Aaron Rodgers won what might be his final matchup with Tom Brady, throwing for 255 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns Sunday as the Green Bay Packers handed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 14-12 loss in Tampa, Fla.
Rodgers completed 27 of 35 pass attempts with an interception as Green Bay (2-1) won its second straight game after opening with a loss at Minnesota. The Packers’ defense made Rodgers’ scoring strikes stand up.
Green Bay shut down a short-handed opponent playing without three of its top receivers. Mike Evans was suspended for a game by the NFL after being ejected from last week’s 20-10 win in New Orleans, while Chris Godwin and Julio Jones were out with injuries.
Brady connected on 31 of 42 throws for 271 yards and gave Tampa Bay (2-1) a chance to force overtime when he led an 89-yard touchdown drive from the Buccaneers 11 in the game’s last three minutes. Russell Gage caught a 1-yard score with 14 seconds left.
However, a delay of game call pushed the Buccaneers back to the 7 for the two-point conversion. Brady rolled right and threw for Gage, but the pass was knocked away. The Packers’ Allen Lazard recovered an onside kick to seal the outcome.
Ryan Succop gave the Buccaneers a 3-0 lead with a 45-yard field goal at the 9:05 mark of the first quarter, but Green Bay answered with a drive of just over six minutes. Rodgers hit Romeo Doubs for a 5-yard touchdown with 3:01 left, the highlight of an eight-catch, 73-yard day for Doubs.
The Packers upped the margin to 14-3 when Rodgers capped a march of nearly seven minutes with a 6-yard scoring strike to Lazard.
Tampa Bay got three points back off Rodgers’ lone mistake, a throw over the middle that Logan Ryan intercepted at the Green Bay 47. Succop converted his second 45-yard field goal of the day at the 6:22 mark of the third quarter.