What NFC Championship Bettors Should Take/Leave from Bucs-Packers Week 6

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Updated: January 20, 2021

The Bucs throttled the Packers 38-10 in Week 6, but that loss looks like a bit of an outlier in retrospect. We’re breaking down that matchup, and what you should – and shouldn’t – expect to repeat itself in the NFC Championship game.

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The NFC Championship Game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers is a rematch of a Week 6 meeting in which the Bucs stunned the Cheeseheads 38-10 as 3-point home underdogs.

That has plenty of eyes combing that box score, reading the recaps and re-watching the October 18 contest hoping to find a few nuggets of NFL betting gold to help make their picks and predictions for NFC Championship Sunday.

Week 6 was a long time ago and while there are aspects to that result that won’t play into the NFC title game this weekend, there are some that could. We dissect the previous encounter between Tampa Bay and Green Bay and tell you what to take and what to leave when betting on the NFC Championship odds.

Green Bay Packers 10, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38

Leave: Bucs’ Sack Attack

Tampa Bay was trouble for Aaron Rodgers in their Week 6 meeting, sacking the Packers QB four times, constantly flushing him out of the pocket, and forcing two interceptions, with All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari leaving the game due to injury.  

The Bucs do have one of the better defenses in the NFL, but the pass rush has somewhat dissipated in recent weeks. Tampa has only three sacks in the past three games and wasn’t able to bring down Drew Brees in the Divisional Round.

As for Green Bay, despite Bakhtiari now being done for the season, the offensive line is on another planet right now – in a good way. Rodgers had an embarrassing amount of time to throw the ball in the win over the L.A. Rams vaunted pass rush, which failed to register a single sack in the Divisional Round. 

Tampa Bay loves to blitz, doing so on 39 percent of its defensive play calls (fifth-most). But with the way No. 12 (the one in green and yellow) is making foes pay for bringing extra bodies, I don’t see the Bucs rushing Rodgers like they did in Week 6.

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Take: Green Bay’s Quick Start

Tampa Bay smacked the Pack so hard in Week 6 you forget Green Bay jumped out to a 10-0 lead in that contest. In fact, the Packers are the top first-half scoring team in the NFL, averaging 18.7 points in the opening two frames, including 19 1H tallies versus the Rams last weekend.

The Bucs defense has taken some time to warm up this year, allowing 5.9 points per first quarter and 13.2 points per first half on the season before slamming the door on 8.9 average second-half points (third-best). 

Tampa Bay fell behind 6-0 to the Saints in the opening 15 minutes last week, which actually could have easily been 21-0 if not for some miscues from New Orleans and a punt return TD that was called back. The Bucs should brace for another strong start from Green Bay. 

Leave: Bucs’ Scoring 

Tampa Bay hung 38 points on the Packers defense in that Week 6 meeting, which was the largest point total against Green Bay all season. But don’t give Brady & Co. too much credit. 

After punting on their first two possessions, the Bucs cracked the scoreboard on a 32-yard interception return touchdown and nearly struck again on defense with an INT return taken all the way to the two-yard line, gift-wrapping a short rushing TD for Ronald Jones to take a 14-10 edge. 

A facemask call against the Packers on a third down eventually led to another Bucs score to go up 21-10 in the second quarter, and later in the second half, a 40-yard pass interference flag set up another goal-line TD run for Jones to pull away 38-10.

All in all, the turnovers and DPI sunk the Cheeseheads despite winning the TOP battle and limiting the Tampa Bay offense to only 12 first downs on the day. The Bucs can put up the points, but they won’t come as easily as they did in Week 6 – especially if winter weather limits their big-play offense on Sunday. Green Bay’s stop unit has also been stingy, limiting its last six foes to just over 17 points per game.

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