On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers played host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; a matchup featuring two NFC teams in the playoff hunt. The Buccaneers (4-7) welcomed back their starting quarterback, Jameis Winston. The Packers (5-6) were hoping quarterback Brett Hundley would keep his strong play alive following a career performance in Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football last week. Here are the Week 13 Green Bay Packers Takeaways.
Week 13 Green Bay Packers Takeaways
Special Team is Special
Trevor Davis helped the Green Bay Packers offense by providing them with strong field positioning. Davis had kickoff returns of 33 yards, and 30 yards to start the second-half. All in all, he averaged 30 yards per return on four kickoff returns.
The big play that has every Packer fan excited was when linebacker Kyler Fackrell blocked Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter Bryan Anger. Green Bay recovered the blocked punt, and the short field led to a Jamaal Williams touchdown.
Green Bay Packers punter Justin Vogel had a strong outing himself. He punted the ball four times. Each punt traveled an average distance of 42.3 yards, and the longest one covered 57 yards.
Packers kicker Mason Crosby was perfect as usual. Crosby finished the game with two extra point conversions, and two field goals converted on two attempts. Crosby added eight points to his illustrious career in Green Bay. The two field goals made pushed his career total to 275, and the two extra points pushed his career total to 508 made on 517 attempts.
Since Aaron Rodgers injury, the Packers defense has stepped up to help Hundley. But on Sunday, Clay Matthews returned to his old form. The former USC Trojans wrecked the Buccaneers offensive game plan with his relentless pursuit of Winston. The Packer pass rusher finished the game with seven total tackles, including six solos, and two and a half sacks. According to Next Gen Stats, Matthews had the fastest sack, taking only took 2.5 seconds to get Winston on the ground.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers provided opportunity for Dean Lowry’s coming out party. The defensive lineman started his great afternoon by recovering a Winston fumble forced by Kenny Clark and subsequently returning it 62 yards for Lowry’s first touchdown as a Packer. The former Northwestern Wildcat added four tackles, including three solos and a sack on a very productive afternoon.
The rookie running back Williams, out of Brigham Young University, dazzled Lambeau Field with a healthy mix of ankle-breaking jukes and power runs. He carried a lackluster passing offense, finishing the game with 21 carries for 113 yard and a touchdown.
However, it was another rookie, Aaron Jones who finished the game. In overtime with the Packers sitting on the Buccaneers 20-yard line, Jones subbed-in for Williams, and took his only carry of the game to the end zone in the Packers 26-20 win.
Hundley had a tough outing through the air, however, he was sensational running the ball with seven carries for 66 yards. His longest run went for 18 yards. He played well off of Williams’ big day using the read-option and play-action. In overtime, Hundley converted third-and-four with his legs. He also had a big run in the second quarter to set-up Williams’ touchdown.
The Packers Nose Tackle Kenny Clark was impressive today. He was a constant presence against the Buccaneers strong rushing offense and applied consistent pressure on Winston. The former UCLA Bruin finished the game with six total tackles, including four solos, a forced fumble, and a pair of sacks.
The Green Bay Packers are still alive in the NFC playoff race.
The Packers playoff path is simple: win out and you have a chance to be in, lose and you’re out. The team ground out a tough win over the Bucs to eliminate them from playoff contention. In two weeks, Aaron Rodgers will make his long-awaited come back if the Packers can beat the winless Cleveland Browns next week.