Coming off of a heartbreaking 31-28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Green Bay Packers look to build off of what went right in their defeat, which was a much closer game than expected. Rolling into town is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will get their starting quarterback Jameis Winston back this week. He’ll have an opportunity to get back on track after his injury against a banged up Packers secondary. Green Bay has won only one game since Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury of his own, but they’ll look to make it two this Sunday. Here are three Packers Keys to Victory to ensure a win this week.
Week 13 Green Bay Packers Keys To Victory
Brett Hundley Must Build Off of His Career Day Last Week
Last week, Brett Hundley threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns in what was the best game of his young career to date. He looked more comfortable throwing from the pocket and his deep ball was the best it’s looked all season. He still needs to improve in some areas, however, such as his decisiveness and decision-making. Overall, though, he made great strides last week against the Steelers in a game the Packers had no business even competing in.
He’ll have to turn in a similar performance against the Buccaneers this week, who rank dead last in passing defense, giving up an average of 285 yards through the air per game. With Green Bay’s clear advantage in the receiving corps-defensive backfield matchup, they should have no problem moving the ball, even without Rodgers. Should Hundley falter, however, it could spell the end for Green Bay as Tampa Bay has numerous offensive weapons that are dying to play a banged up Packers defense. It could get out of hand early if the Packers aren’t able to keep up.
Contain Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson
Tampa Bay, with Winston, is a pretty explosive offensive team, as Winston has weapons such as Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson to throw to. In order to secure a victory this Sunday, the Packers are going to need to contain these two receivers, as they have the ability to put up huge receiving numbers, especially with Winston back under center. The Packers had a particularly hard time containing Antonio Brown last week, allowing him to catch 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. The Packers have struggled in limiting primary receivers this season, so they’ll need to do their best to contain Evans and Jackson and limit the amount of explosive plays they get if they want to give Hundley a chance at keeping his team one step ahead.
The Packers, at 5-6, are in a very tough position as they need to win the remaining five games on their schedule in order to have any chance at reaching the postseason. Tampa Bay is a team Green Bay should beat without Rodgers, but many said that about Baltimore, too, and they were shut out in that game. The important thing for Green Bay is for them to keep their heads high and know that they’re only two wins away from getting their leader back. The next two games against Tampa Bay and Cleveland are very winnable, however, and at 7-6, the Packers could stroll into Carolina with a chance to win their final three and potentially make it in as a wild card. As long as they play with the confidence and heart they did against Pittsburgh, this team has the ability to beat nearly every NFL team.
Overall, this game looked a lot more winnable with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting instead of Winston. But Green Bay is still an overall better team here, and they should be able to pull off the home victory unless things turn into a disaster like they did against Baltimore. Coming off of that inspired performance in Pittsburgh, it’s doubtful they perform that poorly again this season.