It’s hard to see the Bucs winning a lot of games, but it’s also difficult to see them getting swept by a team that isn’t that much better than they are. For as much as the Falcons added to their offense with Bijan Robinson or made some smart moves to improve the defense, the gap between Atlanta and Tampa Bay is not wide.
In fact, it might not even be one the Bucs are on the wrong side of.
Desmond Ridder isn’t that different from Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans is still the best receiver in the matchup, and the Bucs have a better defense.
Atlanta might catch the Bucs earlier in the year, but this could be a get-back game for Tampa Bay. They’ll be coming off a tough divisional loss to the Panthers and probably won’t turn in back-to-back duds.
Buccaneers record: 5-8
Aaron Rodgers might be gone, but the Green Bay Packers remain a really fantastic team in his wake. It could be argued that last year’s struggles for Green Bay were mostly the fault of Rodgers. Everyone points to the obvious game against the Lions that kept the Packers out of the playoffs, but it was Rodgers’ poor play in the team’s first matchup against Detroit that put them in that spot to begin with.
Now it’s Jordan Love’s turn, and he has massive expectations to live up to. Not only is he following Rodgers but he’s chasing the ghost of Brett Favre too. Will Love become the third straight franchise quarterback for Green Bay or does the streak end with him?
Tampa Bay has its work cut out for a few different reasons. This matchup coming so late in the season means it will likely be very important to Green Bay’s hunt for the postseason, and they’ll have had three full months to fine-tune what they’re doing. It’s also at Lambeau Field in December, which means it’s probably not going to be beach weather.
Baker Mayfield made a start at Lambeau last year with the Rams and it did not go well, nor did his first start there back when he was with the Browns. Here’s to hoping things go differently and the Bucs experience something more along the lines of how things went the last time the team made a trip up to Green Bay.
Buccaneers record: 5-9