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Packers Report Card: Defense Delivers Special Win Over Buccaneers

The Green Bay Packers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Week 3 showdown. Here are the unit grades, with high marks for run defense and special teams.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers’ victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t a work of art if only viewed from the Aaron Rodgers-centric prism of offensive greatness.

Yes, the offense went in the tank after Aaron Jones’ goal-line fumble. However, there’s more than one way to skin a cat – just like there’s more than one phase in football. A talented defense and a surging special teams stepped into the vacuum to provide the 14-12 victory. The win was secured by De’Vondre Campbell’s soaring breakup of Tom Brady’s two-point pass.

“We knew it was going to be a battle, a four-quarter battle,” coach Matt LaFleur said afterward. “And give the Bucs a ton of credit. They battled, they hung in there and it came down to that last play. One thing we always talk to our guys about is just how do you respond when adversity strikes, and I thought that, specifically, our defense to allow a touchdown there in the 2-minute drive and just to kind of reset themselves and play that final play, I just loved how we responded. I think it was a gritty team win.”

Generally, when the Packers haven’t scored points by the bushel over the years, they’ve lost. Since Rodgers took over at quarterback in 2008, the Packers were just 8-42 when scoring less than 20 points.

No matter how many style points you want to give it, the victory improved Green Bay’s record to 2-1.

“Every team is going to face adversity throughout the course of the season, and it really doesn’t matter,” LaFleur said. “Nobody really cares. It’s about finding ways to win a game and I was proud that we did that tonight. It’s never easy. I told our guys we’ll never apologize for winning. You’ve just got to find a way and we did.”

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