What three things must the Green Bay Packers do to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3?
The Green Bay Packers have won one, lost one as we enter Week 3.
Awaiting them this week are Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that has given the Packers problems in recent years.
It will be a hot day in Florida in what could be one of Green Bay’s toughest games of the season.
What must they do to return home with a victory?
1. Get the ball to Aaron Jones early and often
Aaron Jones had eight touches in Week 1 and the Packers scored seven points. He had 18 touches in Week 2 and the Packers put up 27 points.
That’s not a coincidence. When Jones has a lot of touches, Green Bay’s offense usually has more rhythm and moves the ball.
When Jones doesn’t get many opportunities, there are a couple of explanations. One is that the Packers are struggling to move the ball on the ground. The other is that they have abandoned the run and become too pass-heavy.
Green Bay needs to stay balanced offensively and keep getting the ball in Jones’ hands. He is the team’s best offensive playmaker and needs a big game against the Bucs.
2. Stop the run, stop the run, stop the run
On the other side, Tampa Bay will test Green Bay’s struggling run defense.
The Buccaneers have committed to the run so far this season. They have run the ball 63 times, seventh-most in the NFL.
The Packers’ defense has struggled to slow down opposing rushing attacks, ranking 27th against the run through two weeks. That needs to improve.
Tampa Bay won’t have star receiver Mike Evans in this game due to suspension. Chris Godwin and Julio Jones are also doubts to play due to injury. Running the ball will be even more important for them.
The Buccaneers will look to establish the run and control the game on the ground. If the Packers are to have any shot at winning, they must stop the run.
3. Stop making avoidable mistakes on offense
The Packers need to get out of their own way on offense. They moved the ball well against the Chicago Bears, but a couple of avoidable second-half mistakes almost allowed the Bears back into the game.
They won’t get so lucky against the Buccaneers. In what could be a far closer contest, throwing away a possession could be the difference between a victory and defeat.
Last week, a botched handoff and a mistimed snap ended two promising drives. The Packers can’t get in their own way against the Buccaneers.