For the most main time in NFL history, a team will play the Mighty Bowl in its dwelling stadium. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading to Mighty Bowl L. a. their very own Raymond James Stadium, as they staved off Aaron Rodgers and the Inexperienced Bay Packers, 31-26, on Sunday in the NFC Championship Recreation. Having taken a 28-10 lead in the third quarter, the Bucs withstood a Packers surge and held on to be triumphant in the Mighty Bowl on Feb. 7 towards the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. The Bucs are serve in the Mighty Bowl for the most main time since the 2002 season, when they won their simplest Mighty Bowl, whereas Brady will return to the tall game for the 10th time.
1) Recent team, unusual conference, unusual city, identical consequence. Tom Brady is going serve to the Mighty Bowl. TB12 will play in his 10th Mighty Bowl after helping manual the Buccaneers to a boulevard clutch in Lambeau Enviornment over MVP well-liked Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The 43-year-outdated QB made performs early, particularly on third downs, shedding dimes and entering into rifle shots over the heart. Brady tossed three TDs and 12 first downs to lope the chains in different high-leverage instances. He carried out with 280 yards, however would possibly perhaps perhaps possess earned more if it weren’t for several Bucs drops. Brady stubbed his toe in the second half of, throwing three interceptions when Tampa would possibly perhaps perhaps possess set the sport away, including a pass honest high off Mike Evans’ fingertips. The Bucs D picked up its QB, alternatively, as Tampa held on for the clutch. Brady used to be fearless with downfield shots, attempting nine passes of 20-plus air yards. He used to be feast or famine on these performs, with all three of his INTs approaching these shots. For the overall criticisms of Brady’s arm early in the year, the outdated man proved all over again he is aloof got a rifle and deep contact when given time. Given his age and the overall issues stacked towards him heading into his first season with a weird team after 20 years, or no longer it is excellent. For the overall superlatives that will additionally be stated about Brady, that he is taking part in for the likelihood to hoist his seventh Lombardi Trophy is the absolute best praise that will additionally be stated about one among the sport’s absolute best opponents.
2) Aaron Rodgers clawed the Packers serve in the sport after Inexperienced Bay got down 18 points early in the third quarter. Rodgers made a bevy of ultimate strikes all game, including an early dime down the sideline to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 50-yard TD. Rodgers sprayed the ball in every single build the field, winding up 33 of 48 passes for 346 yards and three TDs with an INT. With the Bucs’ stifling flee defense, it used to be obvious entering the sport that Matt LaFleur would lean on his QB. After getting down tall, Rodgers marched his team for serve-to-serve TD drives to drag the Pack within 5 points before the third quarter used to be over. Skipped over alternatives, alternatively, will haunt Inexperienced Bay. Two goal-to-lope instances will particularly be negative, as Rodgers threw incomplete six instances in scoring space and the Packers settled for field targets (more on that later). The crimson zone misses had been the adaptation in the sport. Additionally of negate, had been serve-to-serve three-and-outs in the third quarter after Inexperienced Bay’s defense forced turnovers. Once again, Rodgers and Co. fell short in an NFC Championship Recreation because the QB overlooked out on one other likelihood to play in his second Mighty Bowl.
3) Credit the Tampa Bay defense with dominating up front. Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul had been game-changers, screaming around the brink, collapsing the pocket and relentlessly discombobulating Rodgers. Barrett complied three sacks, whereas JPP took down Rodgers twice. It used to be the most main time all year now we possess viewed a team batter the Packers’ O-line. Injuries at final caught up to Inexperienced Bay, with the Bucs edge rushers taking absolute best thing about David Bakhtiari’s absence. That ruin by myself would possibly perhaps be the cause the Packers are headed dwelling. The Bucs took advantage. Within the serve of the awesome game from the D-line, Devin White and Lavonte David flew to the ball, and the secondary made performs no subject coping with accidents of their very own. Jordan Whitehead forced two fumbles before exiting attributable to accidents, leaving Tampa with two backup safeties in the sport. Todd Bowles’ young secondary, alternatively, made performs when it used to be wanted. The protection forced Rodgers to preserve up the ball on several events in the fourth quarter. The Bucs defense additionally stood wide in the crimson zone, making game-altering performs in the compressed inform. The Bucs would possibly perhaps perhaps possess given up yards, however when Bowles’ squad wanted to create tall performs, it got off the field more than no longer Sunday afternoon.
4) Bruce Arians’ existence motto came into play: No threat it, no biscuit. Sitting with a four-level lead with 13 seconds left in the second quarter coping with a fourth-and-4 shut to midfield, Arians would possibly perhaps perhaps possess punted and gone to halftime. In its build, the Bucs took a gamble. Turning it over there would possibly perhaps perhaps possess given Rodgers a shot at a Hail Mary. Brady converted on fourth down, however used to be aloof out of field-goal fluctuate. TB12 then took one other shot, hitting Scott Miller for a TD to push the consequence in 11 before the damage. The sequence stands in stark disagreement to the pause of the sport for the Packers. Whereas Arians relied on his extinct QB to create the right kind performs, LaFleur twice took the ball out of his future Hall of Famer’s fingers shut to the goal line. Basically the most head-scratching resolution came when LaFleur inexplicably determined to kick a field goal trailing by eight with honest over two minutes left in the sport. Predictably, Brady and the Bucs never gave the Packers the ball serve. Arians risked it and used to be rewarded. LaFleur’s team settled and lost.
5) You would assemble a spotlight of honest the third-down performs from this game, and it is a long way also an sharp affair. The Bucs came out converting their first 5 third downs of the sport, including an even looking out accelerate tumble from Brady to Evans for a TD. Tampa converted 9-of-14 third downs on the day. Fragment of the plethora of third downs came from the struggles on early downs, however Brady made performs early on the important thing down. Rodgers answered with tall performs of his own on third down, including the bomb TD to MVS. The Packers went 8-of-14 on third downs. QBs are judged by how they assemble on third downs. With two of the acceptable ever on the field Sunday, it have to no longer be a surprise we had been rewarded with some tall performs from both sides on third down. When it came down to it, the Bucs made the largest third-down pause of the sport, conserving Rodgers out of the pause zone dull.
6) Once again, the Packers’ defense stays a disaster. Sunday, it used to be nook Kevin King, who used to be questionable entering the sport with a serve ruin, getting torched time and time again. King gave up the most main TD, mistiming his jump on a imperfect undercut. He then got beat deep on the pause-of-half of rating by Miller. D-coordinator Mike Pettine’s name on that TD rightly deserves criticism given the time and field. The Pack D generated honest one sack and hit Brady four instances. The flee D played effectively for stretches, conserving Tampa to 3.2 yards per attempt, however overlooked tackles had been a killer. Forcing three Brady turnovers used to be key to conserving the Packers in the sport, however in the pause, Pettine’s squad couldn’t gain the pause it wanted. Once again, King used to be on the radar, getting called for pass interference on a large third down that allowed the Bucs to ice the relaxation of the sport. After years of taking the warmth in Inexperienced Bay, would possibly perhaps perhaps Pettine buy the fall for essentially the latest playoff disappointment?
7) The clutch makes Tampa the most main team in NFL history to play a residence Mighty Bowl. Or no longer it is an ultimate accomplishment for a team that seemed shaky early in the season. Nonetheless, esteem so many of Brady’s Patriots groups, they gelled down the stretch and got rolling. An absence of offseason work set the unusual teammates in the serve of, however TB12 and Co. hit their sail when it mattered. The offense came alive, and the children on defense improved below Bowles. Sunday’s clutch marked the seventh straight for Tampa, including three-straight boulevard wins in the playoffs. For all of Brady’s accolades, he’d never played as a wild-card team in the postseason. After these three boulevard wins, now the Bucs gain a residence Mighty Bowl towards Patrick Mahomes and the defending Mighty Bowl champions.