The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan blog site, The Pewter Plank headed by editor Patrik Nohe, caught up with Lombardiave.com for our take on today’s game at Lambeau Field.
The following is the Q&A that concludes with our game score prediction:
Q: Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind, be honest because I don’t want a homer answer here, nobody dreamt he would be this good in Wisconsin, did they?
A. The only ones who knew what Aaron Rodgers brought to the table were GM Ted Thompson and Coach Mike McCarthy. When they dealt Brett Favre to the Jets and told everyone that Rodgers was the guy, I’m sure you could hear the collective scream all the way down in Florida. Brett was God in these parts and nobody knew anything about Rodgers other than the fact he rode the bench for three years.
So, you’re right – nobody was ready to jump on Rodgers’ bandwagon and it took nearly two seasons for fans to warm up to him.
And then last year happened … And now with what’s going on this year, nobody talks about Brett Favre anymore.
Q: Playing at this rate, how long before Rodgers overtakes #4 in the hearts of Packers fans?
A. He already has … All it took was for Favre to become a Minnesota Viking and the rosy memories of that 1997 Super Bowl faded quickly. Packers fans took pity on him when he fell apart last year, but we had our new hero in Rodgers and a Super Bowl title. With the team riding high midway through this season and hopes soaring for a repeat title, all mention of Favre has fallen off the radar.
We don’t expect to hear much from #4 anytime in the near future … Probably until he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame.
I tell you what, had Favre led the Vikings to the Super Bowl and won it in 2009, Packers fans would have burned him in effigy. At least now he will go down in Packers lore as one of the greatest QBs in franchise history.
Q: Do you think the Packers run the table this year?
A. They could, but I have my doubts. All it takes is a key injury here or a stinker of a game there. This IS the NFL, where any team can win on any given Sunday. I just find it difficult to believe the Packers can win as many as nine or 10 more straight, including the Super Bowl. My hope is that if they do lose, that they do it before January.
Q: What’s your opinion of Johnny Jolly heading to prison for six years?
A. That’s a sad, sad story. Here’s a guy who had bright future ahead of himself, got caught up in addiction and couldn’t break it. I’m surprised the Packers and the NFL let it get to this point … Seems like they should have offered more help.
Q: Talking about the game on Sunday, how do you expect the Packers to attack the Buccaneers on offense?
McCarthy always tries to run an equal mix of run and pass, but don’t expect him to take the ball out of Rodgers’ hands. The Packers will come out and take what the Bucs give them, and then start taking shots deep. Rodgers spreads the ball around, so expect to see him utilize the entire field. If the Bucs pressure him, he will run, but is also good at hitting the running back out of the backfield.
In general, the Bucs can expect to see Rodgers open up the playbook in this one. Playing at home, the Packers will want to put on a good show.
Q: What’s your take on Josh Freeman?
A. I think he’s a solid quarterback, but a young QB who is susceptible to making mistakes. The Packers will pressure him with all kinds of packages and looks – and that’s why they will probably come away with at least a couple of interceptions.
Q: What do the Bucs need to do to win?
They need to manage the clock to keep the the ball out of Rodgers’ hands. That’s been difficult for teams to do because the Packers tend to defend the run well and score every time they get the ball. In order to win, the Bucs have to score at least four or five touchdowns. I really don’t see that happening.
Q: Final Score prediction?
The Packers will score early and often in this one with the defense pitching in with at least one touchdown and a couple of turnovers.
Packers 45 Bucs 20