Anna Bauer ’23
Although COVID-19 has reared its ugly head in the NFL bubble as players tested positive, thankfully there were no new positive cases and week six games managed to go off without a hitch.
The New York Giants and the Atlanta Falcons got their first wins of the 2020 season; meanwhile, the New York Jets remain the only team in the league without a win after losing to the Miami Dolphins, 24-0.
On Sunday, Oct. 18 2020, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams played the San Francisco 49ers.
The Packers entered this game undefeated with quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who is in the race for 2020 NFL MVP, but they left it defeated with a quarterback not at his best. Perhaps it’s just a negative pre-existing history with Tampa’s stadium, but Rodgers definitely did not have his A-game this weekend.
It is important to note that though Rodgers left this stadium uninjured this time around, the same cannot be said for his teammates. David Bakhtiari, All-Pro left tackle, left during the second half of the game with a chest injury and was not seen to return; Rick Wagner replaced Bakhtiari for the Packers. Green Bay also finished the game without two of their defensive starters. Tyler Lancaster, defensive tackle, injured his shoulder and Darnell Savage, safety, injured his quadriceps. Both injuries kept the players from returning to this game.
Now, Rodgers is seen as a potential MVP for a reason. He has thrown 156 passes this season all of which have been interception-free, but on his 157th, the ball was swiftly intercepted by the Buccaneers safety, Jamel Dean who ran the ball right into the Packers’ endzone, putting the Buccaneers on the score board, 10-7. Then, only minutes after this, Rodgers threw another pass intended for wide receiver Davante Adams which was either deflected by Carlton Davis or tipped by Adams, ultimately landing in the hands of the Buccaneers safety, Mike Edwards. Edwards ran the ball down to the 2 and then Ronald Jones seamlessly drove the ball into the endzone on the next play, bringing the score 14-10, Buccaneers.
Up until those two throws which allowed the Buccaneers to take the lead, it seemed like the Packers were going to dominate as they were up in the first quarter after scoring a field goal and a touchdown (by Aaron Jones), leading 10-0. However, once the Buccaneers managed to take the lead, the Packers just could not seem to get it back as Rodgers was blitzed 17 times and pressured 12 by the strong Buccaneer defense. One thing is for sure, though Rodgers was having an uncharacteristically bad day, the Buccaneers’ defense sure was not: they came to win.
Just for all the Tom Brady fans out there, he threw two touchdowns throughout the game; one of which was caught by Rob Gronkowski, hinting that these two are getting back in the grove of their dynamic duo which was moved from New England to Tampa Bay.
Now, the Packers were not the only ones on Sunday to be overtaken, the Los Angeles Rams who were 4-1 were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers who were 2-3.
Though the 49ers start this season was not as hot as expected, their first possession of the game revealed that both the Niners and their quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, intended this game to be different. Garoppolo showed this same mentality throughout the rest of the game as he threw three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Deebo Samuel ran into the endzone with just under 12 minutes left of the first quarter clock, placing the 49ers in the lead, 7-0. No one else scored in the remaining time of the first quarter, but again, the 49ers managed to score early in the next period. This happened when Garoppolo thew to George Kittle who ran the ball over 30 yards into the endzone with the Rams defense nowhere to be found, putting the 49ers further ahead, 14-0.
The Rams made it on the score board for the first time this game when Jared Goff, their quarterback, passed it to Robert Woods who caught the ball in the endzone. Samuel Sloman was kicking for the additional point, but the goal was no good, making the score 14-6.
Just over two minutes left in the second quarter and Garoppolo passed to Brandon Aiyuk who scored the 49ers’ third touchdown of the night, bringing the score to 21-6.
In the second half, the 49ers only scored a field goal, while the Rams scored a field goal and touchdown. However, San Francisco managed to keep the lead the whole game through, winning their third game of the season, 24-16.
The 49ers have now won as many games as they have lost, 3-3, so hopefully winning against one of their division foes will give this team the confidence it needs to beat the Seattle Seahawks next week, followed by the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints, and then the Los Angeles Rams once again.
Week seven of this NFL season will begin this Thursday when the New York Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles.