Buccaneers Defeat Packers in NFC Title Game, Head to Super Bowl
For the first time since the 2002 season, and for the second time in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading to the Super Bowl.
Tomy Brady threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, leading Tampa Bay to a 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Brady, who helped the New England Patriots to nine Super Bowl appearances, including six wins during his time with them, will be making his 10th Super Bowl appearance with the Bucs.
In addition, the Buccaneers will become the first franchise to host a Super Bowl in its home stadium when they take on the AFC Champions in Super Bowl LV on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Tampa Bay got on the scoreboard first, on the initial drive of the game, at the 10:59 mark of the first quarter, when Brady connected with Mike Evans on a 15-yard touchdown pass, capping off a 9-play, 66-yard drive, which gave them a quick 7-0 lead.
Green Bay scored its first points at the 14:07 mark of the second quarter when Aaron Rodgers tossed a 50-yard scoring strike to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, wrapping up a 7-play, 90-yard drive, which tied the game, 7-7.
The Buccaneers regained the lead at the 12:24 mark of the second quarter when Leonard Fournette scored on a 20-yard run, completing a 4-play, 73-yard drive, which gave them a 14-7 advantage.
The Packers cut into the deficit at the 5:02 mark of the second quarter when Mason Crosby was successful on a 24-yard field goal, ending a 15-play, 69-yard drive, to make it 14-10.
Tampa Bay was able to score a touchdown with only one second remaining in the first half when Brady hit Scotty Miller with a 39-yard scoring strike, putting the exclamation point of a 5-play, 51-yard drive, giving them a 21-10 lead, an advantage they would take with them into the halftime break.
Tampa Bay outgained Green Bay, in terms of total yardage in the first half, 235-189, including a 197-147 advantage in passing yards, while the Packers held a 42-38 edge in rushing yards at the break.
Brady paced the Buccaneers in the first half, completing 13-of-22 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns, while Chris Godwin caught four passes for 99 yards.
For the Packers over the first 30 minutes of play, Rodgers completed 14-of-19 passes for 169 yards, to go along with one touchdown and one interception, while Valdes-Scantling had two receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.
As they did in the first half, Tampa Bay scored first in the second half, when Brady threw his third touchdown pass of the game, this one to Cameron Brate from 8 yards out, capping off a 1-play, 8-yard drive, which came after a Green Bay turnover, extending the Bucs lead to 28-10 at the 13:54 mark of the third quarter.
Green Bay got back in it at the 9:28 mark of the third quarter when Rodgers hit Robert Tonyan with an 8-yard touchdown pass, wrapping up an 8-play, 75-yard drive, to make it 28-17.
The Packers drew even closer on their next possession when Rodgers threw his third touchdown of the game, this one to Davante Adams from two yards out.
After an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the Buccaneers lead was cut to 28-23 at the :24 mark of the third period.
The Buccaneers extended their lead to 8 points at the 4:42 mark of the fourth quarter when Ryan Succop made good on a 46-yard field goal, concluding an 8-play, 44-yard drive, to make it 31-23.
The Packers drove inside Tampa Bay's 10-yard line near the 2:00 mark but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Crosby, to get them within 31-26 with 2:05 to go.
It wasn't enough, however, as the Buccaneers held on for the 31-26 win, and a berth in the Super Bowl.
Green Bay actually ended up outgaining Tampa Bay, in terms of total yards, 381-351, including a 314-275 advantage in passing yards, while the Bucs finished with a 76-67 edge in rushing yards.
Brady led the way for the Buccaneers, completing 20-of-36 passes for 280 yards, to go along with three touchdowns and three interceptions, while Godwin caught five passes for 110 yards.
In a losing cause for the Packers, Rodgers completed 33-of-48 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns.