King of The Mountain

When the Packers come to Tampa Bay on Sunday they will be looking to avenge last year's loss in which Warren Sapp challenged the opposing head coach by telling him to "put the pads on". This was not the team's, or Sapp's finest hour and the Packers will likely take a specific interest in shutting Sapp out like so many other teams have found a way to do this season.

Sapp has sacked Packer quarterback Brett Favre eight times in his career, and he will need to add to that total if the Bucs plan on winning to avoid a crippling three game losing streak.

The Packers are ranked one spot above the Bucs in total offense sitting at number five in the league. The bulk of their production has come from their offensive line that has allowed only eleven sacks all year and allowed the fumble prone Ahman Green to rush for over a thousand yards already. Favre has thrown 17 touchdowns this year after starting slowly. Luckily for the Bucs he has already thrown 11 interceptions, reminiscent of his early years at the helm of the Packers, which has helped the Pack find their way to the basement in turnover margin posting an awful -8.

Turnovers have been instrumental in the Packers' 5 losses. Sound familiar? They also have not been able to stop anyone on defense when they had to. Sound familiar? This game pits two teams that have been beating themselves all season long. It has all the makings of a conservative battle that the Packers are better equipped to fight due to their effective ground game. The Bucs' offensive line has to show up and open some holes or the defense is going to be on the field all day. Luckily the temperatures should be in the 60's shortly after kickoff.

As if the Bucs have not had enough, their best receiver, Keenan McCardell, injured his hamstring in practice this week and found himself as the newest member of the star studded Buccaneer injury report, listed as questionable. Fortunately, tight end Rickey Dudley has joined the team after reaching an injury settlement after being injured in the pre-season game with the Houston Texans. This should give the offense some spark. Dudley has 32 career touchdowns and will be a much needed target if McCardell cannot play.

These two teams have a rivalry from the old Central Division that was given a transfusion of new bad blood after the scene that played out at the conclusion of last year's game. This should amount to a hard hitting affair that will leave the winner charged for a late play off surge and the loser thinking about what might have been.

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