Buccaneers: Knowing the enemy week 13 – Green Bay Packers

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Wide receiver Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers runs after a catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Wide receiver Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers runs after a catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images) /

With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading to Green Bay, we took some time to get to know the Packers a little better.

I took some time this week to speak with Freddie Boston of Lombardi Ave this week in preparation of the week thirteen matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers. This isn’t the game any of us expected when the schedules came out as both teams are currently under .500 and playoff hopes are all but gone.

The loss of Aaron Rodgers has certainly had its effects on the Packers and the overall disappointment that is the Bucs spans across the 53-man roster. Freddie gave us some insight as to what is going on in Green Bay and what to expect on Sunday.

What have you seen out of Brett Hundley that gives you confidence moving forward? Is he the long-term backup to Aaron Rodgers or will the Packers be quarterback shopping in the off-season?

When the Packers moved up in the draft to get Hundley in 2015, the feeling was always that they’d eventually look to trade him away for a higher pick. Based on his performances so far, that looks unlikely.

We’ve seen the good and bad from Hundley, which is to be expected as he’s basically a rookie. At his worst he’s made poor decisions, held on to the ball far too long and looked lost. At his best, we get excellent performances like last week in Pittsburgh.

Hundley is a great athlete and has the physical tools to become a solid player. So far he’s been far too inconsistent, but that’s possibly just down to a lack of experience.

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If the Packers can’t find a trade partner for him in the spring, they’ll likely draft a quarterback to compete with him for backup duties during training camp.

The Packers had an offensive outburst last week in Pittsburgh and it was by far Hundley’s best performance. Is this something you believe they can build on for the rest of the season or was that game a fluke?

There’s a sense of optimism among Packers fans after last week’s performance, albeit in a losing effort. Hundley surprised us all and was excellent. Unlike in previous games, he made good decisions, protected the football and hit a couple of beautiful throws.

This offense is tough to predict. Hundley did his best Aaron Rodgers impression in the fourth quarter against Chicago and posted a perfect passer rating. But a week later he got picked off three times and the Packers were shutout. Just as fans were ready to throw in the towel, he put together another excellent performance against Pittsburgh.

If the Packers can move the ball on the ground and take some of the pressure off of Hundley, I think we could see another good performance from this offense.

With Kevin King missing practice this week and in danger of missing the game, is Mike Evans the Buccaneers player you are the most concerned about? Which other Bucs do you feel pose a big threat?

Absolutely. Kevin King has been a rare bright spot in Green Bay’s secondary, but a shoulder issue has been affecting him for a while now. Damarious Randall has bounced back in the “star” position and leads the team in interceptions, but Davon House has disappointed. Without King, the Buccaneers will likely target backup corner Josh Hawkins, who has struggled.

Even with King on the field, Mike Evans is a real concern for Green Bay’s defense.

Outside of Evans, DeSean Jackson is a player who could have a nice game, assuming he’s healthy. Jackson’s big-play ability will give defensive coordinator Dom Capers nightmares.

If the Packers win on Sunday, it will be because ____?

If Brett Hundley builds on last week’s performance, is given time in the pocket and makes smart decisions, the Packers will have a good chance to win this game.

Defensively Green Bay needs to shut down the run and force a turnover. Second-year linebacker Blake Martinez could be the key to both. He played the game of his career last week in Pittsburgh, making some nice plays against the run while also coming up with an important interception.

Ultimately it comes down to Hundley. If he plays well, the rest will fall into place.

What do you think will be the outcome of the game?

For the first time since Aaron Rodgers went down, I’m picking the Packers to win. It’ll be a close game, but Green Bay will be playing with a sense or urgency. The Packers’ season is over if they lose. Mike McCarthy’s teams often play their best football when their backs are against the wall, which is exactly what we saw last week.

I think Hundley plays well enough to keep the offense ticking, and defensively the Packers come up with a crucial turnover. Packers 24, Buccaneers 20.

Next: Which Packers Are The Ones To Keep An Eye On?

For my prediction, as well as David Harrison’s, check out Friday’s episode of Locked On Bucs below or wherever you download your podcasts!