The first Conference Championship game of the day features the NFC when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have traveled to Wisconsin to take on the Green Bay Packers for their chance to advance to the Super Bowl. Much of the focus of this game will be on the two veteran quarterbacks Tom Brady for the Bucs and Aaron Rodgers for the Packers. The two despite their age are still two of the best quarterback in the NFL. The Packers have been a force since Rodgers took over the starting position at quarterback while the Buccaneers saw a big turn around this season with the addition of Brady along with a few other notable NFL stars. Brady helped the Buccaneers make the postseason for the first time in fourteen years.
Brady’s help in transforming the Buccaneers into serious contenders has been overshadowed by the MVP caliber year that the Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has turned in this past season, leading all quarterbacks with 48 touchdowns through the air. This week's game will most likely come down to Tampa Bay’s defense against what Aaron Rodgers can throw at them. Tampa’s defense was top notch last week, mostly shutting down Drew Brees and the Saints high powered offense on the way to a 30 to 20 score. A game that most likely sent Brees into retirement. Today’s game will be the biggest challenge yet for the Buc’s defense in the playoffs with a Rodgers that is playing at a much higher level right now than a Drew Brees that played with serious injuries for the end of the season and throughout the playoffs. Rodgers may flat out be playing the best football of his life right now.
The two teams did meet during the season, in a game that saw Aaron Rodgers probably had his worst game of the season and one of the worst in his career. Not only did he lose the game 10 to 38 but he threw one of only three pick-sixes in his entire career. If the pick-six was not enough it was also only the fourth game of his long career that he accounted for multiple interceptions, two on the day. The Buccaneers defense feasted on Rodgers in that game also sacking him four times. It’s quite unlikely that Rodgers will be fooled twice and will be more than prepared for whatever Tampa Bay has to throw at him today. While Rodgers does have a 1 and 3 record in Conference Championship (all losses coming at away games) games he is lights out at home and is said to be playing with a chip on his shoulder not to mention the sense of revenge from the game earlier in the season. That’s not an Aaron Rodgers that anyone wants to face off against this time of the year. Green Bay is also expecting freezing temps and possible snow today which favors the Packers over any team based in a warm-weather area.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) 2nd NFC South @ Green Bay Packers (13-3) 1st NFC North