There has been a lot of talk recently about how the Buccaneers’ defense has improved. They were easily laughable and were on the verge of being the worst defense historically. But they have done nothing but improve and face their biggest challenge when they host the Green Bay Packers who rank sixth in offense.
Green Bay averages 383.6 yards per game of total offense. A big part of that is their passing game, led by Aaron Rodgers, which produces 266.1 yards per game (eighth in NFL). Tampa Bay has struggled as they have given up an average of 250.4 yards per game through the air but after giving up 300 yards or more from opposing passing attacks four times in the first six games, they have given up that kind of yardage just twice in the last eight.
Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier talked about how his defense is ready for a big challenge on Sunday.
“I think anytime you face an offense that’s as good as this one is – they’ve been pretty good throughout the season – it’s a challenge for any defense,” Fraizer said. “We want to rise to the challenge and play well on Sunday at home in front of our fans. They present a lot of challenges, not just in the passing game, but the run game and what they’re doing with the offensive line and obviously the quarterback. So it will be a good barometer for us to just get a feel for where we are and how much we’ve actually improved. I think we’re looking forward to that challenge.”
Adding to the difficulty of stopping Rodgers and the Packers’ offense is injuries the Bucs have on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was placed on I.R. earlier this week so his season is done. On Friday, the team announced they will be without safety Major Wright while linebacker Mason Foster and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald are questionable for this week’s contest.
Green Bay presents a challenge to any opposing defense. For the Bucs, Sunday’s matchup against the Packers will be the best measuring stick they’ve had all season.
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