Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFC Championship game in the first half, but almost lost it in the second. Brady took the Buccaneers into half-time on a high note, as he hit Scotty Miller on a 39-yard touchdown pass after intercepting Aaron Rodgers with 32 seconds until half. In the end, that play will be the one that haunts the Packers and helped propel the Bucs to get a home game in the Super Bowl. The Bucs won by a final score of 31-26.
Turnovers were a huge factor, as they were the killer for Green Bay while the Bucs managed to overcome three Tom Brady interceptions, all in the third quarter. Despite those interceptions, the Bucs defense ended up sealing the game, as they held the Packers out of the endzone on their last three plays.
But this wouldn’t be an NFL game without some controversy, and this week we will hear a lot about Packers coach Matt LaFleur’s decision to kick a field goal from the eight-yard line with the score 31-23 with 2:09 left on the clock. The Bucs then put up three first downs to seal the game. That left the soon to be NFL MVP without a shot to score again. It truly is difficult to understand how the field goal helped them in any way.
This was another great game by Rodgers, as he completed 33-of-48 passes for 346 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. You couldn’t have asked for much better. Brady, despite his three interceptions, did have a better offensive game than he’s had so far this playoff season. He averaged 7.8 yards per pass attempt and tossed three touchdowns, while his offensive line played well all game.
Rodgers was sacked five times, as the Packers offensive line missed David Bakhtiari, but Rodgers was still able to move his team down the field. In the end, the Bucs defense gets the game ball though and will have another tough test against either the Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs in two weeks.