Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Packers

October 18th, 2020

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For nine days, the Bucs heard all the chatter. The naysayers were out in force, pointing out the relatively easy early schedule and Tampa Bay’s self-destructive tendencies.

And then, on a muggy October Sunday, the Bucs buried their skeptics in the soft turf of Raymond James Stadium. For an added bonus, they pushed the smarmy face of Aaron Rodgers into the sod for good measure.

Jamel Dean lit the match and every Buccaneer danced on the flames during a nasty beatdown of the previously unbeaten Packers. The final three quarters ushered in a dominant performance by the home team in front of an adoring crowd.

Any early enthusiasm by Cheeseheads in attendance melted once Rodgers suffered his first interception of the season. The Packers led 10-0 at the time and even though they didn’t know it, they would offer only token resistance the rest of the way.

This was the team Buc Nation envisioned once Tom Brady arrived — focused, physical and brimming with talent. The Packers flew home to Wisconsin Sunday evening, probably wondering how Tampa Bay managed to lose two of its first five games.

If this was a crossroads moment for this franchise, the Bucs chose the right path, the one that leads to postseason play. Here’s how they ransacked Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood:

* Ronald Jones faced a crisis of confidence following his disastrous rookie season. Instead of sulking, he worked harder. The results have been startling. Jones has transformed himself into a powerful, decisive runner and a 1,000-yard season seems like a mere formality, barring injury. Tampa Bay fans haven’t seen running like this since vintage Doug Martin.

* Coming off a subpar effort in Chicago, where Brady was hounded too often, the offensive line offered stellar protection. Brady wasn’t sacked and Green Bay managed only four QB hits in an afternoon of redemption. And the run blocking? Not bad, not bad at all.

* Dean deftly sat on that out route by Davante Adams and ran his theft back all the way, right in front of Green Bay’s stunned bench. “The pick-6 changed the entire ballgame,” said Bruce Arians. It was a big moment for Dean, who might have been Tampa Bay’s best defensive player in Chicago. This kid always seems to be around the football.

* It was gratifying to see Lavonte David play so well in a nationally televised matchup, the kind that gets you noticed in Pro Bowl voting. David posted 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and 2 QB hits. Not a bad day at the office. Not to be outdone, Devin White chipped in with 10 stops, 3 tackles for loss and another 2 QB hits. Rodgers will likely be seeing the Blitz Brothers in his sleep the rest of the week.

* Zero penalties? That has to be a mistake. Now head out to Vegas and double down on that aversion to flags.

* The Packers had scored at least 30 points in each of their first four games, so Todd Bowles faced a difficult test. He aced it. Bowles blitzed 17 times, sending extra pass rushers from all angles, and the results were spectacular. Rodgers finished with a passer rating of 35.4. That was also the speed on some of the passes he fluttered under intense pressure.

* Green Bay’s final 10 drives ended with two picks, seven punts and a short possession that went nowhere near the end of the opening half. That, my friends, is as close to a perfect final 45 minutes as you will see any defense display this season. And all this on a day Shaq Barrett didn’t even make the post-game stat sheet.

* Tampa Bay’s physicality was on full display. The Bucs bullied the visitors all afternoon — without drawing the attention of the officials. That’s a delicate balancing act. Helmets off to Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh and William Gholston for setting an aggressive tone up front. And let’s say it again — nobody runs on the Bucs. Just ask Aaron Jones.

* The Chicago game was a bad loss. This was a great win. It was great because 4-2 looks and feels a lot better than 3-3. It was great because these players now realize what the Bucs are capable of, even against a quality opponent. Finally, it was great because the conversation will now be about those glorious final three quarters instead of Brady’s four fingers.

* As for Rodgers, there’s no doubt the guy is a great front-runner. When things are rolling for the Pack, he carves you up, accompanied by that annoying smirk. But when times get tough, he gets that sad-sack look. He starts feeling sorry for himself and that’s why I can’t rank him as one of the 10 best quarterbacks in NFL history, no matter how dazzling his career passer rating mark might be. On the 1-to-10 leadership scale, I’m giving Rodgers a 2, just ahead of Brian Griese.

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26 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Packers”

  1. DoooshLaRue Says:

    You nailed it Ira!

    Smarmy Rogers in the dirt!

  2. Cosmospoopstain Says:

    I can not wait to hear Tuesdays podcast. I know you guys are as pumped as the “loyal” fans are. #GOBUCS

  3. Buc1987 Says:


    JBF has been cranking out stuff all night.

    Good stuff as usual Ira. Tell us how you really feel about Rodgers.

    Again for Realist. Realist we want to see you post nothing all week.

    You’re in T.O.

    Go Bucs!

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You missed Devin White’s sack….but at least you mentioned him without disparaging him like Joe usually does…

    Another solid performance by Succop….

    And, yes….this is an important game because it shows we can beat anyone in the league when we don’t beat ourselves.

  5. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Well crafted as always, Ira. Gratifying to see Rodgers go from giggly to gutshot in a matter of minutes. Great win…

  6. AJ Says:

    Thought a mention of Carlton Davis was worthy too. He made some great plays early. Particularly was the hustle play and awesome hit he laid on Aaron Jones on the side line catch that was overturned. That set a tone this Bucs defense was bringing hats today!!

  7. Coburn Says:

    Not to mention Davis got his hand in there and deflected the ball that Edwards caught

  8. WhoCares Says:

    At least Griese was a good look in the 80s…

    Only thing that make Arron look good is when you put a sucker next to him

  9. JimmyJack Says:

    35.4 MPH….hahahah…….now that was funny!!

  10. Howard Cosell Says:

    LOL at “smarmy”. You nailed it Ira!
    Howard was talking to his TV after the pick-6:
    He commented on the fact that Rogers “condescending grin” was now gone.
    However Howard still didn’t think the Bucs would win, then the 2nd Int happened, then the 2nd score,…then…..then just a tiny sliver of hope appeared. Then Brady came out with the juggernaut offense. Then Howard was in disbelief. What was happening? Is this an alternate universe where the Bucs are good?
    Then the beautiful realization that the Bucs where going to blow out Mr Condescending grin and the Packers.

    As Howard has said before: Reading Ira’s post-win articles are a flashback to reading the St Pete Times on Monday morning in the Dungy/Gruden days. Good times!

  11. Elita Vita Says:

    Lavonte David & Devin White = the Blitz Brothers….I like it… hope it sticks!

  12. firethecannons Says:

    I bet Ira had a ton of fun at the Big Storm today

  13. adam from ny Says:

    nice read ira…

    hopefully cozmo enjoyed the game too

  14. No respect for Rodgers Says:

    Your being WAY to harsh on Rodgers. I would like to hear what you would call Mahommes. He acts way worse than Rodgers but I know you would never criticize him because he is the QB of “your Chiefs” btw the “your Chiefs is an exact quote from you a few months back.

  15. TampaTown Says:

    What a great recap. Ira always nails it

  16. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    This is what the Panthers game shoulda looked like. So glad to hand out a bearing like this!

  17. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Dang it beating! Stoopid auto replace!

  18. Dano407 Says:

    David was Amazing. He’s FINALLY going to get the recognition he deserves! Bucs have been wasting his blitzing talents since Schiano left! Carlton Davis has held opposing #1 receivers below 100 yards thru 6 games. I thought Arians was full of it when he said Davis is a top 10 corner. Boy he wasn’t lying!

  19. Drunkinybor Says:

    I always like Griese. I didnt know he had such crappy leadership abilities. Guy had a cannon for a arm. Just another Jeff Goerge I guess.

  20. Drunkinybor Says:

    Oh I almost forgot my favorite qb to hate Mr. Front Runner pouty face Cam Newton. Now that is a smirk to hate. Never will I ever forget that superbowl against the Broncos when that coward jumped away from a loose ball. Hes such a jack ass when hes winning and a petite pansy when hes down. Man I hate the panthers. Yes I know hes in New England. I hate anything that reminds me of them.

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    I would like to remind everyone what I said BEFORE the Chicago game…

    The Bucs ALWAYS lose in Chicago – and when they lost people would lose their mind panicking.

    BUT, I also said the Packers LOSE in Tampa.

    It’s just the way it is.

    If someone put money on that combo, enjoy paying off your mortgage.

  22. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Rogers looked like he was going to cry a couple of times.

  23. Tampa2-2002 Says:

    Joe and Ira can we please look deeper into Barrett and Jpp switching sides. Barret is all but invisible this year and to me Jpp gets his pressure on stunts and has picked up a coverage sack or two. I know they made the switch on their own but they are less effective and efficient. They need to make the switch as last year they both got pressure without stunts.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    @Howard Cosell … “Then Howard was in disbelief. What was happening? Is this an alternate universe where the Bucs are good?”

    LMAO Howard. An ‘alternate universe?’ I’ve felt exactly that way far too many times in The Den of Depression (and usually not in a good way).

    When it was 10-0 Packers you could summarize almost all the comments on the game thread by saying ‘Here we go again’. Packers methodically marched down the field on that 10-play first drive, and yet our defense held them to a FG. Then after our 3-and-out (run-pass-run-punt), Packers 2nd march of 13-plays ends in a TD. Bucs offense follows that up with an 8-play drive that moved the ball 30 yds, but then another punt. Bummer … It looked like a blowout in the making as the 1st qtr ended.

    BUT … then the Bucs’ defense ignited this team with Dean’s Pick-6 followed 2 plays later by Edwards’ INT & our offense punching it in 1-play later from the 2-yard-line. Everything after that is history: Bucs played a flawless game in every phase of the game & made the SB front-runner look VERY mortal.

    This Bucs’ TEAM has the talent to be a champion, but it has to be allowed to play its game. Todd Bowles let this defense play aggressively yesterday, and it kicked ass. Brian Leftwich finally let this offense play to its current strength: Bucs ran the ball 35 times against 28 passes (yup … 60% rushing yesterday). Brady wasn’t all that special on the day (63%), but he was adequate with the deep ball (3 for 7 for 74 yds) and decent with the short passes (14 for 20 & 92 yds (70%) in that area). The real story of the game offensively was RoJo’s rushing … 23 runs for 113 yds (his ‘standard’ 4.9 YPC) plus 2 TDs. McCoy didn’t add much (4 carries for 1 yd total), but Vaughn did very well mostly in clean-up (5 rushes for 42 yds).

    Looks like BA & BL finally figured out that RoJo really can run and that this OLine really can run-block. Lordy I love smashmouth football.

  25. Doctor Stroud Says:

    It’s great to hear Ira’s take, especially after a Bucs win! In addition to “smarmy”, I would add swarthy (with a picture of Rodgers with a mustache).

  26. Rico 210 Says:

    Very impressive win. Great write up Sage.
    Go Bucs