The Green Bay Packers were supposed to go into Tampa and put the hurt on the Buccaneers. Instead, rookie QB Josh Freeman made his first NFL start and led Tampa Bay to a 38-28 win over the Packers. The win allowed the Bucs to become the last team in the NFL this season to win their first game.
Freeman passed for 205 yards and three touchdowns and despite an interception, looked almost in complete control.
The Packers came into the game thinking they could confuse the rookie and do to the Buccaneers what they did to the Lions and the Cleveland Browns a few weeks ago. But that wasn’t in Tampa Bay’s plans on the day. Not only couldn’t the Packers protect their quarterback, they couldn’t get to Freeman either.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns for the Packers, but the league’s top rated passer also tossed three interceptions. Rodgers was sacked six more times, increasing the Packers NFL-worst total to 37 in the first eight games of the season. To make matters worse, Tampa Bay’s defense had just 11 sacks coming into the game.
The Buccaneers trailed the Packers 21-17 at the half, but Freeman found Kellen Winslow and Sammie Stroughter for touchdowns in the fourth quarter, then the Bucs returned a Rodgers interception for a touchdown to seal the win.
Green Bay running back Ahman Green did rush for 45 yards, giving him 8,208 yards for his career. That surpasses Hall of Famer Jim Taylor (8,207) for the most rushing yards in franchise history.
Packers tackle Mark Tauscher returned to the starting lineup for the Packers but left the game with a knee injury and did not return.
The Packers fell to 4-4 with the loss and are now 3-full games behind the division leading Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North standings. Minnesota also owns the division tie-breaker based on their two victories over the Packers earlier. That means the Packers would practically need to run the table in the second half of the season and have the Vikings have a monumental collapse to have a shot at the division title.