As Aaron Rodgers watched from the sideline, with perhaps his return this season at stake, the Packers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 26-20 victory over the Bucs in overtime.
The Packers ended a two-game losing streak to move to 6-6 on the season, and Brett Hundley improved to 2-4 as a starter in Rodgers’ absence.
Rodgers returned to practice Saturday. The Packers play the Browns next week before Rodgers can return in two weeks against the Panthers. He has made it clear he will return only if he’s healthy and “it would make sense.”
The Packers kept hope alive Sunday as Aaron Jones scored on a 20-yard touchdown run on his first carry of day with 5:59 remaining in overtime. The Bucs never saw the ball in the extra period.
Jamaal Williams did most of the heavy lifting for the Packers, running for 113 yards on 21 carries. In the 72-yard, game-winning drive, Williams ran for 15 yards and caught a 12-yard pass. But with Williams needing a rest, Jones entered the game and scored the game-winner.
The Packers won with defense and special teams. They had seven sacks of Jameis Winston, including one that led to a forced fumble. It was the second-most sacks in Green Bay’s history as the Packers took advantage of the Bucs’ decimated offensive line.
Clay Matthews‘ 2.5 sacks were the most he has had since the Packers played the Bucs in Week 16 of the 2014 season, and Kenny Clark had his first two career sacks as well as a forced fumble. Dean Lowry had a sack, two tackles for loss and a fumble return for a touchdown.
Green Bay finished with only 77 net yards passing, with Hundley going 13-of-22 for 84 yards with an interception. Justin Evans made the pick.
Winston, in his return from a shoulder injury, went 21-of-32 for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Cameron Brate caught both touchdown passes.
Bucs running back Peyton Barber had 23 carries for 102 yards and four catches for 41 yards.
The Bucs (4-8) gained 395 yards.