Stout Buccaneers defense spells trouble for Packers’ offense

·3 min read

The Green Bay Packers could use a “get right” game offensively. However, that is unlikely to come this week against one of the best defenses in the league.

“You could argue they could be the best defense in the National Football League,” head coach Matt LaFleur said of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday.

Through two games, the Buccaneers have allowed just 13 points. That could be troublesome for the Packers, who are scoring just 17 points per game. Not just stingy on the scoreboard, this Tampa Bay defense ranks fifth in yards allowed per game. Green Bay fairs a little better at moving the ball, averaging 376 yards of total offense (11th). Last week, they found success on the ground, rushing for 202 yards. Perhaps, pounding the rock should be a point of emphasis for the second straight week, but that is easier said than done.

Tampa Bay’s head coach Todd Bowles, who served as the team’s defensive coordinator 2019-2021, demands perfection from his defense. Bowles was not pleased with the late touchdown they allowed last week against the New Orleans Saints. Keep in mind, this was after surrendering just three points in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

“We shouldn’t have given up that (touchdown). We had 3¾ quarters worth of good work, and we lapsed at the end. We have to learn how to finish out ballgames,” Bowles said.

This Buccaneers defense might be even better than the one that won a Super Bowl after eliminating the Packers in the 2020 NFC Championship Game. However, Green Bay’s offense is not as good as it was back then.

A lot can change over the course of a season, but the Packers’ offense has struggled a bit coming out of the gate. Protection issues have led to seven sacks already against quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay is also minus two in turnover differential, even though they have been one of the top teams in this department under LaFleur.

Unfortunately, sacks and turnovers are a specialty for Tampa Bay.

“They definitely like to pressure quite a bit, and then they do a great job of getting the ball out,” LaFleur said. “They’re one of the best in the business…always punching at the ball…and the guys in the secondary have great ball skills, so that creates another problem.”

The Buccaneers currently lead the NFL with 10 sacks. They have also created six turnovers, tied for third behind the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams.

Great coaching mixed with great players has created a dominant recipe. By all means, this is a player-led defense with two stud linebackers in Devin White and Lavonte David. Meanwhile, Shaquille Barrett and Vita Vea have combined for 16 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Then, you can’t forget about one of the best secondaries in the league, led by a corner duo of Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis, who are back by one of the best safety trios in the league thanks to Mike Edwards, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Logan Ryan.

The Packers will want to avoid falling to 1-2, but it won’t be easy going up against a defense that seemingly has no weakness.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire