GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - As the Green Bay Packers (5-6) prepare to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7), it’s time to get ready for kick with Dave Schroeder’s ‘Fast 5 Pack Facts.’
#1 Playoff aspirations: The Packers most feasible and easiest to obtain path to the playoffs includes the following:
1. Win out.
2. DET must lose 1 of its 4 games before the finale against Green Bay
3. CAR must lose 2 of its 4 games outside the Green Bay matchup
4. SEA must lose twice
Of course the Packers could make the playoffs via a different route (ATL or NOLA losing at least 3, or some other scenarios), but this is the path that including the fewest variables outside the Packers’ control.
#2 Rodgers’ Big Birthday: Aaron Rodgers celebrated his 34th birthday Saturday by returning to practice. He cannot return to the playing field for 2 more weeks. Week 15 at Carolina is the earliest Rodgers could return from Injured Reserve and play. He also must get good news on x-rays to clear his return. As far as we know, no scans have taken place as of yet.
#3 Tampa Bay’s Terrible Defense: The Bucs rank dead last in total defense, pass defense, third down defense, and sacks. The Tampa pass rush has gotten home only 15 times in 11 games. The Bucs are a sight for sore eyes as Green Bay has played top-3 pass defenses the last 2 weeks.
#4 Good Hundley, Bad Hundley: Brett Hundley played remarkably well against Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense last week, throwing for 3 TD and 0 INT. This, of course, came a week after throwing for 0 TD and 3 INT. The key will be to build on last week’s success and not regress.
#5 Defending Evans: Bucs WR Mike Evans is 6’5” has 31 TD is his 4 NFL seasons for a reason. QB Jameis Winston (who returns from injury this week) loves throwing jump balls for the tall target. The Packers very own tall target, 6’6” Michael Clark was activated from the Practice Squad today as RB Ty Montgomery was placed on Injured Reserve.
Prediction: Packers 35, Buccaneers 25
As always, tune in to Action 2 News at 5:30 & 10:00 + Sunday Sports Night Cover 2 at 10:35. Offensive lineman Lane Taylor will join us in studio to break down the game this week.