Aaron Rodgers has a formula he thinks can lead the Green Bay Packers to a statement win on Sunday in Tampa Bay.
How will the Packers take down the unbeaten Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Week 3? Play great defense, safeguard the ball, avoid negative plays and mistakes and lean on the run game, according to Rodgers.
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“I think it’s really important for our defense to come out and have a real solid performance and, on the road, set the tone for us,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Offensively, we’re going to have to take care of the football, and be methodical at times if we have to be, high completion percentage, and then be able to run the ball.”
Rodgers mentioned the Packers’ 2020 defeat in Tampa Bay when he completed only 16 of 35 passes, threw two turnovers and took four sacks in a 38-10 loss. He specifically mentioned protecting the ball and playing on time in the passing game as keys for himself against the Bucs.
In three of his four career games playing in Tampa Bay, Rodgers has thrown multiple interceptions and taken at least three sacks. Twice, he completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
The reigning MVP understands the next challenge ahead. The Bucs defense is loaded with talent, and Rodgers has great respect for playcaller Todd Bowles.
“Their defense is fantastic,” Rodgers said. “Two great guys inside. Great front. Really solid backend. And a great guy calling it. Recipe for a lot of potential stopping people consistently. First in sacks, six turnovers forced, 13 points total. They’ve had a really nice start to the season.”
The Bucs ranked first in points allowed, sacks and expected points added, third in yards allowed per play, tied for third in takeaways, second in opponent passer rating and tied for second (with the Packers) in first downs allowed.
More generally, Rodgers says the Packers must avoid some of the unforced mistakes that have plagued the offense during the first two games of 2022.
“This is a stout defense, but we have the right concepts and the right schemes to move the ball against anybody, a lot of times we just get in our own way, that’s what we’ve done too many times the first two weeks, Rodgers said.