Week 13: Dec. 3 at Green Bay Packers (1 p.m.)
Oh, boy. The timing of this game didn’t work out for the Bucs at all. Historically, the team has not played well at all in cold weather. That makes this trip to Lambeau Field a monumental task for Tampa Bay. And that doesn’t even account for the opponent in the game.
The Packers are contenders year in and year out, fielding one of, if not the best quarterbacks in the league. Playing a team that’s as tough as Green Bay, on the road in 30-degree weather, is as difficult as it gets. It would be hard enough for the Bucs to beat Aaron Rodgers and co. at home in 85-degree weather. Factor together the cold weather, the hometown crowd and the skill of the Packers and you have a gigantic challenge.
Of course, this is another chance for Tampa Bay to prove itself. Jameis Winston will be up to the challenge, as will his receivers. The offensive line will need to stand tall and the running game will need to be a factor. If the defense is able to slow Rodgers, the offense could put up enough points, allowing the Bucs escape the “Frozen Tundra” with a season-defining win. If they can do that, it would signal that Tampa Bay truly has arrived.