March 3, 2024

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What we learned from Sunday’s matches

What we learned from Sunday’s matches

Eric Edholm’s takeaways:

  1. Baker MayfieldBucs’ best game leads to biggest win of the season. Mayfield has been to Lambeau Field the past two seasons — with two different teams — and lost both games. He wasn’t about to make it three in a row with so much at stake for the Bucs. Mayfield had his best performance as a Buccaneer, throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the second half to pull away from the dangerous Packers. Mayfield lost a fumble inside its own 5-yard line late in the first quarter, and Green Bay scored two plays later to take a 7-3 lead. But Mayfield responded with a 75-yard TD run punctuated by a beautiful 19-yard TD pass to Mike Evans, and Tampa Bay didn’t trail the rest of the game. Mayfield threw a dangerous pass to David Moore (only his third catch of the season) between two Packers defenders, but Moore took a 52-yard touchdown and ran — and replays confirmed that Moore didn’t fumble at the goal line, though. Losing the ball. Tampa’s 457 yards of offense were the most since Week 17 last year, with Mayfield, Rashad White And Chris Goodwin They all have great games.
  2. A rare home loss in December drops the Packers to 6-8. The Packers lost their first December game at Lambeau Field since 2018, effectively squandering their chances of making the playoffs. Green Bay had a hot midseason to go to a 6-6 record after a 2-5 start, but two straight losses spelled trouble for any postseason hopes. The Packers were moving the ball big in the game in the first half, down just 13-10. But Green Bay’s defense allowed Tampa Bay to score on its first three possessions of the second half and ran out the clock on a beautiful four-minute blitz on fourth down. The Packers weren’t exactly efficient offensively, giving up their final possession down two scores. Jordan Love lost a fumble but otherwise had a good day throwing the ball. This is a loss on defense for sure. Head coach Matt LaFleur also lost a bizarre challenge in the second half when he probably didn’t need to try it. LaFleur also settled for a field goal on fourth-and-4 from the Tampa 15-yard line, making it a 27-20 Bucs lead. The Bucs came down and scored another goal immediately after, preserving the win. It was a frustrating day for everyone at Lambeau Sunday, except the visitors.
  3. KJ Britt once again steps in at middle linebacker and is thriving. The Buccaneers’ defense had an up-and-down day overall on Sunday, but the team is now 3-0 with someone other than Devin White at middle linebacker. Todd Bowles said after the game that White told him he couldn’t go because his foot injury was still hurting him, so Brett, who had six tackles (including two big ones) and was good in coverage, allowed just three catches for 17 yards, stepped in. According to Next Generation statistics. his running mate, Lavonte David , continued his stellar play with nine tackles and a half-sack, taking over White’s role as the breakout linebacker. But Brett was better in this game than White has been in any game this season, making his second straight start for the Bucs. Tampa tried out JJ Russell in White’s place three weeks ago, but it would be hard to imagine Brett wouldn’t be the best option moving forward. This casts further doubt on White’s future in Tampa Bay, even if it comes at a time when the Bucs are making a strong push toward the playoffs.
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Next generation game stats: Jordan Love completed 21 of 24 passes for 189 yards and two TDs (+13.0% CPOE) when the Bucs ran an offense with four or fewer pass rushes. Against the blitz, Love was 8 of 15 for 95 yards (-0.8% CPOE) with a 70.6% pressure rate and two sacks.

NFL Research: Chris Godwin tied his season high in targets (12), while setting career highs in receptions (10) and receiving yards (155) against the Packers.

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