On December 3, it was warmer than what most Wisconsin residents would tell you was the norm. But, for a Bucs team visiting one of the NFL’s most sacred cathedrals of professional football, it was another road game that came with challenges that included the climate.

Quarterback Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers offense got the chance to start the game with the ball in their hands. This was the first game action we’d seen from Winston since he was taken out of the New Orleans game back in November.

On his first drive, Winston went 4-for-4 with all passes going for first downs and the last one ending in six points, Winston’s targets were to the likes of Antony Auclair, Alan Cross, Adam Humphires and finally Cameron Brate to cap it off with a touchdown. The offense and the play calling worked swimmingly on that first drive. Head coach and play caller Dirk Koetter had a good balance of run and pass which marched the ball down the field 75 yards in 10 plays.

The Packers responded with a drive of points of their own, but only three points instead of six or seven. Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley connected with a few different receivers on their first drive with the biggest going to Davante Adams. Packers running back Jamaal Williams also got a good dose of involvement early on, a trend that continued as the game went on.

Following the points on each team’s opening drives, the rest of the first half didn’t go as planned for both teams. The defense held their ground on most occasions, and forced three straight punts between the two teams.

On Green Bay’s third possession of the game, Hundley went for a home run ball over the middle, which was picked off by Buccaneers rookie safety Justin Evans. That interception was Evans’ third pick of the year, which put him in sole place of the most on the team. He still remains one takeaway off the total lead, still behind linebacker Lavonte David, who has four forced fumbles.

The Bucs could not get points off the turnover, however, and instead had a three-and-out in which the punt was blocked – not technically because the punt still reached the line of scrimmage – that set the Packers up with a short field. With just 45 yards to go, the Packers were able to march down and score in just five plays to take the lead at 10-7.

As a response, the Bucs started to get things going, moving the ball down into Packers territory until a Winston fumble that was return for a touchdown by Green Bay squandered their momentum. It was a play where Winston was just trying to avoid taking a sack by getting the ball out of his hands, but instead had it come lose for the worst case result.

The Bucs were able to play damage control on their next drive after the touchdown. On a 12-play, 57-yard drive that included a lot of running back Peyton Barber (who started the game in place of the injured Doug Martin), a 19-yard catch to wide receiver DeSean Jackson and a clutch 13-yard pick up form running back Charles Sims, the Bucs were able to put three points on the board to make it a one-score, 17-10 game, still in favor of Green Bay.

That’s how the game went into the half.

There wasn’t much offense coming out of the gate in the early parts of the second half as four of the first five possessions between both teams ended in punts. The one outlier of a possession was that the Bucs were able to kick a field goal and get the game to just a 17-13 lead for the Packers. On that drive, Barber ran the ball very well for the Bucs, and, at a point, led the team in rushing and receiving thanks to some tough yards and some well-called screen plays to counter the Packers heavy blitzing pressure.

The Bucs defense held firm on the following drive, holding the Packers to just five yards on three plays and a punt. On the Bucs next offensive drive, things started to turn in their favor. On a drive that got Barber over the 100-yard mark for rushing yards, Winston and company drove the ball all the way to the Packers goal line, and the quarterback and tight end Cameron Brate connected once again for their second score of the game. The Bucs took the lead 20-17 with six minutes left.

On the following offensive drive for the Packers, Hundley and his crew drove the ball down methodically with only one third down attempt (which was converted) before they got into the red zone. However, when they really needed it, Tampa Bay’s “bend but don’t break” defense held firm on the goal line and forced the Packers to kick a field goal, settling for a tie game, 20-20, with two minutes to play.

The Bucs next offensive drive was not ideal. After a well-called screen that was called back for a hold on center Evan Smith, who had a rough day with several penalties, and a sack followed by a run on 3rd-and-long, the Bucs were forced to punt back to Green Bay with 44 second left in the game.

Fortunately for the Bucs, the Packers weren’t able to do anything with their possession either, which resulted in overtime.

To start the overtime period, the Packers won the toss and elected to receive. After a good return on the kick by Trevor Davis, Hundley gave his team two big scrambles for first down that took the Packers all the way into Tampa Bay territory. After a few more plays, Packers running back Aaron Jones ran it in form more than 20 yards out for the score and the win.

Green Bay with victory, 26-20.

The Packers improve to 6-6, while the loss drops the Bucs to 4-8 on the season. That means that a winning season is now impossible and that the team will finish with a worse record than its 9-7 mark a year ago.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

24 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know how many punts have been blocked this year in the NFL, but we have had two of them. Jameis won’t be eating many W’s if he doesn’t learn to eat the ball when in trouble. Those two plays were the difference today. My game ball goes to Barber. That kid ran hard today. Makes you wonder why he’s been such an after thought this season.

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  2. Winston does not give this team the best chance to win. This could have easily be a 5 turn over game for him. He takes way too much time getting rid of ball on top of a slow release and poor decision making. Had Fitz started we would have won this one easy.

    On the positive side the more losses the better our draft position and the better chance we re-roll with a new coaching staff.

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    • How right you are

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    • JAmeis threw a td pass with four minutes left in the game. How didn’t he give us the chance win again? You can’t put this all on his as bad as our pass protection has been

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    • Actually he did, we were up late on his last drive he scored. That’s putting your team in position to win. But you Jameis haters can’t see outside of the HORRENDOUS offensive line play today. Or the fact that our defense once again collapses with a lead. You Jameis hater love to pat yourselves on the back after every loss though. And thinking Fitz gives us an easy win makes me question if you even watch football.

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  3. I do not see how Dirk Koetter makes it the rest of the season after a nightmare like today. This team is never ready to play. The play calling sucks. And where the hell did Barber come from and why didn’t they stick with him. Dirk is done. I wouldn’t be surprised if his desk was cleaned out tomorrow.

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  4. Fix the Oline.

    Worst in the NFL.

    And Winston is injured (again).

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  5. I’m sorry…but Jamesis just doesn’t give us the best chance to win! He doesn’t protect the ball and he makes bonehead decisions on field! The play where he threw an illegal forward pass by passing the line of scrimmage… the QB run for TD was wide open! Line was atrocious today…but Jamesis just doesn’t get rid of the ball quick enough. Lastly, he appeared to be hurt yet he stayed in game??? Why??? He clearly was not at full strength and thus not giving the Bucs their best chance at victory! I think he was afraid to be taken out injured because what if Fitz comes in and leads Bucs to win? Fitz gives the Bucs the best chance at winning…Welcome back Coach Gruden!

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    • Totally agree with you. Winston makes to many mistakes and not enough big plays to win consistently

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    • The O line didn’t pass protect well, but the run blocking was actually very good – 165 yards on the ground, many of them right up the gut.

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      • Run blocking was as good as it has been all season long. But of course the play calling negated that. I don’t think Fitz gives us the best chance to win…he sucks too. Hard to blame all of this game on Winston given the bad pass protection, but at what point does he realize the line sucks and just take a sack? Quit trying to be superman every play. 3rd year QB’s shouldn’t have to learn that lesson. There is a lot of talent on this team, but the team is poorly coached in my opinion. I think Koetter has to go. Was bullish on him after last season but this team just plays uninspired. Offense, defense and special teams. We just got beat by Green Bay without Rodgers with a back-up who looked like the last thing he ever wanted to do was throw the ball. If Rodgers played today we would have been beat 42-17.

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  6. Nothing to say except another winnable game lost. Also I thought P. Barber played well.

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  7. So 20 to 17 isn’t giving a chance. wow.

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  8. How does NFL allow such a lousy field? Both sides were slipping and stumbling, thus some uncalled for injuries.

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  9. Winston lost the game for Bucs today, 17 points beat Greenbay if the handoff to Greenbay defence lineman does not take place, more than 3 times balls thrown directly to Greenbay backs in numbers and were dropped. With Fitz The Bucs would have won today, Greenbay does not have QB and Bucs did not take advantage of it.
    I am on here 2.5 years saying #3 needs go, and I see the same guys still defending him, you think they would get it by now!
    But they do not. Managment is never going to give Jamies big money after 3 years of 87% rating and bonehead mistakes never-ending loses, might as well go new direction now.

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    • And we think you’d get over the fact that he isn’t going anywhere, and yet here you are. I keep seeing the same three people with the same posts. You people thinking Fitz would give us a better chance to win need to just stop watching football. some of you are just dense as a wall.

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      • Agreed! Problem is more offensive line pass blocking, defensive line pass rush, secondary.

        Winston did give us a chance to win by putting us up by three 20-17. Lets not forget the penalties on Smith today on the O line. In particular the 20 plus yard gain after GB had tied it at 20 which was negated by a block in the back and basically killed any chance to go down for a potential game winning drive. Winston does make mistakes….should have ran that In or attempted to instead of the illegal forward pass but in the grand scheme of things, his mistakes are amongst the other many mistakes committed by our o line and other items I mentioned.

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      • cgmaster27 has been defending him and attacking my post for 2 years now. After 12 games Bucs in the last place in NFC south in battle with Chicago Bears to see which team is the last place in whole NFC and today, Jamies Winston handed the ball off to a 300-pound defence lineman for 6 points for green bay.
        Fitz is not the answer we all know that, However team needs to start looking for a QB now nothing is going to change next year with Jamies and Bucs will never use the franchise tag on him.
        I am sure if Jamies here next year as starter cgmaster27 will still be defending his losses.

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    • Did you pass English in school? Just wondering, because I can’t even make out what you are talking about in your first run-on sentence, it doesn’t make any sense.

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  10. Another deflating loss. Is there anyone in this room who didn’t know they would score the game tying FG on that drive? And then to have that horrible block in the back call was just icing on the cake. We knew the packers had to run the ball and they still did it. NO pressure on him either. Had he been accurate, they score two more TD’s.
    Jameis played very well for two months off and a line that was just incredibly bad. He took the check downs early and if not for that fumble would’ve had a damn solid game. Our run game was very affective today, not sure if that’s just because the Packers don’t have a very good defense or not. But Barber ran exactly how most of us though he would, which brings me back to Koetter. Why in the hell has he not been playing all season? Same can still be said for Godwin. The dude just doesn’t drop anything.
    I actually liked Coaches play calling today except for that first goal line situation where they should’ve ran it another time. There wasn’t many shots down field as Jameis played it a little closer to the line today.
    To me it seemed that Jackson wasn’t 100% and was more of a Decoy today. Maybe that foot still hurts. Big Mike is not looking good right now. He’s complaining to the refs a lot again and just isn’t getting the separation. I can’t believe he would have an off year with better receivers around him. Something doesn’t seem right with him though. It was good to see Brate get jumpstarted again, and you knew that would happen with Jameis back. 10 receivers got their hands on the ball for the Bucs today, although some say Jameis doesn’t do such things.
    Now for the defense, typical no pass rush. lost contain to the outside aa number of times. It’s like William had never seen them run a read option before with Hudley. They had 84c passing yards for the game. That’s insane! But like I said , when it mattered most, the defense choked it away. This last quarter felt oddly like the Buffalo game. This draft will be unique, we need help on both sides of the line and that’s not good.

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  11. Most disappointing season ever. So many expectations and it just hasn’t come together. It started with the kicker costing us games. Then it’s moved to the defense being terrible and not able to stop anyone. The line can’t pass block at all (possibly the worst o-line in team history besides the 2015 squad). I feel like Lavonte David is the only player who has played at an All-pro level this year. Winston’s play has me wondering if we made the right call in drafting him. The coaching sucks based on the lack on energy on both sides of the ball. McCoy shows flashes still but he’s only getting older. I’m shocked that Jackson hasn’t gone AWOL considering Winston does nothing but overthrow him. The backs have been terrible (minus Barber’s game this week). Our pass rush is non-existent. Honestly, outside of the Browns, we might be the worst team in the league. I’m not being negative…that’s the truth. All of this “optimism” is really delusion imo. We are 4-8 and we aren’t going to win 4 straight, so we are what are records says. Losers.

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    • Sorry…we are what our record says. Losers. Maybe the guys watched reruns of Hard Knocks on the flight home. Cool huh.

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  12. Look… I want Jamesis to succeed! I really do! But we should be seeing a more mature and proficient Jamesis who protects the ball a little better. One big difference I noticed when Fitz was in the game was his composure… same Offense and Offensive Line. With Jamesis it just seems to be a fire drill all the time. We r seeing younger QBs come into the league as rookies and they r more productive and have better composure. It comes down to this… is Jamesis a 100 million dollar QB… I don’t believe he is! But my support for all things Bucs will
    Never change…as I was in the stadium for their very first game as an 11 year old boy! I’m just saying…

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    • Actually, it wasn’t the”same Offensive line”
      yesterday , and their pass protection sucked.

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