Packers hang on by thread to beat Bucs in potential last Tom Brady-Aaron Rodgers game
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The battle between two legendary quarterbacks went in favor of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who defeated Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 14-12, on Sunday.
The game came down to a two-point conversion for the Bucs, who just scored a touchdown via Russell Gage Jr. With just 12 seconds left to play, the conversion would’ve sent the game to overtime (unless the Packers could’ve pulled off something crazy on the ensuing kickoff), but the Bucs weren’t able to convert as Brady’s pass hit the turf.
Brady’s attempt, though, came after a delay-of-game penalty pushed the Bucs back five yards. Just after the play clock hit zero, Brady snapped the ball, and it looked like running back Leonard Fournette was about to waltz in for the tie game.
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Instead, chalk this win up for Rodgers, who seriously got the offense rolling in this road game.
Rodgers finished with 255 yards on 27-for-35 passing with two touchdowns and one interception to help his team pick up their second straight win.
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His favorite target on the day was rookie Romeo Doubs, who had the first touchdown catch of the game as well as 73 yards on eight catches. Doubs caught many short passes from Rodgers and used his speed to pick up extra yardage.
Rodgers would also find Allen Lazard for a score in the first half as he finished with 45 yards on four catches.
The Packers’ offense was clean in the first half but wasn’t the same in the second half as the Tampa Bay defense, the best unit in the league entering Week 3, stepped up. At one point, Rodgers was 0-for-8 on third downs until late in the fourth quarter when they finally picked one up.
But playing without top receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones certainly influenced Brady’s offensive production. They went 2-for-11 on the night on third down, and it wasn’t until that final touchdown drive where Brady got something really going.
Breshad Perriman and Gage both had a fumble that killed two separate drives for the Bucs, and Brady struggled to work around the shortcomings. The defense kept the Bucs in the game, but Brady couldn’t repay them for their efforts in the end.
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The 45-year-old future Hall of Famer totaled 271 yards on 31-for-42 through the air with the one touchdown pass. Gage was his favorite target, catching 12 passes for 87 yards.
Fournette had trouble getting it going on the ground, rushing 12 times for just 35 yards. But he did have five catches for 35 yards, a few of which came in the final drive to help set up the touchdown.
This matchup could also potentially be the last between Brady and Rodgers, as the former will reportedly be retiring at the end of the season. The only way that won’t be the case is if these two teams meet in the playoffs.
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The Packers will look to push their win streak to three games at home against the New England Patriots next week, while Tampa has a tough task with the Kansas City Chiefs on their home turf for Sunday Night Football.