We here at The 33rd Team developed the Discipline Index as a way to measure how NFL teams are potentially beating themselves by committing costly penalties and/or turning the ball over. The Week 6 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was going to be an intriguing test for the Discipline Index – the Packers had the best Discipline Index and the Bucs had the worst. So bet the house on Green Bay, right?
Not so fast. Final score: Buccaneers 38, Packers 10.
So what happened? When it comes to Discipline Index, these teams completely flipped the script.
The Packers came into Week 6 averaging 4.8 penalties per game and 40.8 penalty yards per game. They had zero turnovers. The Buccaneers came into Week 6 averaging 8.4 penalties per game and 82 penalty yards per game. They had seven turnovers.
The Buccaneers’ defense was the big story on Sunday, holding Green Bay to 210 yards, intercepting Aaron Rodgers twice and sacking him four times. But it’s also worth noting what a clean game Tampa Bay played. The Buccaneers became the first NFL team this season to finish a game with 0 penalties committed and 0 turnovers. According to Buccaneers.com senior writer Scott Smith, it’s the first time a team has had 0 penalties, 0 turnovers and 0 sacks allowed in a game since 1999. Conversely, the Packers committed 6 penalties for 76 penalty yards along with those two turnovers (one of which was a pick six).
The Packers’ penalties had an immediate impact on their defensive and offensive production. There was a personal foul (facemask) that pushed the Buccaneers into the red zone and holding penalties that knocked themselves out of the red zone.
Playing against the best defensive line they’ve faced this season, Rodgers and the Packers offensive line were pressured all day. The dominance of the Buccaneers line also limited the Packers’ run game, which in turn led to more pressure on Rodgers.
Aaron Jones, the Packers’ leading rusher this season, finished with 10 carries for 15 yards with a long of 7 yards. Likewise, the Packers OL had not allowed a single sack or QB hit through Week 5, but in Week 6 they allowed 3 QB hits, and 5 sacks on Rodgers for a total of 53 yards lost. Similarly, the Packers allowed 16 pressures (37.2% pressure rate) against the Bucs after having not allowed double-digit pressures in any game this season (24.3% pressure rate was previously the highest allowed).
Rodgers threw 13 TDs and 0 INTs in his first five games, as well as 1,214 passing yards. In this matchup, Rodgers completed 44.4% of his passes for 160 passing yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs. Rodgers had only thrown 2 INTs and 0 TDs once in his career (Week 15 of 2014 against the Bills). Also, his 160 passing yards is lowest total he has produced with over 30 pass attempts in his career, while 44.4% completion rate was the second-worst of his career (min 15 pass attempts).