5 Quick Things: GB vs. TB

After rewatching Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, here are five things worth knowing:

1) In only his second game in nearly two years, David Bakhtiari’s 35 snaps went better than expected. The veteran left tackle held up well in pass protection against one of the best edge rushers in the league (Shaq Barrett). Bakhtiari wasn’t quite as effective in the run game, but that was to be expected. Besides having very little familiarity with left guard Jon Runyan, the five-time All-Pro has always been a little inconsistent in this area – even when he wasn’t returning from a third surgery on his left knee. Most importantly, Bakhtiati, who turns 31 on Friday, appeared to come out of the game no worse for wear.

2) Right tackle Elgton Jenkins was the opposite of Bakhtiari – he was better blocking for the run than protecting for the pass. The former Mississippi State star drove defenders off the ball with power and was able to re-establish the line of scrimmage on a number of occasions, but allowed three hurries for the second game in a row. For comparison’s sake, he allowed eight hurries in eight starts at left tackle in 2021. While Jenkins will undoubtedly improve as the rust wears off in the coming weeks, it’s fair to at least ponder the possibility of moving him to right guard and replacing him with Yosh Nijman.

3) Romeo Doubs was very impressive in a season-high 55 snaps. Not only did the fourth-round pick from Nevada catch all eight passes thrown his way for 73 yards and a touchdown, but he also did a solid job as a blocker. I was skeptical of all the hype surrounding Doubs – until I watched him at practice. It then became obvious that he was the best receiver on the roster. The Bucs felt the same way. By the middle of the second quarter, coach and defensive play caller Todd Bowles was shading a safety to Doubs’ side of the field. While the rookie is still raw and will make mistakes, his talent is obvious.

4) Keisean Nixon replaced Douglas in the slot and made two huge plays. First, he forced a fumble that was recovered by Jarran Reed at midfield and then he deflected a pass in the end zone that forced the Bucs to settle for a field goal. On a less positive note, the former Raider allowed seven receptions on eight targets. Fortunately, he was covering Russell Gage and Cole Beasley and not Chris Godwin, so the damage was relatively minimal (78 yards). Nixon also downed a punt at the 2-yard-line. That’s what he does best, and it’s the main reason GM Brian Gutekunst brought him to Green Bay.

All-Pro Jaire Alexander couldn’t have played this pass any better than Nixon (#25), who blanketed Breshard Perriman all the way into the end zone.

5) It was interesting to see Kingsley Enagbare play nearly twice as many snaps as Jonathan Garvin (23 to 12) on Sunday. Unfortunately, the rookie from South Carolina failed to take advantage of the opportunity. He didn’t record a pressure for the third consecutive game. Enagbare relied on strength to offset a lack of speed and explosiveness in college, but he’s finding that NFL tackles aren’t going to be overpowered. He needs to be more creative with his pass rush moves. It’s fair to wonder how much the Packers miss outside linebackers coach Mike Smith, who left for Minnesota in the offseason.

OVERALL: There are no style points in the NFL, so every win counts the same. That said, the Packers’ defense won’t be facing Gage, Beasley, and Scott Miller if the two teams meet again in the postseason. The offense will need to score a lot more than two touchdowns if Tom Brady has star pass catchers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at his disposal. Whether that’s possible will depend on three things. The first is the health of Bakhtiari and Jenkins. They both need to be on the field and playing at a high level. The second is the development of Doubs and second-round pick Christian Watson. At least one of the talented young wide receivers needs to be a legitimate weapon. And the third is the play calling of Matt LaFleur. The fourth-year head coach needs to do a much better job of making in-game adjustments than he did last Sunday.


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Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

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