Packers prepare for Bucs’ #1 scoring defense

Speed and taking the ball away define that defense
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Devin White (45) celebrates after picking up a fumble by Green Bay...
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Devin White (45) celebrates after picking up a fumble by Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones (33) after being hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jordan Whitehead (33) during the second half of the NFC championship NFL football game in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021.(Mike Roemer | AP)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:48 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - David Bakhtiari did not practice today and Matt LaFleur says he has no idea if his All-Pro left tackle can return to play in Tampa Bay on Sunday.

But the Packers could sure use Bakhtiari. Yosh Nijman has filled in admirably, but the Buccaneers boast the NFL’s #1 scoring defense, giving up only 1 touchdown so far this season. And that one came in garbage time last week. Tampa Bay did not surrender a touchdown the first 117 minutes of the season while taking the ball away 6 times.

Speed and taking the ball away define that defense.

“Their defense is fantastic,” Aaron Rodgers said. “They have 2 great guys inside, they have a great front, they have a really solid great back end, and a great guy calling it. Recipe for a lot of potential of stopping people consistently. They have been doing that this season. I believe they are 1st in sacks and 13 points total given up.”

“You can definitely see their speed and aggressiveness,” said coach Matt LaFleur. “They definitely like to pressure quite a bit and then they do a great job getting the ball out. Always punching at the ball. The guys in the secondary have really good ball skills, so that creates another problem.”

On the other side of the coin, the Packers defense knows it has to show up early in Tampa Bay to have success. They have surrendered opening-drive touchdowns each of the first two weeks this year. They must start much faster against Tom Brady.

And while there have been early-game struggles for that unit, it may surprise you to learn that the Packers defense has been near the top of the NFL in 3-and-outs forced. they have faced 19 opponent drives this season and 9 times they have not given up a single first down.