Buccaneers rout Packers in NFC showdown
Aaron Rodgers throws first interceptions of the season, and Packers suffer their first loss.
Ronald Jones II rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent the Green Bay Packers crashing from the unbeaten's ranks with a 38-10 pounding at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Tom Brady contributed an efficient 17 of 27 performance for 166 yards and two scores, including the 91st touchdown pass of his career to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The 12-yard connection with 1:02 left in the first half capped a 28-point second quarter outburst that shaped the game's remainder.
Brady and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers were standing on the sidelines in baseball caps before the NFC battle ended. Rodgers was battered after a sharp first two possessions, finishing 16 of 35 for 160 yards with two interceptions.
The first quarter hinted at another dominant performance for the Packers' offense. They drove 10 plays and 54 yards to start the game, getting a 39-yard field goal from Mason Crosby. Aaron Jones capped a march of 7:32 with a 1-yard touchdown run for a 10-0 lead.
The Buccaneers (4-2) turned momentum with their defense. Jamel Dean picked off Rodgers — the first Green Bay turnover in five games — and cruised 32 yards to cut the deficit to 10-7 just 2:18 into the second quarter.
A tipped-ball interception by Mike Edwards resulted in a 37-yard return to the 2. Ronald Jones scored his first touchdown on the next play and Tampa Bay led for good.
Brady polished off a drive of 6:05 with a 7-yard scoring strike to Tyler Johnson with 4:35 left for a 21-10 advantage. Then Brady led a classic two-minute drill of 62 yards to finish the second quarter explosion, hitting his old New England teammate Gronkowski to put the Packers (4-1) away.
Ryan Succop added a 50-yard field goal less than three minutes into the third quarter for a 31-10 lead, and Ronald Jones capped an 85-yard march with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:40 left in the period.
Jones became the first Buccaneers' running back since Doug Martin in 2015 to rush for 100 yards in three straight games.
Tampa Bay wasn't called for any penalties, while the Packers were flagged six times for 76 yards.