Looking back: Green Bay Packers stonewall Buccaneers
By Kenn Korb
Dec 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers outside linebackerClay Matthews
(52) is congratulated by defensive endMike Neal
(96) after he sacked Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbackJosh McCown
(not pictured) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Green Bay Packers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
As they’ve done all year, the offensive line put on another superb showing.
They continued to show their prowess in pass-blocking (#1 this year, according to Pro Football Focus) in allowing only one sack to a defense that forced a ton of quick passes on the day to evade the pressure.
They also did well in the running game, helping the Packers gain 121 yards on the day between a handful of different rushers.
A group once seen as the biggest issue for the offense in previous seasons has continuously showed that this year they are truly one of the strengths on that side, perhaps to the point where only their QB is more important to the success of the unit.
The pass-rush duo that was created in the offseason had the exact type of game Ted Thompson and Packers fans everywhere must have been envisioning when Julius was added to the team.
Between the two, there were plenty of plays to be had all day. They combined for 4.5 sacks, 6 QB hits, and a spot in the nightmares of Josh McCown and his blockers.
The impact of fans at the games is endlessly discussed by players/coaches/analysts, with the importance always held with the highest regard. It definitely gets discussed for home games, but there’s plenty of talk for some fan bases that seem to travel and “take over” opposing crowds – Packers fans usually heading that group.
Personally, I feel it is hilariously overrated just how much impact people seem to think that has – maybe a few plays actually get affected if things are heinously loud – but there is at least something to it, and this game could show some of that thinking.
Based on what many who watched/attended the game, there was anywhere from about 40 percent to a majority of the crowd appearing to be rooting for Green Bay in the stadium. While Tampa Bay is not a great team by any means (so it would be even harder to quantify just how much of an effect it had), that must have been somewhat disheartening and on some small level helped lead to a pretty awful day for the moribund offense.
Even if it had zero effect on the outcome, it is still impressive for an opposing fan base to overtake a stadium – especially when teams tend to follow measures to prevent that.
So kudos to the fans for that; at the very least, you’ve continued to sit it the psyches of opposing fan bases as another thing to worry about having to deal with whenever the Packers are on the schedule.
Dec 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; A Green Bay Packers fan dances as the Packers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-3 at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports