Devin White asked to be unleashed on Aaron Rodgers — and unleashed he was.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got a standout performance from their second-year linebacker in their 38-10 blowout win over the Green Bay Packers as White recorded a team-high 10 tackles with three for a loss, two quarterback pressures and a sack. The fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft bounced back from a quiet past two games and tallied double-digit tackles for just the fifth time in his young career.
White was hardly alone with the Buccaneers sacking Rodgers a total of five times (he’d been sacked three times all season) and forcing him to throw his first two interceptions of the season, including only his third-career pick-six. In fact, Tampa Bay’s defense was so dominant that White flat-out said the Packers “didn’t deserve” to share a field with them.
“(Jamel) Dean’s pick set the tempo for the rest of the game,” White told reporters in Sunday’s postgame. “We knew those guys didn’t deserve to be on the field with us because we’ve got too much talent and fly around to the ball. And the main thing is we always have fun.
I told (Bucs defensive coordinator) Todd (Bowles) to unleash me, let me get after the quarterback. I had a couple of quarterback hurries, some hits, and I was doing a good job of feeding off the defensive line and outside linebackers because they were doing a good job and the back end, they were doing a good job of disguising. Their offensive line couldn’t pick up really none of our stunts.”
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Packers Fall Apart in Rare Way
If the Packers’ rout at the hands of the Bucs felt particularly bad to fans, it might be because the “kick in the ass” — as Rodgers called it — was a historic brand of terrible.
After the Packers jumped out to a 10-0 lead, the Bucs wrestled back control of the game and dominated them for the remainder of the way, running up an unanswered 38 points. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Packers had never allowed that many consecutive points in any of Rodgers’ previous 178 career starts.
Rodgers also had an out-of-character performance against the Bucs, throwing multiple interceptions in a game for just the 19th time in his career and for the first time since getting picked off twice against San Francisco in last year’s NFC championship game. His last regular-season performance with two or more picks was December 2017.
Dean’s pick, the one White mentioned, was also taken to the house for the Bucs’ first points of the afternoon, adding another rarity for Rodgers. The 36-year-old quarterback had only twice before thrown a pick-six: once in Cincinnati in 2017 and the other, oddly enough, while also in Tampa Bay in 2009.
“That s*** happens,” Rodgers told reporters Sunday of Dean’s pick-six. “I haven’t had a lot of those over the years, but the wind was blowing pretty good right to left. Like I said (before), I felt good about the spot and I knew it was tight. We’ve hit throws like that. I missed the spot by about a foot or so, and the kid made a good play.”
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