4 steps for the Buccaneers to return to the Super Bowl
By Rob Leeds
Contain Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is likely the most talented quarterback to ever play in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes could unseat the long-time Packers quarterback down the road, but for now, the distinction almost unanimously belongs to Rodgers.
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Rodgers has the arm strength, poise, and awareness to excel against almost any team in the NFL, but his real strength is his mobility. Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks at extending plays in NFL history, and the Buccaneers have to key in on this early if they hope to slow him down.
The best way for the Buccaneers to keep Rodgers in the pocket is to play extremely safe with containment. The Bucs don’t need to use a spy or anything like that, but Lavonte David and Devin White need to keep their eyes in the backfield on passing downs if they want to keep Rodgers from making a magical play.
Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul will also need to be on top of their game rushing the passer. Even when you think you have Rodgers dead to rights, his ability to roll back out and zip a pass downfield has a way of crushing the morale of a defense. Conservative defense isn’t what the Buccaneers are known for, but the linebackers need to anticipate Rodgers running out to one side or the other continually.
If the Buccaneers can keep Rodgers corralled, which they did very well in the first matchup, Tampa Bay will have a great chance of making it to the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history.
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