ReFo: Packers @ Buccaneers, Week 16
The visiting Packers had little trouble defeating the Buccaneers 20-3, setting up a showdown with the Lions next Sunday for the NFC North Division title. Although the score was close heading into the fourth quarter as the Packers had problems finishing drives, Tampa Bay rarely threatened on offense, ending the game with just 109 yards of total offense.
Aaron Rodgers rebounded from last week’s disappointing performance in Buffalo with a very solid effort, and Eddie Lacy highlighted the Packers’ rushing attack with a 44-yard touchdown burst. The Packers’ defense registered seven sacks of an overwhelmed Josh McCown, while Doug Martin managed just 17 yards on 10 carries.
Green Bay Packers – Performances of Note
Morgan Burnett, SS: +5.7
Breakdown: In what was by far his best performance of the year, Burnett seemed to make a play every time he approached the line of scrimmage. He had eight defensive stops (four more than anyone else on the team) as well as a quarterback hurry. He was the biggest reason that Tampa had to abandon the run in this game, making the Bucs one-dimensional and forcing McCown into 2nd/3rd-and-longs all afternoon.
Signature Plays: Q2, 1:58 and 1:21 remaining. With Tampa facing a 2nd-and-short, he stuffs Doug Martin on back-to-back plays, forcing the Bucs into a fourth down.
T.J. Lang, RG: +4.8
Breakdown: Another outstanding effort for Lang, as he consistently opened holes for Lacy while pitching a shutout in the quarterback pressure department. In fact, it was his seventh clean sheet in the passing game this season, and he is now our fifth-ranked guard overall. Having Gerald McCoy on the sideline really handicapped the Bucs on defense, and Lang was able to exploit his absence all afternoon.
Signature Play: Q3, 8:01 remaining. Lang takes Da’Quan Bowers for a ride here, shoving him all the way out of the play as Lacy gets to the 1-yard line.
Corey Linsley, C: -4.0 run blocking
Breakdown: Rookie center Linsley, who has started every game so far this year, put up his first “red” effort since Week 3. He was pushed around in the running game for much of the day, despite coming into the matchup with a +10.2 run block grade on the year. The Packers will need him to bounce back next week against a very stout Lions defensive line.
Signature Play: Q2, 6:22 remaining. This time Bowers gets the better of Linsley, shoving him back and helping LaVonte David force a 2-yard loss.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Performances of Note
Michael Johnson, DE: +2.1
Breakdown: After coming over from the Bengals in one of Tampa’s big free-agent signings in the offseason, Johnson has so far failed to live up to the high expectations that come with a deal such as his. On Sunday, though, he showed flashes of why the Bucs brought him in, managing three stops on defense, including a sack and forced fumble of Rodgers, while adding a hit and two hurries as well.
Signature Play: Q1, 9:43 remaining. Johnson not only gets the sack on Rodgers, but does a nice job ripping the ball out of his hands, helping set up the Bucs with great field position early in the game.
Josh McCown, QB: -3.7
Breakdown: Although he got little help from his offensive line, McCown continues to look overwhelmed in the pocket. He has struggled with his accuracy the whole season, and continued to miss open receivers against the Packers. As in previous games, the Buccaneers’ best passing plays seem to come from jump-balls thrown downfield to receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.
Signature Stat: He finished with an Accuracy Percentage of just 54.5%, placing him 25th out of 27 ranked quarterbacks on the week.
Josh Allen, RG: -2.8 pass blocking
Breakdown: Coming into the game with just seven snaps, the rookie free agent got into real trouble quickly against the Packers. Despite playing only six more snaps on Sunday, he allowed one sack on McCown and almost gave up another before being bailed out by his center.
Signature Plays: Q4, 8:14 and 7:28 remaining. He manages to whiff on consecutive pass-blocks, first against Julius Peppers, and then against Datone Jones.
PFF Game Ball
Morgan Burnett’s lights-out performance around the line of scrimmage for the Packers earns him our game ball.
Follow Roland on Twitter: @PFF_RolandB