Breaking Down Packers’ Offense, Defense and Special Teams After Win vs. Bucs | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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Breaking Down Packers’ Offense, Defense and Special Teams After Win vs. Bucs

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    AP Photo/Jason Behnken

    Two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history were on the same field Sunday, as Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers went on the road to face Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite the matchup featuring a pair of future Hall of Fame QBs, the game turned out to be a defensive battle.

    After building an 11-point lead by halftime, the Packers held off a late charge from the Buccaneers to come away with a 14-12 victory at Raymond James Stadium. Rodgers threw for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both coming in the first half.

    Tampa Bay cut Green Bay’s lead to two points on Brady’s 1-yard TD pass to Russell Gage with 14 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. However, the Bucs’ two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game was unsuccessful, as linebacker De’Vondre Campbell tipped a Brady pass that was intended for Gage.

    Here are three takeaways from the Packers’ Week 3 win.

Doubs Emerged as a Solid Receiving Option

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    Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

    Green Bay has been looking for some of its young, inexperienced wide receivers to step up early in the season. And that’s exactly what rookie Romeo Doubs did during his third career NFL game on Sunday.

    Over the first two weeks, Doubs had only six catches for 64 yards. But the 22-year-old out of Nevada was much more involved in Week 3, as he had eight receptions for 73 yards in the victory over the Bucs. He also scored his first touchdown on a 5-yard pass from Rodgers in the first quarter, giving the Packers a 7-3 lead they never relinquished.

    “We called some plays for him and he made nice catches,” Rodgers said of Doubs during a postgame press conference. “The thing about Romeo that gives you confidence is the majority of the time he catches the ball with his hands.”

    Doubs got more chances because Green Bay’s receiving corps was without Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson, both of whom were out due to hamstring injuries. Doubs capitalized on the opportunity, proving he should likely continue to get a decent number of passes coming his way in the weeks to come.

The Defense Stepped Up with a Top Contributor Out

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    Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

    The first time Green Bay’s defense was on the field Sunday, it lost one of its top players. Jaire Alexander, a Pro Bowl cornerback, exited in the first quarter with a groin injury and never returned, leaving the Packers’ secondary shorthanded.

    That didn’t stop the unit from having an impressive performance. Green Bay forced two turnovers (a pair of fumble recoveries) and held Tampa Bay to 285 total yards, including only 34 on the ground. Until the Buccaneers got into the end zone in the final minute, they had been held to a pair of Ryan Succop field goals to that point.

    It’s important to note that the Bucs were without wide receivers Mike Evans (suspension), Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee). But the Packers didn’t let a Brady-led offense beat them, so it was still a strong feat.

    “We talked about earlier this year, we were going to have to win games a lot of different ways. This is one of them,” Green Bay defensive lineman Kenny Clark said, per Wes Hodkiewicz of the team’s official site. “It was a defensive game. We beat them 14-12. In the past, we never really won games like this. It’s just good to see us making that turnaround and able to win games like this.”

    The Packers will face some high-powered offenses later in the season, so it could be important that their defense is beginning to build confidence now, as that could help them with those more challenging matchups.

O’Donnell Made a Huge Impact on Special Teams

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    AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

    Punters can often be overlooked, even though they fill a crucial role on special teams. But it’s important to not ignore the performance of Green Bay’s Pat O’Donnell, who was instrumental in Sunday’s victory.

    O’Donnell punted seven times against the Buccaneers and pinned them inside their own 20-yard line on five of them. His longest punt was a booming 63-yard kick, and the 31-year-old averaged 48.4 yards per punt in the contest.

    Because Tampa Bay was often starting deep in its own territory, its offense couldn’t get going. The Bucs punted six times themselves, four of which came following three-and-outs.

    “That was the story of the game—this game was won by our defense and on special teams,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said, per Mike Spofford of the team’s official site. “That was the difference for us.”

    And it was a showing that likely wouldn’t have been possible without O’Donnell’s efforts.

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