We are now three weeks in to January and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still playing football. Darn good football I might add. This week it’s to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl and accomplish two League Records.
If the Buccaneers win this week they will be the first team to play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium and also be the first to win. It’s as if the stars are aligning for a storybook ending to a very tumultuous season for NFL players.
The only ting that stands in their way is a road win in the frozen tundra against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Let’s take a quick look at the previous matchup and what we can expect this Sunday in the NFC Championship game.
Week 6 – Buccaneers 38 / Packers 10
- Aaron Rodgers throws for only 180 yards. No Touchdowns and two interceptions
- No Packer Running Back ran for more than 40 yards
- Davante Adams held to his third lowest showing for the year (6 catches, 61 yards, 0 TD)
- Ronald Jones ran like a man possessed. 112 yards on 23 carries with two scores
- Rob Gronkowski lead the team in receptions, receiving yards, with a Touchdown
- Buccaneers Defense had 4.5 Sacks to go with 2 Interceptions
Since this last meeting with the Buccaneers, the Packers have out scored their opponents 379 to 248 and have won 10 out of 12 games. Their Defense is also 11th in total yards allowed (348) and are 12th in Sacks per game (2.5).
What We Can Expect
For the 2nd week in a row, the Buccaneers offensive line has stepped up to task. The Washington Football team and the New Orleans Saints were both top ten Defenses in Sacks per game. Over those two game they allowed 4 total. All things considered, that’s a win.
Rookie Behemoth and future All-Pro Tristan Wirfs has not allowed a sack in 77 pass block attempts. Can he keep up his streak of dominance against Za’Darius Smith and his elite pass rush that’s produced 12.5 Sacks? Why not? He’s done it against some of the leagues best already.
Packers Cornerback Jaire Alexander has been near impossible to throw against all year. He’s shut down some of the leagues best. Including Buccaneer great Mike Evans who didn’t record a single catch against him in week 6. Alexander basically removes a key cog from any offense he faces.
Better With Age
At age 37, Rodgers is not only having an MVP season, but he’s setting career marks in multiple categories.
- 70.7 completion %. His second highest of his career
- 48 Touchdowns. A new career record after throwing 45 Touchdowns in 2011
- His 4th lowest INT % of his career with 5 (He threw 2 against Tampa)
- A career high QBR of 84.4
With most players who hit the ripe age of 37, there’s a tendency to see them slow down. For Rodgers, he’s only leaning harder on the gas pedal.
With last week being the revenge game against the Saints for Tampa Bay, be prepared for the Packers to look for redemption as well. This time it’s at their home turf and that chip on their shoulder is looking razor sharp.
We’re one game away from the promise land and the only thing blocking our path is a cold night in Wisconsin. A night that will be just as cold as it was on January 19th 2003 in Veterans Stadium. The cold that Tom Brady has thrived in for his entire career.
Check back here daily for more NFC Championship coverage right here at Bucsreport.com