This week on my In-Depth Breakdown I am going to focus on the matchup between the (4-0) Green Bay Packers and the (3-2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I chose this game to take advantage of the opportunity to go deep with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Although most analysts consider Brady the G.O.A.T. (greatest-of-all-time) Rodgers is the QB that I have always considered to be the most ‘talented’ player to ever play the position (Mahomes may have changed my mind).
“He’s been an icon at the position.”
— Aaron Rodgers
“He’s so much more talented than me.”
— Tom Brady
— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) October 15, 2020
The Bucs will play host to the Packers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay FL, on Sunday at 4:25 PM EST. The Bucs have announced that they will let 25% of the 65,618 capacity attend. That means there will be 16,404 lucky fans that get to see two of the best quarterbacks duel, for only their third time.
Aaron Rodgers’ Greatness
I have fond memories of chatting with my friends about the best quarterback in the league. That was when many thought Peyton Manning was the best. My best friend Kyle is a Packers fan who loved when I would agree that Rodgers was the best QB I had seen.
As a high school QB, I learned the basic mechanics of what it took to be a quarterback. Elite QBs all need quick feet, a laser-rocket arm, and a mix of poise and firey-leadership.
I have never seen anyone throw a football with such ease and accuracy as the two-time league MVP. Until Patrick Mahomes joined the league, Rodgers was in a league of his own when it came to arm talent. Although other guys like Manning, Brady, and Brees all have really good arm mechanics, they physically do not possess what Rodgers brings. As the new saying goes, “he built different.”
Who's the better QB: Rodgers or Brady?
"The better QB is Aaron Rodgers, the more accomplished QB is Tom Brady. For me Rodgers can do things throwing the football that only Brady can dream of. Prior to Mahomes, Rodgers was the most gifted thrower I laid eyes on." — @ShannonSharpe pic.twitter.com/Y3VEilK1Vu
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) October 15, 2020
Those “three guys” who lead most categories when it comes to NFL passers also lack Rodgers’ quickness. Rodgers moves well inside and outside the pocket and can throw on the run better than “‘those other guys.:
I cannot and will not sit here and say Brady is NOT the G.O.A.T. The championships he has won and his continued dominance in New England is unparalleled in any sport. It’s like if you put LeBron’s ability to get to the championship with Jordan’s six rings. That’s what you get in Tom Brady. The question I have: Would the Patriots have won more championships with Rodgers as their QB for all those years?
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) October 16, 2020
It doesn’t really matter what I think. The film and the numbers are what shows A-Rod’s dominance. Since I can’t break down too much film with you, here are the numbers:
- Career Passer Rating – 103.0 (1st)
- Career TD/INT, ratio – 377/84, 4.49 (1st)
- Career Passing yards – 48,160 (12th)
- Career completion percentage – 64.7 (11th)
Not turning the ball over is what Rodgers has done better than anyone to play QB. His TD/INT ratio is a full point higher than second-place Russell Wilson (3.46). Tom Brady’s (3.02) is the only other QB with a ratio above three. To put this into perspective, Wilson would need to throw for more than 131 TDs and less than 13 INTs to pass Rodgers. Or, Brady would need to throw for 269 TDs and no INTs.
Aaron Rodgers has thrown two pick-sixes in his career while attempting 5,492 passes. That’s incredible; Rodgers is in the all-time Top 20 quarterbacks in total passes thrown, and everyone else in the Top 20 has thrown at least 10 pick-sixes.
Aaron Rodgers could throw an INT on each of his next 72 passes and still have a better career passer rating than Tom Brady.
— Classy Stats (@ClassyStats) October 14, 2020
Rodgers quickly proved that he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league by passing for 4,038 yards in his first season as a starter as well as throwing for 28 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions. As of the 2020 season, this still stands as the most interceptions he has thrown in a season. So, if you take away his first year as a starter these numbers would become more bonkers.
Of Rodgers’ 377 career TD passes, one has been caught by a first-round draft pick. Do not get me started on the Packers drafting QB Jordan Love in the first round this year when they had a chance to get a nice receiver for Rodgers. Maybe the motivation to prove the organization wrong was worth more than an extra weapon?
Aaron Rodgers: Season Stats
Aaron Rodgers has made not turning the ball over ‘normal.’ Even with his crazy career number Rodgers is off to his best four game start of his career. Rodgers has played one less game than most other QBs thus far in the season so his totals are not super impressive… Yet.
- 2020 Passer Rating – 128.4 (2nd)
- 2020 TD/INT, Ratio – 13/0, Not a number* (1st)
- 2020 Passing Yards – 1,214 (17th)
- 2020 Completion percentage – 70.5% (8th)
Aaron Rodgers is the only starting QB in the NFL with ZERO interceptions 😤 pic.twitter.com/TLxnxUHK6t
— Matt Ramage (@mattramage) October 11, 2020
One might think that Rodgers hasn’t turned the ball over because he is throwing the ball short. This could not be further from the truth. Even with Rodgers’ best weapons sidelined due to injuries, he continues to make defenses defend the entire field.
Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL in completions on passes thrown over 20 yards in the air. This highlights how aggressive he’s been creating explosive plays down the field. Through three weeks, Rodgers already had 10 completions on deep throws, per Pro Football Focus. Of his 887 passing yards, 400 have been the result of deep completions. The Packers lead the NFL with five passing plays of at least 40 yards.
Carson Wentz: 9 INT this season on 195 attempts
Aaron Rodgers: 9 INT since Week 3, 2017 on 1,442 attempts pic.twitter.com/xNh4FzbbVJ
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 13, 2020
Tom Brady’s Greatness is Undeniable
Brady has set the Gold Standard for the QB position for the past 20 years. Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champ and three-time league MVP. No team has dominated a division as Brady and the Patriots did for the past 20 seasons. Now the age of 43, Brady is in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The easy thing for Brady to do would have been retire and not let anyone know if he could win without Bill Belichick. Instead, Brady took his talent to Florida to try and win a Super Bowl with another team.
Brady is the ultimate competitor. His fire and determination to win is seen every Sunday. Mix that with his game smarts and you have a six-time champion. Not to mention, his size and accuracy make him a great QB. It is Tom Brady’s NFL and everyone else is just playing in it.
Tom Brady’s Career Numbers
Tom Brady is in the midst of his 21st NFL season. When someone plays as long as Brady has the career numbers really start to pile up. Where Brady has really shined is in the playoffs, which I am not going to dive into here.
- Career passer rating – 97.0 (6th)
- Career TD/INT, ratio – 553/183, 3.02 (3rd)
- Career Passing yards -75,946 (2nd)
- Career completion percentage – 63.3% (16th)
Brady continually does whatever his team needs to win games and championships. Sometimes that may be throwing for 400+ yards and five TDs, or handing it off 30 times. His 553 TD passes are three TDs behind Drew Brees. Brady breaks a defense’s will by continually taking what they are giving him.
Brady’s 222 career wins are is almost 40 more than second-place Brett Farve. Brady is the ultimate winner (nine Super Bowl appearances). His 30 career playoff wins are almost double that of second-place Joe Montana. Brady is clutch. Brady led a game-winning drive in the 4th quarter or OT in all six of his Super Bowl wins.
Tom Brady’s 2020 Stats
Brady has already thrown for a five-TD game in 2020. He also has made some big mistakes in the Bucs’ losses. He is in a new system under a new coach for the first time in his career.
- 2020 passer rating – 96.8 (16th)
- 2020 TD/INT, ratio – 12/4
- 2020 passing yards – 1,375 (10th)
- 2020 completion percentage – 64.3%
As you can see above, Brady is having a good year, but not great. His offense has been riddled with injuries which has hurt his ability to mesh with all his playmakers. The Bucs should continue to progress as Brady settles in and he gets WRs Chris Goodwin and Mike Evans healthy.
Packers at Bucs – Betting Advice
- The Packers at Bucs game is a pick-em’ game with even odds.
- Over/Under 55½ points
I am on board with the Packers and I think they will go to Tampa and beat the Buccaneers. I think that the over will hit with these future Hall-of-Fame QBs.
The Packers’ offense will be hard to stop behind the great play of Rodgers. It seems Davante Adams should be back but who needs Adams when you have TE Robert Tonyan?
Aaron Rodgers when targeting Robert Tonyan as his first read:
🎯 9 for 9
🎯 137 yards
🎯 5 TDs pic.twitter.com/8LJtSyGk9W
— PFF (@PFF) October 16, 2020
The Packers O-line has performed well this year. Where the Packers are succeeding is in getting the ball out of Rodgers’ hands quickly or running play-action. The Packers defense is also playing well. CB Jaire Alexander is the highest-rated corner in the league through five weeks. I think Alexander or someone in the GB defensive backfield can get a pick off of Brady which will help swing this game.
Jaire Alexander has been on another level this season 🔒 pic.twitter.com/EwkAXXtVD2
— PFF (@PFF) October 16, 2020
The Bucs defense is playing well thus far and puts a lot of pressure on opposing QBs. The Bucs’ 17 sacks is 4th in the NFL. Tampa Bay’s defense is also good at stopping the run. They have given up 292 yards which is the least amount by any team that has played five games. The Packers No. 1 ranked scoring offense is going to be the toughest matchup so far this season for the Bucs defense.
To the other 31 teams in the NFL: The Bucs defense was #1 against the run last year. We brought back our entire front seven. We will tackle your Runningbacks with your own people. You've been warned. pic.twitter.com/ULUe051LIM
— Steven Cheah (@StevenCheah) September 28, 2020
My favorite bet for this game is on our NFL specials page. There you will find a bet on Aaron Rodgers throwing an interception.
The odds that Aaron Rodgers throws an interception:
- Yes: +200
- No: -300
Although the better bet here is take the +200 and hope for some freak accident to happen. I honestly do not think he will throw a pick but I do not think I would be willing to bet that at -300 odds. Either way this is a fun bet to get involved with.
That's it. That's the list.
How long will Aaron Rodgers go without throwing an interception? pic.twitter.com/0MhbW4wQ1M
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) October 16, 2020
Pick – Packers 30, Bucs 24
Ultimately I think Rodgers will outplay Brady and lead his Packers to 5-0. Would it be crazy to think the Packers do not turn the ball over? I think not.