Sunday, November 20, 2011
Wrap-up: Packers 35, Buccaneers 26
By Pat Yasinskas
Thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-26 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
What it means: This time, you can’t question the Bucs’ effort or say they were quiet. A week after all those things were said many times in an embarrassing loss, the Bucs went into one of the NFL’s toughest venues and played with plenty of heart. They had the Packers on the ropes most of the game, but couldn’t pull it off in the end. No shame in that, and coach Raheem Morris won't have to talk about a lack of effort this week. But the Bucs are now 4-6. They have to get extremely hot the rest of the season to have any shot at the playoffs.
What I liked: Tampa Bay’s offense. It looked better than it has most of the season because there was balance. LeGarrette Blount ran for 107 yards, including a spectacular touchdown run (if you haven’t seen it, be sure to catch the replay), and Josh Freeman threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns. But Freeman also was intercepted twice. That gives him 15 for the season. He was intercepted only six times all of last season.
What I didn’t like: You couldn’t really have expected Tampa Bay’s defense to go into Green Bay and shut down Aaron Rodgers. Tampa Bay’s defensive talent just isn’t that good. But the Bucs played defense about as well as they could for a large chunk of the game. Still, a few defensive penalties in the fourth quarter were very costly.
What’s next: The Bucs play at Tennessee next Sunday.