Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers

TB
31
GB
26
FINAL
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TB 7147331
GB 01013326

Game Information
Location: Lambeau Field Green Bay, Wisconsin
Attendance: 7,772

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Tom Brady has a new team, in a new town. The destination is the same: another Super Bowl.

At home, too.

The man with six NFL titles will become the first quarterback to play a Super Bowl on his team's home field. He owes the Tampa Bay defense that sacked Aaron Rodgers five times, and a curious late call on fourth-and-goal by the Packers as Brady and the Bucs beat top-seeded Green Bay 31-26 for the NFC title Sunday.

"It's great to get another road win and now we got a home game, and who would have ever thought a home Super Bowl for us," Brady said. "But we did it.

"I thought the defense was spectacular. They've done that all year."

The Bucs (14-5) will face the Kansas City Chiefs (16-2) at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7. No, a host team in the Super Bowl has never happened in 54 previous games.

"We're coming home," said Bucs coach Bruce Arians, whose first NFL coaching job was as an assistant in 1989 with Kansas City, and won two league Coach of the Year awards, with Indianapolis in 2012, Arizona in 2014. He will make his first trip to the Super Bowl as a head coach. "We're coming home to win."

Brady is back in his first year at Tampa Bay after reaching this stage nine times with the New England Patriots. He went 20 of 36 for 286 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions as Tampa Bay squandered most of an 18-point lead. Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for five sacks to help the Bucs hang on for their franchise-record eighth consecutive road victory.

It's quite a step up for a team that had one winning record in the last nine seasons.

"Tom is the GOAT (greatest of all time)," said Bucs receiver Scotty Miller, who caught a 39-yard touchdown pass with 1 second left until halftime. "Last year, we ended 7-9. This year, we're going to the Super Bowl. He's the biggest reason."

The Bucs snapped Green Bay's seven-game winning streak. They were aided by a strange decision from Packers coach Matt LaFleur with just over two minutes remaining in a 31-23 game.

After three straight incompletions had the Packers facing fourth-and-goal from the 8, the Packers elected to kick a field goal to get within five.

"Anytime it doesn't work out you always regret it, right?" LaFleur said. "It was just circumstance of having three shots and coming away with no yards. And knowing that you not only need the touchdown but you'd need the 2-point. The way I was looking at it is we essentially had four timeouts with the 2-minute warning, we knew we needed to get a stop."

Tampa Bay then ran out the clock on the Packers (14-4).

"I understand the thinking - above two minutes with all of our timeouts - but it wasn't my decision," Rodgers said.

The Packers lost in the NFC championship game for the fourth time in the last seven seasons. Green Bay hasn't reached the Super Bowl since its 2010 championship season.

Rodgers went 33 of 48 for 346 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, but fell to 1-4 in conference championship games as a starting quarterback. The Packers had the NFL's best red-zone offense this season, but they twice settled for field goals after having a first-and-goal Sunday.

"I'm just pretty gutted," Rodgers said. "It's a long season. You put so much into it to get to this point. We had our chances."

Tampa Bay took command in the middle portion of the game.

After Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted a Rodgers pass and Tampa Bay converted a fourth-and-4, the Bucs were at Green Bay's 39 while leading 14-10 with 8 seconds remaining in the second quarter The Bucs passed up a long field-goal attempt, and Brady found Miller down the left sideline for a 39-yard touchdown with just 1 second remaining.

"We didn't come here to not take chances to win the game," Arians said. "Love the play we had. Got a great matchup and got a TD. That was huge."

The Packers got the ball to start the second half, and Aaron Jones caught a short third-down pass. He took a huge hit from Jordan Whitehead that knocked the ball loose. Devin White recovered and ran 21 yards to the Green Bay 8.

One play later, Brady found a wide-open Cameron Brate to extend Tampa Bay's lead to 28-10.

The Packers rallied as Brady threw interceptions on three straight drives for just the second time in his career. Green Bay cut the lead to 28-23 late in the third quarter on Rodgers' touchdown passes to Robert Tonyan and Davante Adams.

Twice in the fourth quarter, the Packers got the ball with a chance to take the lead after Jaire Alexander picked off Brady passes deep in Green Bay territory. Both times, the Packers went three-and-out.

"I felt like we had plenty of opportunities tonight to take advantage of and get the job done," LaFleur said. "We didn't do it, and that falls on me and that's a tough pill to swallow when you're responsible for everybody in this organization to make sure that you're on your `A' game, and I don't feel like I was tonight. I'm just pretty disappointed that (I) let a lot of people down."

It's been quite a ride for Brady and the Bucs. Brady moved to Tampa as a free agent and brought star tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement to join him. But with limited practice time with his new teammates because of coronavirus protocols, the Bucs didn't get rolling until after their bye week.

Now look where they are.

"It's been a great journey this far," Brady said.

And it's taking them right back home.

SUCCESS DURING A PANDEMIC

The Buccaneers are the third Tampa team to play for a championship during the pandemic. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2020, and the Rays lost to the Dodgers in the World Series.

INJURY REPORT

Jones hurt his chest and Whitehead injured his shoulder on the third-quarter play that resulted in a Jones fumble. Packers defensive lineman Tyler Lancaster (ankle) and linebacker Krys Barnes (thumb) left in the second half.

The Bucs played the entire game without wide receiver Antonio Brown (knee) and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle).

UP NEXT

The Bucs return home to play in the Super Bowl.

The Packers' season is over.

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Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Buccaneers Packers
10:59 Mike Evans 15 yd pass from Tom Brady (Ryan Succop kick) 7 0

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Buccaneers Packers
14:07 Marquez Valdes-Scantling 50 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick) 7 7
12:24 Leonard Fournette 20 yd run (Ryan Succop kick) 14 7
04:59 Mason Crosby 24 yd FG 14 10
00:01 Scotty Miller 39 yd pass from Tom Brady (Ryan Succop kick) 21 10

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Buccaneers Packers
13:54 Cameron Brate 8 yd pass from Tom Brady (Ryan Succop kick) 28 10
09:28 Robert Tonyan 8 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick) 28 17
00:24 Davante Adams 2 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (failed 2pt Pass from Aaron Rodgers) 28 23

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Buccaneers Packers
04:42 Ryan Succop 46 yd FG 31 23
02:05 Mason Crosby 26 yd FG 31 26

Team Stats
  Tampa Bay Green Bay
1st Downs 19 23
Total Yards 351 381
Passing 275 314
Passing Completions/Attempts 20-36 33-48
Yards/Pass 7.4 5.9
Rushing 76 67
Rushing Attempts 24 16
Yards/Rush 3.2 4.2
Turnovers 3 2
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Interceptions Thrown 3 1
Possession 25:23 34:37

Tampa Bay Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Tom Brady 20 36 280 7.8 3 3

Green Bay Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Aaron Rodgers 33 48 346 7.2 3 1

Tampa Bay Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Leonard Fournette 12 55 4.6 1 20
Ronald Jones II 10 16 1.6 0 4
Chris Godwin 1 6 6.0 0 6
Tom Brady 1 -1 -1.0 0 -1

Green Bay Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Aaron Jones 6 27 4.5 0 12
Jamaal Williams 7 23 3.3 0 12
AJ Dillon 3 17 5.7 0 9

Tampa Bay Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Chris Godwin 5 110 22.0 0 52
Mike Evans 3 51 17.0 1 27
Scotty Miller 2 36 18.0 1 39
Rob Gronkowski 1 29 29.0 0 29
Leonard Fournette 5 19 3.8 0 7
Cameron Brate 3 19 6.3 1 8
Tyler Johnson 1 16 16.0 0 16

Green Bay Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 4 115 28.8 1 50
Davante Adams 9 67 7.4 1 15
Allen Lazard 3 62 20.7 0 23
Marcedes Lewis 3 28 9.3 0 14
Robert Tonyan 4 22 5.5 1 8
Jamaal Williams 4 22 5.5 0 11
AJ Dillon 1 13 13.0 0 13
Equanimeous St. Brown 1 10 10.0 0 10
Aaron Jones 4 7 1.8 0 5

Tampa Bay Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Devin White 9 6 0 0
Sean Murphy-Bunting 6 0 0 0
Shaquil Barrett 4 1 3 18
Carlton Davis III 4 3 0 0
Jordan Whitehead 4 1 0 0
Jason Pierre-Paul 3 2 2 14
Andrew Adams 3 2 0 0
Lavonte David 2 2 0 0
Jamel Dean 2 0 0 0
Mike Edwards 2 1 0 0
Steve McLendon 1 2 0 0
Anthony Nelson 1 0 0 0
Ndamukong Suh 1 1 0 0
Mike Evans 0 0 0 0
William Gholston 0 0 0 0
Chris Godwin 0 0 0 0
Justin Watson 0 0 0 0

Green Bay Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Kenny Clark 5 3 1 5
Kevin King 4 0 0 0
Chandon Sullivan 3 1 0 0
Jaire Alexander 2 1 0 0
Adrian Amos 2 1 0 0
Christian Kirksey 2 2 0 0
Dean Lowry 2 3 0 0
Darnell Savage 2 0 0 0
Za'Darius Smith 2 2 0 0
Preston Smith 2 1 0 0
Ty Summers 2 0 0 0
Krys Barnes 1 2 0 0
Rashan Gary 1 1 0 0
Tyler Lancaster 1 1 0 0
Kamal Martin 1 1 0 0
Henry Black 0 0 0 0
Oren Burks 0 0 0 0
Damon Harrison Sr. 0 1 0 0
Elgton Jenkins 0 0 0 0
Allen Lazard 0 0 0 0
Lucas Patrick 0 0 0 0
Randy Ramsey 0 0 0 0
KeiVarae Russell 0 0 0 0
Equanimeous St. Brown 0 0 0 0

Tampa Bay Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Sean Murphy-Bunting 1 0 0

Green Bay Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Jaire Alexander 2 16 0
Adrian Amos 1 0 0

Tampa Bay Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Jaydon Mickens 5 121 24.2 0 43

Green Bay Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Jamaal Williams 1 30 30.0 0 30
Dominique Dafney 1 0 0.0 0 0

Tampa Bay Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Jaydon Mickens 2 10 5.0 0 7

Green Bay Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
No punt return stats.

Tampa Bay Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Ryan Succop 1 1 100.0 46

Green Bay Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Mason Crosby 2 2 100.0 26

Tampa Bay Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Bradley Pinion 2 80 46

Green Bay Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
JK Scott 3 144 55