Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has assumed many roles across his NFL tenure, though espionage expert has never been one of them — at least not until Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Rodgers shouldered his regular responsibilities, completing 27 of 35 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. However, as he is known to do, Bucs’ quarterback Tom Brady took the final say Sunday out of his opponent’s hands. Brady led Tampa Bay on a 13-play drive that ended 89 yards later in the Packers’ end zone with just 14 seconds on the clock. The score made the game 14-12 in favor of Green Bay, with the outcome resting on a two-point conversion.
The Bucs did the Packers a favor when they first lined up to go for the try, taking a delay of game penalty that pushed them back from the two-yard line to the seven-yard line. It was at that point that Rodgers jumped on an opportunity to wrestle control of the game back from Brady without the seven-time Super Bowl champion even realizing it.
Tampa Bay failed to convert the next pass play, resulting in a Packers’ victory that moved the team to 2-1 on the year. Rodgers spoke to Tom Rinaldi of FOX Sports about the initiative he took as a sideline spy following the game, a clip of which the Pat McAfee Show tweeted on Sunday afternoon.
“Sometimes you see things in the game. Sometimes the Jumbotron shows things they probably shouldn’t show, even at home,” Rodgers said. “I saw something, and I just passed on the information.”
Packers’ LaFleur Confirms Rodgers’ Role in Crucial Defensive Stop
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was asked about Rodgers’ contribution to the final defensive stand on Sunday, his answer confirming the quarterback’s assistance without going into any further detail.
“Yeah, we were talking about a few things,” LaFleur said coyly during the postgame press conference. “I’m not gonna share that, no.”
Of course, Rodgers doesn’t deserve all the credit. The Packers’ defensive unit was special all day, from the opening kick to its final play that shut down the two-point conversion and sealed the victory.
The Bucs gained just 34 yards on the ground and 305 total yards of offense on the day, while Green Bay also forced their NFC rival into two turnovers. The pass rush flustered Brady throughout the afternoon, hitting him on four occasions and registering three sacks.
Packers’ linebacker De’Vondre Campbell led the way with 14 total tackles, including one tackle for loss, and one pass defensed.
Rookie WR Romeo Doubs Comes Up Clutch on Another Slow Day For Packers’ Offense
On the offensive side of the ball, Sunday was a coming out party for one of the Packers’ two prominent rookie wide receivers.
Romeo Doubs pulled in eight catches for 73 yards and the first touchdown of his NFL career in his role as Green Bay’s most competent and consistent offensive weapon of the matchup.
His rookie counterpart, Christian Watson, was inactive Sunday with a hamstring injury. Sammy Watkins, the team’s leading wideout coming into Week 3, was placed on the injured reserve (IR) list prior to the contest and will remain there for at least the next three games.