attack rarely got the ball downfield, Lacy still gave the Packers the one bit of long-range scoring they needed. After Tampa Bay's defense had held the visitors scoreless on their first three drives, Lacy took a handoff going left from just past midfield, bounced off a flying tackle attempt by LB Danny Lansanah and ran past the incoming McDougald. Lacy found an open sideline and hit the end zone almost untouched (McDougald's desperation dive inside the 10 made contact with the runner's feet but didn't trip him up). The Packers went up, 7-0, and never trailed in the game.
In a perfect world (for the Buccaneers), it would have been Tampa Bay's goal-line stand in the third quarter, which kept them within one score and gave the defense some momentum. Three plays later, QB Josh McCown converted a third-and-nine from the two-yard line with his best pass of the day, a laser of a 15-yard sideline strike to WR Mike Evans just over the hands of a Packer defender. The Bucs had a chance to extend the drive for points or at least to significantly flip field position, but on third-and-four from the 23 McCown was sacked by DE Mike Neal, who looped into the backfield from the quarterback's blind side almost untouched. The Bucs had to punt from their 14 and the Packers took the ensuing possession 56 yards for the field goal that put them up by two scores. It was Neal's sack that put Green Bay back in charge after the Bucs' goal-line stand.
It Was Over WhenAaron Rodgers threw a dart to Jordy Nelson on a nearly-indefensible quick slant from the one-yard line with three minutes left in the game. The Bucs were halfway home on a second goal-line stand before Nelson slid to the turf with the ball in the end zone. Had the Bucs held, Green Bay likely would have kicked a field goal to make it 16-3, which would have technically still been a two-score game. Scoring twice within three minutes would have been a very tall task for the Buccaneers' offense, but a three-score deficit made it close to impossible.