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Welcome to a NEW post-game column, where I’ll take a look at the moment(s) the game turned either in favor or against the Buccaneers. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive look at all the reasons the Bucs won or lost, but instead the key moment or two where things went north or south for the team.

The Game-Changer

It was a rough start for the Bucs defense, as they surrendered 10 points on the Packers first two drives of the game, blowing a couple coverages and struggling to put any pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Given how few mistakes the Packers offense had made all season long, it felt like it was gonna be a long day for the Bucs defense. If you were betting on sports you would have picked the Packers to win easily after watching the first quarter.

That couldn’t have been less true however, as the Bucs third defensive drive of the game swung the whole contest. After incompletions by Rodgers on first and second down, the Packers faced 3rd-and-10 from their own 22-yard line.

Rodgers dropped back to pass in a clean pocket, but stared down wide receiver Davante Adams the whole way while never really setting his feet. The result was a back-foot throw without much heat on it. Playing in off-coverage, Bucs second year CB Jamel Dean read and broke on the throw, snagging his first interception of the season and racing 32 yards to the end zone for Tampa Bay’s first points of the game.

Dean said after the game that when he saw the formation he felt like he knew what was coming. He was quoted very similarly last week, after nearly jumping a quick hitch throw from Bears QB Nick Foles.

On the Rodger’s pick-6, Dean stays square at the top of Adams’ route despite the receiver faking an inside move. He doesn’t allow any space for Adams to make an uncontested underneath catch, crowding the receiver at the top of the route to force a tight window throw even on a perfect pass.

Dean is playing with so much confidence in his technique and route recognition right now, with five pass breakups and an interception over the past two games. Dean’s growth as a cerebral corner has allowed his ball skills and elite physical traits (length, strength, speed) to shine, from the second half of his rookie season through the first six weeks of the 2020 campaign.

Dean’s huge play began the turning of the tide for the Bucs defense, who would go on to allow just 52 yards to the Packers offense throughout the rest of the game! The Bucs forced two turnovers, had chances for a few others and sacked Rodgers five times after their dismal first quarter.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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11 months ago

It’s almost unreal how well this defense played today. It even hard to believe. The talent has been there and maybe, just maybe these men are buying into it. No turnovers, no penalties. That’s grown folk professional shit right there. This young secondary is looking to be absolutely loaded with Davis, Dean, and Bunting. Not to mention the back end with the young safeties. What a turn around after a bad loss and when the opposition have a week and a half to prepare. 👏🏼 I’m gonna sleep well tonight. Go Bucs and stay healthy!!

11 months ago

Our secondary is playing lights out as a whole. And theyre all young! Deans pkay recognition as been fantastic and hes building off of a good year last year. Heck the bucs couldve had 2 more interceptions had they held on. Ofcourse this all starts with a harassing front 7 from the bucs today.

11 months ago

5 sacks, 2 picks, one a pick 6, 100 yards for RoJo, It was a solid effort in all 3 phases of the game. And last, but certainly not the least, 0 or Zero penalties for a team that was in the top 3 most penalized teams. Complete effort today. National TV audience and my boys David and White were tracking sideline to sideline like rabid dogs! Very nice win boys! We have wondered what the Bucs might be with both offense and defense playing their “A” games. I think we saw just what that can look like today. Go… Read more »

Reply to  bucballer
11 months ago

Wonder when the last time Rodgers was under 50% completions with no TD’s.

11 months ago

Dean is scary fast – 4.3 guy. Troy Aikman said he’s been clocked multiple times with the Bucs running OVER 20 miles per hour. He needs to be starting on the outside opposite Carlton Davis.

Reply to  Dman
11 months ago

Have not been all that impressed with SMB the last few games…

Randy H.
Reply to  Theerealdiehl
11 months ago

Did SMB play today? I never remember hearing his name called the whole game.

11 months ago

Man. i am glad our QB doesn’t throw those out routes. They can be killers.

11 months ago

100% this should confirm Dean as the starting and permanent CB2 and allow SMB to focus solely on being a tight solid Nickel Corner. Dean is the fastest guy on the team, led with INTs and 1 shy of the most pass breakups (I think) for our corners last year even though he only played half the season for real and might have the teams best football IQ on Defense. He truly may end up being our best CB when its all said and done. No offense to SMB but Dean ran a 4.30 40 at the Combine and remembers… Read more »

11 months ago

There surely can be no dissenters with that choice Jon. Dean’s splash play was a huge momentum shift in a game that was rapidly spiraling out of the Bucs control. After that the defence as a whole played ‘lights out’ and to blank Rodgers and that Green Bay offense for three whole quarters was some achievement.

11 months ago

That quote you got after the Bears game was great, Jon–route recognition from hours of film study made Revis great.

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