GREEN BAY – Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield had a career day at the Packers' expense Sunday at Lambeau Field, posting a maximum passer rating of 158.3 in leading Tampa Bay to a 34-20 victory that severely damaged any playoff hopes for Green Bay.
The Packers fell to 6-8 with the loss while Tampa Bay improved to 7-7 to stay tied for first in the NFC South.
With the score tied at 10 late in the first half, Mayfield led the Bucs to a field goal, and that started a roll Tampa Bay carried over to the second half. The Bucs scored touchdowns on three straight possessions through the third and fourth quarters to open up the advantage. They likely would've scored a fourth straight TD, but RB Rachaad White slid down in the red zone late in the game to run out the clock.
The Packers got within one score twice in the second half, but both times the Buccaneers answered with a long TD drive to stay in command.
Mayfield finished 22-of-28 for 381 yards with four TDs, no INTs and the maximum 158.3 rating. He came up just 16 yards shy of his single-game career high of 397 yards. As a team, Tampa Bay racked up 452 yards of offense.
WR Chris Godwin was Mayfield's favorite target, catching 10 passes for 155 yards. Four different players – WRs Mike Evans and David Moore, White and TE Ko Kieft – caught TD passes for the Bucs. White added 21 carries for 89 yards on the ground.
For the Packers, QB Jordan Love was 29-of-39 for 284 yards with two TDs, no INTs and a 111.5 rating. Rookie WR Dontayvion Wicks had six catches for 97 yards. Two other rookies, TE Tucker Kraft (4-57) and WR Jayden Reed (6-52) caught the TDs. RB Aaron Jones, returning after a three-game absence, had 13 carries for 53 yards, most of that damage coming on Green Bay's first drive of the game.
Here's a recap of all the action:
Packers lead Buccaneers 7-3 after first quarter
The Packers won the coin toss and deferred. Tampa Bay scored on its opening possession, which included a 24-yard pass to Rachaad White and a 14-yard pass to Chris Godwin on third-and-4.
The Buccaneers drove down to the Green Bay 15 before Kenny Clark sacked Baker Mayfield for a 6-yard loss on third-and-6. Chase McLaughlin made a 39-yard field goal to put Tampa Bay up 3-0 with 9 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first quarter.
That was Kenny Clark's 32nd NFL sack, moving him into a tie for ninth all-time most sacks (since 1982) in franchise history. It also was Green Bay's seventh sack in the red zone this season, tied for second most in the NFL.
Starting at the Packers' 25, Jordan Love hit Romeo Doubs on a 7-yard out before Aaron Jones busted a season-long 20-yard gain to the Buccaneers' 48 on his first carry.
On third-and-7, Jordan Love connected with Jayden Reed on a 20-yard pass on a corner route. Jones then gained 21 yards on four consecutive carries, moving the ball to the Tampa 3.
The Packers handed Jones the ball again on third-and-1 but he was stopped for a loss of a yard. The Packers went for it on fourth-and-2 but Love couldn't connected with Reed and Green Bay turned the ball over on downs.
Green Bay would get the ball back two plays later on Kingsley Enagbare's strip sack of Mayfield, which the second-year linebacker recovered at the Bucs' 4. The Packers converted the takeaway into points, as Love hit a screen pass to Tucker Kraft for a 5-yard touchdown to put Green Bay ahead 7-3 over Tampa with 49 seconds left in the first quarter.
Buccaneers lead Packers 13-10 at halftime
The Buccaneers marched down the field on their third possession, with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin doing most of the heavy lifting.
The veteran receivers combined for four catches for 59 yards. The seven-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 19-yard TD pass to Evans to put Tampa back up 10-7 with 12:21 left in the half.
Kraft keyed Green Bay's next scoring drive, as the rookie tight end converted on third-and-2 after following a good perimeter block by Romeo Doubs for eight yards.
On the next play, Kraft came free for a 36-yard catch and run down the Tampa sideline. The Packers tied the game at 10 with Anders Carlson's 36-yard field goal with 7:09 left in the half.
Green Bay forced a three-and-out with Clark breaking up Mayfield's third-and-4 pass intended for Godwin. Jake Camarda boomed a 65-yard punt the Bucs downed at the Green Bay 4.
The Packers still ended up in a favorable situation, though, as Jayden Reed forced a 32-yard defensive pass interference penalty against Christian Izien.
Romeo Doubs caught an 11-yard crosser to work the ball to midfield, but the Packers were forced to punt from their 46 with 2:13 left in the second quarter.
Mayfield completed four straight passes to push the ball to the Packers' 33 before Lukas Van Ness dropped him for a loss of nine with 31 seconds left in the half. A holding call moved Tampa back to its own 49, but a 24-yard pass to Godwin set up a McLaughlin 46-yard field goal to put the Bucs back up 13-10 with 10 seconds left.
Buccaneers lead Packers 27-17 after three
The Packers went three-and-out to start the second half, though they did force Tampa Bay to use its first timeout 24 seconds into the third quarter.
The Buccaneers went right down the field again, converting on third-and-12 from the Green Bay 46 with a 15-yard pass to Godwin. Tampa extended its lead to 20-10 with a 26-yard TD pass to White with 10:55 left in the third quarter.
The Packers moved across midfield with a 22-yard pass to Dontayvion Wicks on a slant, converting a crucial third-and-4. The rookie receiver did it again on third-and-8, coming free across the middle for a 21-yard pickup.
A holding penalty pushed Green Bay back 10 yards but a 15-yard pass to Malik Heath and 7-yard out to Bo Melton earned the conversion. It was Melton's first NFL catch.
The Packers found themselves in a third-and-15 situation but Love escaped the pocket and delivered a 17-yard touchdown pass to Reed to cut Tampa Bay's lead to 20-17 with 4:18 left in the third quarter.
The Packers' three third-down conversions on that series accounted for 60 of their 75 yards.
Clack recorded his second sack of the game, setting a new career high with 6½ for the season. However, Mayfield connected with Godwin for 21 yards on the next play for the first down.
Green Bay worked Tampa into a third-and-8 situation from the Packers' 38 but Corey Ballentine was flagged for pass interference, an 11-yard penalty.
The Buccaneers found the end zone again with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ko Kieft with 20 seconds left in the third quarter.
Buccaneers beat Packers, 34-20
The Packers started fast in the fourth quarter with a 20-yard pass to Wicks off a pre-snap motion. Wicks then caught a 19-yard pass to move Green Bay into scoring territory.
Reed caught a pair of 4-yard passes during the series, moving him into sole possession of second place for single-season receptions by a Packers rookie with 54.
Jones was marked down a yard short of the first down on a 5-yard run but Green Bay converted with a shove of Love for two yards and the first down at the Tampa 21.
After an incomplete pass to Kraft on third-and-4, Carlson made a 33-yard field goal to cut Tampa's lead to 27-20 with 10:04 left in regulation.
The Packers still didn't have an answer for Mayfield and the Buccaneers' receivers. An 11-yard pass to Godwin converted an early third-and-4 and then David Moore broke free on a 52-yard touchdown after a short third-and-3 pass.
The league office examined whether Moore maintained possession of the ball as he crossed the goal line but the ruling on the field stood, and the Buccaneers pushed their lead to 34-20 with 6:30 left.
Love completed four straight passes to move into Tampa territory before Love fumbled while under pressure on fourth-and-10. Buccaneers defensive lineman Logan Hall forced the fumble.
Tampa maintained possession the rest of the game and ran out the clock.