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Packers vs. Buccaneers Final Score: Stout Defensive Effort Propels Green Bay In 20-3 Road Win

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The Packers held the Buccaneers to just 16 yards rushing in a 20-3 victory in Tampa.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A strong seven-sack defensive performance from the Green Bay Packers helped them charge past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-3 in Tampa Bay. The Packers held the Buccaneers to just 16 yards on the ground, while also picking off quarterback Josh McCown, and only allowing 93 yards passing in addition.

Aaron Rodgers passed for 318 yards and threw one touchdown with a 108.1 passer rating, while Randall Cobb caught a career-high 11 passes for a career-high 131 yards. His fellow receiver Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for 113 yards and a score.

We recap the playoff-clinching victory below:

First half

The Packers came out flat on offense the first three drives of the game after two punts and a fumble. Defensive end Michael Johnson nailed two shots on Rodgers early in the first quarter that left the quarterback pretty shaken. Nevertheless, Rodgers stayed in after getting looked at on the sidelines and eventually put together the game's first scoring drive with the first session winding down. Green Bay went 82 yards in seven plays for a touchdown that came at the hands of Eddie Lacy, who scampered 44 yards after a cut on the left-side. That run put Lacy over 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight year, and was his longest of the season. Rodgers completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive to put them in good field position before the Lacy run, and the Packers were up 7-0 after one, while also holding the Buccaneers to just six total net yards.

From that point on, it was an exchange of field goals from each team, as Mason Crosby connected from 42 yards out, and rookie kicker Patrick Murray nailed one from 43 to end the half.

Second half

Green Bay had a chance to make it a two score game on their first drive, but Mike McCarthy elected to go for it on fourth down at the goal line. Three straight stuffs from the Buccaneers set up the situation near the one, and the Packers couldn't score after Rodgers pass intended for Randall Cobb was incomplete.

A 12-play 56-yard drive in the second quarter helped the Packers tack on another field goal, going up by 10, 13-3. Tampa Bay punted on their first three drives on the second half, not even moving the ball more than six yards on those drives. A Jordy Nelson touchdown from one-yard out put the game out of reach with under three minutes to go, making the score 20-3. The Packers went 71 yards in just nine plays after starting from their own 29 yard line.

The poor offensive success for Tampa Bay stalled them from moving the ball down field, and a poor rushing attack forced Josh McCown to attempt over 25 throws. Green Bay got a two-sack game from both Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, and totaled seven sacks at the end of the game. A disruptive performance against one of the worst offensive lines in the league.

The victory now leads up to a Week 17 showdown in Green Bay between the Packers and Detroit Lions. It should be a good one, with playoff complications on the line.