Two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks will square off on Sunday afternoon when Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers into Raymond James Stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by Tom Brady. This will just be the third meeting between the two quarterbacks, with each one winning one game. The Packers are 4-0 and come in off their bye week to face the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is 3-2 after losing a frustrating game to the Chicago Bears last week.
Read our thoughts about this matchup before you lock in your wagers and when you’re ready just head out to JAZZSports.ag.
NFL: Green Bay at Tampa Bay (October 18)
When: Sunday, October 18, 2020, 4:25 pm ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Radio: WTMJ 620 AM Milwaukee / WXTB 97.9 FM Tampa
JAZZ Sports Odds: Green Bay -2 / Total 54.5 *
*Odds are subject to change.
Why Green Bay Will Win
Aaron Rodgers is having a throwback season, with 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns in just four weeks, completing 70.5% of his passes. Aaron Jones is averaging 93.5 yards per game on the ground, with four touchdowns. Allen Lazard has come on strong in the receiving game with 254 yards and two scores. Davante Adams is injured, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling has come along nicely in relief, with 210 receiving yards. Jamaal Williams has joined Jones in gaining over 100 receiving yards out of the backfield.
On defense, Za’Darius Smith leads the Pack with five sacks, and Christian Kirksey leads in overall tackles with 27 (18 solo). Not only is Green Bay 4-0 straight up, but they have covered the spread in each of those wins. In their last 10 games against a team with a winning record, they have covered eight times. Green Bay has their scheme rolling on offense, especially given the lack of talent they have in their wide receiver corps.
Why Tampa Bay Will Win
Tampa Bay had a bizarre loss against Chicago on Thursday night, falling 20-19. It looked like the Bucs would drive down for a winning field goal, but it appeared Brady forgot which down it was, thinking he had one more down to play with. He has 1,375 passing yards through five games, with a dozen touchdowns and four picks, completing over 64 percent of his passes. His top target has been Mike Evans, who has 22 catches for 271 yards and six scores. O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin each have over 100 rushing yards despite missing Week 5 due to injury, and Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to join Brady in Tampa, has 140 receiving yards. Leonard Fournette, signed after Jacksonville cut him, has 123 yards on the ground and two scores.
Jason Pierre-Paul has four sacks to lead the Bucs. Shaquil Barrett has three, and five different Tampa Bay defenders have two each. Carlton Davis has picked off three passes to lead the team, and Devin White has a team-best 40 tackles. As an underdog, Tampa Bay has failed to cover in six of those last eight situations and has not covered in six straight games against a team with a winning record. Obviously, a lot of that history comes from the Jameis Winston era, and things are supposedly different with Brady running the offense.
The Final Word
Tom Brady has shown that he is anything but the declining quarterback he appeared to be down the stretch in New England last year. He’s energetic, he’s throwing the ball accurately down the field, and he has the culture in Tampa Bay changing. However, Aaron Rodgers is putting up huge numbers, and the Packers are headed to another huge season. I like the Packers to win and cover here.