Green Bay Packers are playoff bound
With a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers are headed to the postseason for a sixth straight season.
But Green Bay's work isn't done yet. With a win Sunday, the Packers can clinch the NFC North division title and at least the No. 2 seed. If Seattle loses to St. Louis Sunday as well, Green Bay could even be the No. 1 seed and have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Now back to the game, yesterday. If you looked at the score of the game between the Packers and Buccaneers, it would seem closer than one would have liked. Green Bay defeated Tampa Bay, 20-3. But beyond the box score, the Packers dominated the game for the most part.
Aaron Rodgers surpassed 4,000 yards passing on the season in the game. All in all, the NFL MVP candidate was 31 of 40 for 318 yards, a touchdown, no interception and a 108.1 passer rating. Plus, Rodgers played against the Buccaneers Sunday while sick and with a pulled calf.
Eddie Lacy ran 19 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry and busted out a 44-yard touchdown run.
Jordy Nelson caught the Packers lone receiving touchdown from Rodgers. Nelson caught nine passes for 113 yards. Randall Cobb led Green Bay in receiving with 13 catches for 131 yards.
Defensively, the Packers shined. Early in the game when the Packers had a 10-0 lead into the second quarter, Green Bay had 236 yards of total offense, while Tampa Bay had zero. Overall, the Packers out-gained the Buccaneers with 431 total yards to 109 total yards. Green Bay averaged 6.0 yards per play to Tampa Bay's 2.3 yards per pay. The Packers had 23 first downs to the Buccaneers' six first downs.
While Green Bay only forced one turnover (an interception by Datone Jones), its pressure from the defensive line and linebackers was superb. The Packers sacked Josh McCown seven times yesterday. Clay Matthews had 2.5 sacks, and Julius Peppers had 2 sacks. Matthews also had three tackles for a loss for Green Bay.
Next week, the Packers host the Lions at Lambeau Field at 3:25 p.m. on Fox for the NFC North division title. The game can also be heard right here on ESPN 99.1
Sam Tastad will have pre-and-post game report for the Packers all season long. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.