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The Good, Bad And Ugly From The Green Bay Packers’ Loss To The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Green Bay Packers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) had a miserable performance in a loss to Tampa Bay Sunday.

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The Green Bay Packers are no longer the class of the NFC.

Heck, they’re not even the class of the NFC North.

Host Tampa Bay routed the Packers, 38-10, Sunday evening throwing some chaos into the conference standings.

Green Bay fell to 4-1, and for the first time this year, it doesn’t lead its own division. Chicago, which defeated Carolina, improved to 5-1 and has a ½-game lead in the division over the Packers.

Seattle (5-0) is now the last undefeated team in the conference and holds the NFC’s No. 1 seed. The Packers, meanwhile, slipped into a tie with the Los Angeles Rams (4-1) for the No. 5 seed in the NFC.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly from Green Bay’s defeat. For obvious reasons, we’ll begin with the ugly.

THE UGLY

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AARON RODGERS: Green Bay’s quarterback entered Week 6 without an interception in 139 pass attempts this season. Then shockingly, Rodgers threw two interceptions in three passes and a 10-0 Packers’ lead turned into a 14-10 deficit.

On the first, Tampa Bay safety Jamel Dean jumped an out route by Davante Adams and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. It was just the third time in Rodgers’ illustrious career that he’d thrown a pick-six.

Two passes later, Rodgers tried to force a pass to Adams, who was running a slant route. Tampa Bay standout cornerback Carlton Davis deflected the pass, which was intercepted by Mike Edwards.

That marked just the fourth time in Rodgers’ career that he’d thrown two interceptions in the same quarter.

Edwards returned the pick 37 yards to the Green Bay 2-yard line, and on the next play Ronald Jones crashed in for a touchdown. That gave Tampa Bay a 14-10 lead, and the Buccaneers never trailed again.

Rodgers finished the game with a miserable quarterback rating of 35.4. He completed just 16-of-35 passes for 160 yards with no touchdown passes and two interceptions.

BIG GAME AARON? NOT QUITE: One of the reasons Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst selected Jordan Love in the first round of April’s draft is that Aaron Rodgers has been shockingly bad in big games since winning the Super Bowl in 2010.

For example, Rodgers has been to four NFC Championship Games in his career and is just 1-3 in those contests. His passer rating the first two were 55.4 and 55.8. In the next two, Green Bay didn’t score a single point the first half and found themselves trailing Atlanta, 24-0, in 2016 and in a 27-0 hole against San Francisco in 2019.

In addition to struggling in big games, Rodgers has rarely been able to bring his team back from a large deficit. Since becoming a starter in 2008, Rodgers is 0-9 when facing a halftime deficit of 18 points, or more.

Sunday’s contest against Tampa Bay could have enormous postseason ramifications. It was also the latest example of Rodgers vanishing in a big game.

DEFENSELESS: Tampa Bay scored on four straight offensive possessions in the middle of the game to build a 31-10 lead.

After a short touchdown run by Ronald Jones gave the Buccaneers a 14-10 lead, Tom Brady threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Johnson, who whipped overmatched cornerback Josh Jackson. That capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive.

On the Buccaneers’ next possession, Rob Gronkowski smoked safety Adrian Amos and hauled in a 12-yard TD. That capped another stellar drive, this one that covered 62 yards in seven plays and gave Tampa Bay a 28-10 lead.

Then on the Buccaneers’ first drive of the second half, Ryan Succup drilled a 50-yard field goal to give Tampa Bay a 31-10 lead.

Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine entered the year on the hot seat. Right now, Pettine’s chair should be searing.

THE BAD

PRESSURE: Green Bay allowed just three sacks in its first four games and had the lowest sacks-per-game ratio in football (0.75). Tampa Bay then notched five sacks, including four against Rodgers.

Linebackers Lavonte David and Jason Pierre-Paul led the way with 1.5 sacks each. Rodgers was under attack all afternoon, and when he was given ample time, he reverted to his bad habit of holding the ball too long.

In addition, left tackle David Bakhtiari left the game in the third quarter with a chest injury and replacement Rick Wagner struggled.

JOSH JACKSON: The Packers used a second-round draft pick on Jackson in 2018. It might be time to cut bait with the disappointing cornerback.

Jackson has struggled his first two-plus years in the league, and that didn’t change Sunday. Jackson was thrust into duty when injury prone Kevin King (quad) couldn’t go, and had another substandard performance.

Jackson was whipped by rookie Tyler Johnson for a short touchdown late in the first half. Jackson was then hit with a 40-yard pass interference penalty that gave the Buccaneers the ball on Green Bay’s 2-yard line and led to another touchdown.

Jackson has struggled with consistency since arriving from Iowa. And if he hasn’t fixed those issues by now, he may never do so.

THIS AND THAT: Green Bay wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, playing in his first game of the year, was targeted twice. On one, he appeared to run the wrong route. On the other, he dropped the ball. … The Packers managed just 201 yards on 61 plays, an average of just 3.3 yards per snap. … Green Bay failed to force a turnover and has taken the ball away now just three times in five games.

THE GOOD

FIRST QUARTER: This was where the good started — and ended — for the Packers.

After one quarter, the Packers had a 10-0 lead. Green Bay had a 144-9 edge in total yards and held the ball for 12 minutes, 5 seconds.

Then the wheels fell off and Tampa Bay scored 38 unanswered points.

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