There’s every reason to believe the Packers should beat the Tampa Bay Buc’s on Sunday. But they won’t. Luckily, I’m not a big prognosticator. Also, I sometimes mentally assume the obvious to reduce my disappointment later, to calm myself down.
Packers are better
We should win because, on paper, we have a stronger, healthier roster at this point. Plus, while Tom Brady gives the Bucs the lead in most games, with another highly accomplished veteran QB in green and gold, the quarterback comparison is a wash.
On the injury side, the Packers are in great shape. Aside from the ongoing mess that is David Bakhtiari’s recovery, Green Bay has nearly all of its favorite players healthy. Even the latest injury reports on Packer receivers make it look like they will play.
Buc is missing a lot of parts
The Buc, on the other hand, are really beaten. They are also shorthanded in several places. At wide receiver, Mike Evans is suspended, and Chris Godwin and Julio Jones are “uncertain” at best if they play. They just lost newly acquired run-stuffer Akiem Hicks for a month or more to a foot injury. If all that isn’t enough, they’re missing 2-3 favorite starters on their offensive line. You would think that weak receiver and offensive line would open the door for the Packers defense dictating how the game plays out.
Big Mo should favor Green Bay
In terms of the “need” to win, the game is also much more important to the Packers than the Bucs. Tampa Bay has already picked up two big wins on the road against Dallas and New Orleans. The Packers dropped a road division game and looked lousy doing it. The Packers also have something to prove when it comes to playing well in Florida, something they rarely seem to do for any reason.
Brady and the D
And yet…despite all the many factors pointing to a Packers victory, I choose the Buc’s. As a loyal Packer fan, I hope my logic is flawed. As a realistic NFL watcher, I know Rodgers and the Packers produced lemons in the sun. Finally, the Buc’s defense is remarkable, perhaps the best in the league. They frustrate Rodgers and our running game, exactly the weapons the Packers need to win. Tampa 20-Packers 13. Hope I’m wrong.