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November 19, 2011 @ 3:18 pm
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Five Keys To Victory At Green Bay

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Each week PewterReport.com's beat writer Mark Cook comes up with five keys he feels the Buccaneers must achieve in order to win their upcoming game. Read Cook's keys and join the disussion by adding your own thoughts and keys to victory.

Key 1. Beat Packers' Man
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Wednesday the Packers play a lot of man-coverage and expects that to continue this Sunday against the Buccaneers’ receivers.

And who can blame them? Tampa Bay’s receiving corps has yet to show they can create separation and beat man coverage all season, something both Olson and head coach Raheem Morris have pointed out going back to the Patriots game in the preseason.

For the Buccaneers to have any shot at beating Green Bay, Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn or whatever the combination of Buc receivers that are on the field must take advantage of single coverage and not only get open, but make the catch.

Key 2. Make Each Drive Count
Like death and taxes, the certainty of the Packers scoring points is pretty much an automatic. With that said the Buccaneers offense will need to score points, and lots of them. As much as we all love Conner Barth, the only time he needs to be on the field is when he comes in to kick extra points.

The Packers defense hasn’t been stellar. In fact, they only rank 28th in the league in total defense, giving up 384.4 yards per game. The Buccaneers offense is ranked a respectable 16th in the NFL in total offense, so the opportunity to move the football will be there.

But moving it and scoring points are two different animals and Tampa Bay must find a way to score touchdowns by limiting penalties and turnovers. Freeman will need to have his best game of the season for the Buccaneers to have any chance of coming home with a 5-5 record.

Key 3. Razz Rodgers
So far no one has been able to find a way to slow down Packers star QB Aaron Rodgers even a little this season. But like the Saints' Drew Brees, Rodgers will take chances with the football and the Buccaneers secondary must take every advantage to nab interceptions.

The best way to get Rodgers rattled will be with constant pressure, something the Buccaneers have been hard-pressed to manufacture so far this season.

With a 130.7 QB rating so far this season, Rodgers is on pace to set the NFL record. Rodgers is due for a bad game right? If the Buccaneers can somehow muster pressure and harass Rodgers into mistakes it will provide a glimmer of hope in ending the Packers' 15-game winning streak dating back to last season.

Key 4. Element of Surprise
Games like these are where coordinators' reputations are made. Facing what is perceived locally and nationally as a no-chance proposition to beat Green Bay, Greg Olson and Raheem Morris will need to put their mad-scientists hats on and come out with game plans the Packers haven’t seen all season.

Start the game offensively in a five-receiver set. On defense, maybe come out playing their 3-3-5 redskin package or drop six men in coverage. In other words try and make the Packers adjust from the first snap of the game. Chances are the Packers will figure it out, but this is a game where you pull out all the stops and use the element of surprise.

The Buccaneers can’t rely on their normal offensive or defensive schemes. If there are any trick plays Olson has been brewing in the lab, now is the time to unleash them.

Facing the best team in the league and also near elimination from any realistic playoff chances, it is time to let it all hang out. The Buccaneers can’t just line up and go status quo against this Packer team and expect to win.

Key 5. Have Rah's back
For nearly three seasons Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris has stood up for his players, protected them and even deflected criticism. Whether it be sticking up for Aqib Talib on numerous occasions, giving Tanard Jackson another shot or even costing the organization $250,000 (which has since been reduced) to call and congratulate new father Kellen Winslow, no one in the locker room can say their coach doesn’t care.

So how is it that this team repaid him by exhibiting perhaps its worst effort in Morris' tenure by losing to the Texans and essentially throwing in the towel as things got bad?

Morris has been loyal to a fault and now has been put on the proverbial hot seat by many locally, but in particular by some in the national media. Sure, some of his coaching decisions can be criticized and questioned and Morris will always take the blame, but like several players told us this week, Morris hasn’t missed one tackle or dropped a pass all season. It's on the players.

If the 53 men inside the walls of One Buccaneer Place truly respect their head coach they need to show him and the fans by their play on the field Sunday.

Final Analysis
No one locally or nationally gives the Buccaneers any shot to win Sunday at Green Bay. And for any chance of a shock-the-world type victory, Tampa Bay will need to play the best football of Raheem Morris’s career as Buccaneers head coach.

Buccaneers players should have enough pride and respect for their coaches, organization and fans to come out at the very least giving 100-percent intensity and focus. Coaches will say there is no such thing as a moral victory, but this team can earn some respect by playing as Raheem Morris says they should all the time – hard, fast and smart.

Cook’s Prediction: Packers 35, Buccaneers 17
Reynold’s Prediction: Packers 33, Buccaneers 20
Horchy’s Prediction: Packers 37, Buccaneers 23

Last modified on Sunday, 20 November 2011 17:36

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  • avatar

    Only way we win is if Rodgers gets hurt. Like in the 49rs game with Steve Young.
  • avatar

    I feel like the Bucs offense would be better if they just handed off to Blount on every snap.
  • avatar

    Good game plan macabee !!! Love it, if we're alone on the field, we should find a way to win !!! Seriously, I still think we can pull a win on this one, as we say "on any given sunday". We have seen bigger upset in the NFL (not by far, though !) Even if we don't win, I want to see some buc ball, players fired up to show to the world there are more than "loafers". Play hungry and violent football, give all you've got, be proud to be a Buc and MAKE US PROUD !!! Make all the snaps count and make the Packers play hard to earn each yards !!! GO BUCS, BECOME THE HARD NOSE BUCS AGAIN, PLAY WITH YOUR HEART AND SOUL, AND GO GET THEM, CLIMB ABOARD, YOU'RE PIRATES FOR GOD SAKE !!!!
  • avatar

    caradoc: So far this season it's been our wide receiver "corpse". Let's hope they come alive today.
  • avatar

    Hand off to Blount off right guard gain of 3, quick slant to Williams incomplete, crossing route to Briscoe incomplete, punt. Olsen's first three offensive plays. If I am right we are in trouble. Defense needs to hit Gayrod early and often.
  • avatar

    It's corps not core
  • avatar

    Establish Blount from the first drive. Keep running don't go away from our best offensive weapon.
  • avatar

    True to form, I'm picking the Buc's to win because that's what I do. I always pick the Bucs to win. But if you caught me at church Sunday and made me swear to tell the truth, I would have say that the only key to victory tomorrow is the one that locks the stadium locker room door and doesn't let the Packers onto the field. lol.
  • avatar

    I really like Coach Morris and I hope he can weather this storm. He is a quick learner, but his loyalty is going too far? Olsen has to do something differently in this game; same ole same ole will start us in the hole big time again. Freeman's thum just doesn't hurt his passing, but also his running ability because he can't hold onto the ball with his right hand as well. Most teams lately realize this so they are not concerned with his running. I would run him often, but to his left side where he can tuck the ball with his left arm. We need some big time deep TE routes in this game. We need to take out a safety like Jones and replace him with another CB. Four man rush and a blitz every third time would be helpful on defense. Go Bucs! Please don't embarass your self.
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