Packers survive to win at Tampa Bay

The Green Bay Packers got stellar offense and just enough defense against mutually depleted NFC contender Tampa Bay on Sunday, winning 14-12, improving their record to 2-1 on the season.

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on their first possession of the game, but their offense was largely quiet until the end of the game.

Green Bay took the lead on a Romeo Doubs 5-yard touchdown pass reception from Aaron Rodgers. Doubs’ catch capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive and made the score 7-3 with 3:01 left to play in the first quarter.

The Packers would never surrender that lead.

In the second quarter, Rodgers found Allan Lazard for a 6-yard slant that resulted in Green Bay’s second and final touchdown.

From there, stymied by stout defenses and injured wide receivers, two of the best quarterbacks of all time didn’t put on the show some had thought they might, considering their respective resumes.

David Bakhtiari returned to the Packers lineup, splitting series with Yosh Nijman at left tackle. Aside from one game against Detroit last season, Bakhtiari hasn’t played in almost two years after tearing his ACL during practice late in the 2020 season.

After adding a second Ryan Succop 45-yard field goal in the third quarter, Tampa Bay had one last-gasp attempt to tie the game and force overtime with just over three minutes left in regulation.

Trailing 14-6, Brady drove his team 89 yards on 13 plays to pull within two points. Russell Gage, one of the Bucs’ banged up wide receivers, caught a 1-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-12 with just :14 left on the clock.

Tampa Bay inexplicably got flagged for delay of game, pushing their two-point attempt back to the 7-yard line and likely changing the play that the Buccaneers were going to run.

As Brady looked for Gage streaking from the left to the right end zone boundary, Green Bay’s De’Vondre Campbell deflected the pass, preserving the Packers win.

On the injury front, All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander had to leave in the first half with a groin injury. Immediately after the game, coach Matt LaFleur did not have an update on Alexander’s status.

The Packers return to Lambeau Field for next Sunday’s matchup with the New England Patriots (1-2). The game starts at 3:25 PM (CT). Radio coverage on 97.3 The Game begins at 10:00 AM (CT) with Packers Gameday.

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