Packers defense steals the show in Aaron Rodgers-Tom Brady matchup

Green Bay Packers, Rashan Gary, Jarran Reed (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Rashan Gary, Jarran Reed (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The week three matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was hyped up to be a showdown between two great quarterbacks facing off for the fifth time in their careers.

What the game turned into was a gritty, tough and defensive contest.

After Aaron Rodgers hit wide receiver Allen Lazard for a six-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, the Packers were never able to find the end zone again.

They had a huge opportunity to go up three possessions after the Lazard touchdown when Aaron Jones caught a pass on the goal line, only to fumble the ball. It completely killed the Packers offense for the rest of the game.

Even though the offense scored enough points to win the game, they definitely did not look as good as they did the previous week against the Chicago Bears.

Although the offense was lackluster, the defense came to play. With the Packers offense committing two turnovers and putting the defense in terrible situations, they never folded.

Holding Tom Brady and the Bucs offense to one trip to the red zone, which came at the very end of the game, the defense stepped up when asked, and they were asked all afternoon.

Going into the game, the Packers defense knew that they were going to have to stop Leonard Fournette from taking over the game, and they did just that.

Fournette finished the game with 12 rushes for 35 yards, averaging only 2.9 yards per carry. The defense held the Bucs to a total of 34 rushing yards on 14 attempts, showing that the run defense came ready to play.

Outside of stopping the run, the Packers defense sacked Brady three times, not allowing him to ever get comfortable inside the pocket. He finished 31/42 for 271 yards and one touchdown.

The Packers managed to prevent Brady and the Bucs offense from ever getting started, a huge boost of confidence to part of the team that was expected to be elite going into the 2022 season.

Although the Packers defense had a great game overall, the most important defensive play came with under 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Following a one-yard touchdown catch from Russell Gage, bringing Tampa within two points from tying the game, the Packers had to get one more stop at the goal line. Brady motioned Gage inside and All-Pro linebacker De’Vondre Campbell knew exactly what was coming next.

“I just went to my instincts. Trusted my instincts,” said Campbell, who finished the game with a team-leading 14 tackles.

Campbell eventually tipped the pass from Brady to seal the victory for the Packers.