Friday, November 18, 2011

Week 11: Tampa Bay at Green Bay

The Packers are a far, far better team than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Pack will probably destroy the Bucs … but still, this game makes me nervous. I remember the 2009 Tampa Bay game in which Josh Freeman made his first start, and the Packers made him look like a superstar. And I’m wary of the Packers’ first loss being a trap game against a huge underdog. And I’m going to be at the game on Sunday, and I’m afraid of jinxing Green Bay. The Bucs already surprised New Orleans and Atlanta this season. They’re on a three-game losing streak and just got whipped by the Texans in a game where their effort was questioned, and they could be playing for pride.

So, I’m going to talk myself through this anxiety, and show how the Packers just can’t be beaten by the Buccaneers.

Tampa has a very weak defense. They rank 28th in passing yards allowed and 29th in rushing yards. They’re missing their best defensive player in DT Gerald McCoy, who’s out for the season with a torn bicep. And just in case that didn't placate my fears, this is the defense that just acquired Albert Haynesworth.  In case you don’t know who that is, here’s what The Onion had to say about him:

Report: Albert Haynesworth Just a Mound of Hot Dogs and Ice Cream

This defense has to play Aaron Rodgers. Awww, those poor kids.

                                              You know what he’s doing here? Crowning himself 
                                           with an imaginary laurel wreath. Because he’s a winner.

Josh Freeman is having a rough season. After a strong sophomore season, Freeman is struggling to connect with his receivers. Freeman is second only to Philip Rivers for most interceptions, and while his receivers are certainly talented, they lead the league in dropped passes. Plus, Freeman is playing with a sprained thumb on his throwing hand.

"Stop dropping my passes!'

The Packers’ defense likes taking the ball away.  The Packers lead the league in interceptions. They’re an opportunistic defense that is going to jump on any mistakes by the Buccaneers. Charles Woodson is on a mission - you can smell how much he wants another pick-six to tie him for most all-time. Perhaps Sunday will be his day.

Yes! Another excuse to use this picture!

Let’s hope the Packers’ defense continues the aggressiveness of last week and puts some pressure on Freeman.

(I couldn’t find a picture of the Packers sacking Josh Freeman,* so just pretend this is Josh.)

 *This may or may not be true.

The game is at Lambeau. The Bucs have only one win on the road this season, against the Minnesota Vikings (which barely counts as a victory), and it’ll be the first cold weather game of the season for those sun-spoiled Buccaneers.

Thus, the Packers will win on Sunday. Q.E.D.

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