Week 13 Recap: Packers Stay Alive

“For what feels like a month now,” I wrote leading up to Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, “I’ve been declaring the Packers’ season over.”

And it’s true. The Packers’ season was, and is, still all but finished. For more than a month they’ve been on life support, needing hapless play from other teams to stay in games and big breaks going their way to win at all.

But wins hold off the inevitable cold January at home, at least for a little bit longer. The Packers got all the help they needed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, truly a hapless team that can’t seem to get out of its own way.

Walking turnover machine Jameis Winston gift wrapped Dean Lowry the play of a lifetime, couldn’t make plays in the red zone, and took far too many sacks.

The Packers, meanwhile, tried their best to give the game away. Brett Hundley’s overthrow of Geronimo Allison cost the Packers a touchdown, and his punt-like interception later in the first half derailed the Packers again.

And yet, here we are. The Packers did just enough to come up with a win. Hundley, working mostly with his legs and the hard charging style of Jamaal Williams, engineered a touchdown drive capped off by the lightning quick Aaron Jones. With Aaron Rodgers on his way back, perhaps hope isn’t entirely out of line.

Is the Packers season over? It might be soon, but it isn’t yet.

Four and Out

1 - Green Bay got all kinds of pressure on Jameis Winston, and Clay Matthews led the way with 2.5 sacks. It was the first time since December 21, 2014 that Matthews had at least 2.5 sacks in a game. Oddly enough ,the last time he did it was also against the Buccaneers, piling up quarterback takedowns in a 20-3 Packers win.

2 - We wrote pregame about the Packers’ inability to get their hands on the ball on defense, and while some of it could certainly be attributed to Jameis Winston’s giving nature as a quarterback, the Packers did manage to affect a few passes on defense. Four different Packers players were credited with passes defensed, including three defensive backs.

3 - Lambeau Field has been a house of horrors for Brett Hundley. While he’s shown flashes as a passer on the road, his home games have been a nightmare of epic proportions. Through four games at home as a starting quarterback, Hundley is 72 of 121 passing for 655 yards, no touchdowns, and five interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 57.0.

4 - Talk about a day for rookie running backs. On top of Aaron Jones’ game winning sprint to the end zone, Jamaal Williams piled up 113 yards to join Jones in the 100 yard rushing club this season. It’s just the second time in Packers history that two rookies have totaled 100 rushing yards in a season. The first time was when Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin did it in 2013.