Whatever Tom Brady and Bruce Arians said to the team after that ugly loss in Chicago, wow, did it pay dividends.
On Sunday, the Bucs blew out the previously undefeated Packers at Ray-Jay, 38-10. I’m trying to remember the last time Tampa Bay dominated a quality opponent like this. It was a long, long time ago.
And the thing is, this one didn’t even start well. Green Bay dominated the first quarter, taking a 10-0 lead. But then Jamel Dean picked off Aaron Rodgers and returned it for a touchdown. A few minutes later, another Rodgers INT, another Bucs’ touchdown. The Bucs led 14-10, and that was only the beginning. The Buccaneers scored 38 unanswered points. This was blowout city.
Gronk caught his first touchdown in a Tampa Bay uniform. The defense was incredible after Dean’s pick-six. Ronald Jones had his third straight 100-yard rushing game.
But this may be the most impressive stat of them all: the Bucs had zero penalties in this game. Zilch. Nada. Ndamukong Suh was flagged for a personal foul, but that was canceled out by an intentional grounding call on Rodgers. How did they pull off such a clean game after what happened last Thursday at Soldier field? I don’t know, but it was fun to watch.
The Bucs are now 4-2, and alone in first place in the NFC South as of this writing. They’re off to Vegas next week, and so am I. The Raiders won’t have any fans in their brand new stadium, but I’ll cheering for my Bucs someplace on the Strip.
Photo courtesy: USA Today