Week 3 Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Green Bay Packers

In their first meeting since the 2020 NFC Championship, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Green Bay Packers for their home opener in Week 3. That game featured the Bucs hopping out to a 28-10 lead and hanging on for the eventual 31-26 win. They followed that victory with a 2020 Super Bowl championship. Now, Tampa will try to stake their claim as the team to beat in the NFC by slaying last year's top seed. The Bucs are narrow 1-point favorites to walk away with their third straight win over the Packers in the Tom Brady era.

The Buccaneers have had a rough start to the year despite their 2-0 start. Injuries have piled up. Wide receivers Julio Jones and Chris Godwin missed Week 2, and Mike Evans has already been declared out for Sunday's game with a suspension. Starting center Ryan Jensen was lost for the year during training camp, and starting left tackle Donovan Smith missed Week 2 with an elbow injury. Smith's primary backup Josh Wells was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. The Bucs will need their defense to continue its dominant start to the season, and more importantly, its streak of success against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers: Tampa has sacked him nine times and forced three interceptions in their previous two contests.
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The Packers got back on track in Week 2 following their disastrous showing against the Minnesota Vikings in the season opener. Green Bay overwhelmed the Chicago Bears with 211 net yards through the air and 203 yards on the ground to seal an easy 27-10 win at Lambeau. If the Packers want to reverse their recent trend of futility against the Bucs, that run game should serve them well: Tampa is allowing 4.5 yards per carry so far this year despite top three finishes in rushing yards allowed from 2019 to 2021. To avoid a humiliating beatdown like the one they suffered the last time they visited the Bucs, Green Bay will need to help Aaron Rodgers as much as they can: the Packers quarterback struggled to a mere 118 net passing yards on 39 dropbacks to go along with two interceptions in a 38-10 regular season defeat during the 2020 season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Green Bay Packers this Sunday in Week 3.

Photo Credit: © Mike De Sisti / The Milwaukee Jo via Imagn Content Services, LLC