With Al Harris out for an undetermined amount of time, the Pack need Tramon Williams to step up big time. McCarthy was pleased with the way he stepped in last week, minus the bomb to Miles Austin that made the Dallas receiver a national star. That can't happen again. Jarrett Bush will also need to step up, as he'll see a lot more time on the field as well. The Buccaneers probably won't be a pass-happy as they were last week against Chicago, but we need to shut them down when they do try to go through the air.
4. Stop the Run? Can't Stop the Run!
Granted, Marion Barber (III) is one of the best backs in the game, and Felix Jones has really emerged as a playmaker this season, but the Packers can't make up any excuses about giving up more than 200 yards on the ground last week. The Bucs combo of Earnest Graham / Warrick Dunn isn't quite Barber / Jones, but if our defensive line plays like trash again it will be.
3. On the Other Side of the Ball...
The Packers running game desperately needs to get their act together. Ryan Grant should be ready to go this week, and Packers fans need to see him produce, quickly. If you're going to talk to talk, Ryan, you have to walk the walk. Or run the ball, I guess. Scott Wells will be back in the starting lineup this week, so that should help pave some holes for number 25.
2. A Wisconsin Sports Fans Dilemma
Now that I think about it, this really should be it's own post. Brace yourself, Wisconsin fans, because something we've often dreamed about might actually happen this weekend. Come Sunday at 1pm, the Packers could be playing opposite meaningful September baseball from the Brewers. If neither the Crew or the Mets collapse before Sunday, it's going to be a tough decision for fans in Wisconsin as to which of their beloved teams they will pay more attention too. Personally, I'll probably have the TV on the Packer game for the majority, while flipping to the Brewers in between the commercials. I'll also have the game up on MLB.com, of course. But you never know, if the Packers game is decided, and the Brewers are locked in a tight one during the 5th inning, then we'll be all Brewers. It's a tough decision to make, but a good problem to have.
1. Bounce Back vs. Bucs?
Even though it's by a small margin on most sites, the Packers are the underdog this weekend in Tampa. After last week's loss, the Packers need to show the NFL world that they still remain one of the league's best teams, and a victory against the upstart Bucs would help. When the season started and we saw Minnesota, Detroit, Dallas, and Tampa Bay on the schedule, I think many of us would have been realistically happy with 2-2. I say that'd be unacceptable. Let's get the victory, and do it quickly, so I can watch the Brewers.
Prediction: Green Bay 27, Tampa Bay 23