By Charles Collier
On December 17, 2023, The Packers loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-20. The defense was atrocious and played their worst game of the year. NFL journeyman Baker Mayfield completed 22 out of 28 passes, tossed four touchdowns and threw for 381 yards in the win. His passer rating was a perfect 158.3. The Bucs offense accumulated, a season high 452 yards. The Packers defensive coordinator’s job would seem to be in jeopardy after the Packer defense had their second straight poor performance.
The loss lowered the Packers’ chances of making the playoffs to 22%. The Packers have no one to blame but themselves for their recent demise. They need to win their remaining 3 games to have a realistic chance to make it to the postseason. “Yeah, we’ve got to win,” quarterback Jordan Love said. “We’ve got three opportunities to go out there and win. The goal right now is to get 9-8 and then let the playoffs play themselves out, see if we can get a shot in there. Obviously bouncing back after two tough losses, we’ve just got to find a way to win these last three.”
In other games with playoff implications, the Bills beat the red-hot Dallas Cowboys in a blowout win 31-10. The Bills ran all over the Cowboys with 266 rushing yards. James Cook the younger brother of Dalvin Cook, lead the rushing attack with a career-best 179 yards and he scored two touchdowns. After the loss, Cowboys players were stunned. “There is no excuse for it,” linebacker Micah Parsons said. “It’s mind boggling, and I don’t understand why we’re not playing well and why we’re not coming together on the road. We’ve got something we need to look at and get better at because we’re back on the road next week.” Dallas is undefeated at home and they are 3-4 on the road.
The 49ers rolled over the Cardinals 45-29 behind the strong performance of MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey who rushed for 3 touchdowns, the 49ers clinched the NFC West and won their 6th straight game. The 49ers are the number 1 seed in the NFC and I opine, The road to the Super Bowl goes through San Francisco.