The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers meet up in the NFC Championship game on Sunday with an opportunity to punch their ticket to Super Bowl 55. Tampa Bay throttled the Packers earlier this season in a 38-10 victory at home in Week 6. Kickoff of the NFC title is at 3:05 p.m. EST at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. Green Bay is a 3.5-point favorite over the Buccaneers, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is firing on all cylinders after wrapping up the regular season with four-straight wins and picking up playoff victories over the Washington Football Team (31-23) and against the New Orleans Saints (30-20) last week. The Bucs entered the postseason as the NFC’s 5-seed.
Tom Brady has tossed a pair of touchdowns in both playoff contests and hasn’t turned the ball over yet. Against a tough Saints defense, Brady completed 18-of-33 passes for 199 yards. Against the Packers, Brady threw for 166 yards and two scores.
Leonard Fournette has accounted for 239 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in the two playoff games this year. “Playoff Lenny” and Ronald Jones II split carries last week against the Saints, with Jones adding 13 carries for 62 yards. Jones missed Wild Card weekend with an injury.
Wideout Antonio Brown is out Sunday against the Packers, so Brady and company will lean on wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller and a pair of tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate. Brate has had a fantastic playoff run, hauling in eight passes for 130 yards.
What to Know – Green Bay Packers
After enjoying an opening-round bye, the Packers enjoyed a 32-18 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round last week. A win against TB puts the Packers back in the for the first time Super Bowl since 2010.
Aaron Rodgers is the favorite to be voted league MVP, and for good reason. Rodgers connected on 48 touchdowns passes during the regular season, a career-high, and added three scores on the ground. Rodgers tossed a pair of touchdown passes against the Rams defense that ranked first in the league.
One of the biggest headlines from last week’s victory over the Rams was the rushing attack the Packers displayed. Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and AJ Dillion combined to rush for 191 yards against a Rams’ defense that allowed 91.3 yards per game during the regular season.
Wide receiver Allen Lazard led Green Bay’s receiving core with four receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown against LA. Counterpart Davante Adams added nine receptions for 66 yards and his 19th touchdowns of the season.
The Pick is In
Brady versus Rodgers is what you want as a football fan in the playoffs. The two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks have put together record seasons and are a big reason why both teams are in this position. Tampa Bay’s defense gave Rodgers troubles in their regular-season matchup, picking off the quarterback twice. Expect Rodgers and the Packers to come out with a lot of motivation in this one and punch their ticket to the Super Bowl in a statement victory.
The Pick: Green Bay -3.5