Field goal (Packers)
Buccaneers 14-10 Packers, 4:59, 2nd quarter
Rodgers’s throw is… too long, it’s caught by Adams just outside of the end zone. So, so close. The Packers have to settle for a field goal. Crosby’s kick is good but this feels like it could haunt Green Bay, they aren’t going to have an easier touchdown opportunity.
Buccaneers 14-7 Packers, 5:11, 2nd quarter
Packers take a timeout. The way that Brady is playing, they’re not going to want to settle for a field goal here. Rodgers spots a wide-open spot for Adams but he… misses. Wow. 2nd and goal. Rodger’s next pass is batted down. Oof.
Buccaneers 14-7 Packers, 5:59, 2nd quarter
Jones holds onto the ball this time but gets just one yard. 2nd & 9, Jones picks up 7. A crucial 3rd &3 here for Green Bay. Jones gets the ball again and rams his way through to the Tampa Bay 6. 1st and goal.
Buccaneers 14-7 Packers, 8:12, 2nd quarter
Rodgers to Mercedes Lewis for… nearly a first down. It’s just 9 yards, but that’s a manageable 2nd & 1. Jones gets the ball and fumbles it… BUT it’s recovered by Tonyan. So Green Bay remains at the Tampa Bay 18.
Buccaneers 14-7 Packers, 9:40, 2nd quarter
Adams gets another 5 yards. The Pack are at the Tampa Bay 42. Aaron Jones gets 12 yards and another first-down. Okay, now Green Bay is cooking.
Buccaneers 14-7 Packers, 10:59, 2nd quarter
Rodgers-to-Adams for a 3-yard-gain. The Packers are at their 41. Williams gets the ball next and he goes 12 yards to get into Tampa Bay territory.
Buccaneers 14-7 Packers, 12:19, 2nd quarter
The Packers’ challenge is successful so they will be starting at their 25 instead. Rodgers’s 1st down throw is incomplete, thanks to Tampa Bay’s defense. On 2nd down, however, he hits Valdes-Scantling for a 12 yard gain. He’s having a pretty decent day so far.
Buccaneers 14-7 Packers, 12:24, 2nd quarter
Jamaal Williams returns Pinion’s kick to the Green Bay 13, but the Packers are going to challenge that it hit the goal line for a touchback. So we have our first review of the game. This is somewhat less exciting than a touchdown run.
Touchdown! Buccaneers 14-7 Packers
12:24, 2nd quarter
This time, Fournette gets the ball and he runs his way just barely into the end zone for a Buccaneers touchdown. Well, it’s looking like we very much might have a shootout here after all. The extra point is good.
Buccaneers 7-7 Packers, 13:20, 2nd quarter
Godwin drops a Brady pass, the third drop for Tampa Bay. 3rd & 9. Brady aims for Godwin again and he juggles it but makes a tumbling catch at the Packers 20 yard line. Well, that’s one way to make up for a drop.
Buccaneers 7-7 Packers, 14:02, 2nd quarter
Jaydon Mickens takes Crosby’s kick to the Tampa Bay 27. Ronald Jones get the ball on first down and squeezes out a yard before going down.
Touchdown! Buccaneers 7-7 Packers
14:07, 2nd quarter
Jones gets to midfield. It’s now 3rd & 3 for the Packers. Rodgers airs one out… long, REAL LONG to a running Marquez Valdes-Scantling who goes the distance! It’s a 50 yard touchdown for the Packers. The extra-point is good and this one is tied up.
The “Who Are Pats Fans Rooting For” Survey Continued:
This seems to be the conclusion: a lot of different answers but there is a common theme here: no matter who one happens to be rooting for, it’s not quite as passionate when they aren’t “your” team.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, end of the 1st quarter
Rodgers finds Davonte Adams for a 15 yard gain and they’re already at their own 43. On 1st & 10, Rodgers finds Tonyan again for five yards. It’s 2nd & 5… and that’s the end of the first quarter. The Bucs struck first but the Packers have something cooking here.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 1:42, 1st quarter
Rodgers throws to Robert Tonyan for a gain of two yards and then gets sacked by Jason Pierre-Paul. The Packers are back at their 5, but Rodgers doesn’t sweat here, he throws to Allen Lazard for a 23 yard gain and a key first down!
As someone who was raised in South Florida, I 100% understand this.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 2:56, 1st quarter
Pinion punts, Tavon Austin makes a fair catch at the Green Bay 10. Packers are going to have to go a long way for their first score of the game.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 3:42, 1st quarter
Brady throws incomplete on 1st and 10 at his own 49. He throws one long to Tyler Johnson, who can’t make the catch. The good news for the Packers is that it’s now 3rd & 10, but they actually need a third down stop here.
And they get one! Kenny Clark sacks Brady for a loss!
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 4:34, 1st quarter
Jones gets a yard on first down. Brady throws to Scotty Miller who gets pushed back by Kevin King for a loss. It’s 3rd and 13, which is for Green Bay, but Brady finds Godwin for 14 yards, which is not so good.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 6:23, 1st quarter
Ronald Jones gets the ball to the Tampa Bay 31. 2nd & 6. Brady finds Cameron Brate to get to the 36. Brady needs just a single yard, and he gets two thanks to another short run by Jones.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s choice of receivers these last few seasons has… well let’s just say it won’t be mentioned in his Hall of Fame induction.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 7:41, 1st quarter
Aaron Jones picks up a yard on first down. He gets the ball again on the next down, but gets nowhere as the Tampa Bay defense swarms him. 3rd & 9. Shaq Barrett then tackles Rodgers for a loss on the next play to end the Green Bay drive. The Packers punt and it goes for 38 yards to put Tampa Bay at their 27.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 10:25, 1st quarter
Packers start at their own 25, where Jamaal Williams picks up 3 yards. Next up, Rodgers finds Mercedes Lewis for 14 yards and a first down.
Buccaneers 7-0 Packers, 10:59, 1st quarter
The Buccaneers’ Bradley Pinion kicks it off and the ball lands in the end zone. That will be a touchback.
Yeah I’m not going to say I did an anti-jinx here, but certainly my prediction doesn’t look great at the moment.
Touchdown! Buccaneers 7-0 Packers
10:59, 1st quarter
Fournette picks up another three yards and Brady throws incomplete. It’s 3rd& 7 on the Green Bay 15, which means this is right where Brady seems to like it today. Brady finds Evans for an easy touchdown and just like that Tampa Bay is on the board!
The extra point is good and the Pack is in a 7-0 hole already.
Buccaneers 0-0 Packers, 12:13, 1st quarter
Buccaneers are on the Green Bay 32. Fournette picks up just a single yard on 1st down and Brady’s next pass is incomplete. 3rd & 9. On third down, Brady once again hits his receiver, that’s 14 yards for Chris Godwin.
Buccaneers 0-0 Packers, 13:38, 1st quarter
Leonard Fournette picks up 3 yards. On 2nd & 7, Brady finds Mike Evans for a 27 yard gain! Well that’s a first strike!
Buccaneers 0-0 Packers, 14:51, 1st quarter
Mason Crosby kicks it, Jaydon Mickens takes it for 29 yards to the Tampa Bay 30.
One aspect of the Covid-19 protections that’s still a bit weird: having the National Anthem singer pops up on the video screen. It’s very “Star Trek.”
Interestingly enough, if the Buccaneers win, Brady would be playing in the Super Bowl… in Tampa, which would mean a very rare situation where a team would have home field avantage.
A shootout would be the most fun result. Although I may regret saying that once I start having to keep track of the scoring here. It’s been a while since my typing fingers had a live workout.
This is understandable for a multitude of reasons.
There was a very real argument that this NFL season should not have happened at all considering the fact that they were trying to play it out in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That makes sense, no matter what Brady is going to be remembered as representing New England.
“Patriots fans: Pro or anti-Brady?” cont’d
Since I happened to be based in Boston, I figured it would make sense to see whether or not New England Patriots fans are rooting for Tom Brady with his new team. The answers are, unsurprisingly, mixed.
For the record, my second team somehow ended up being the Cleveland Browns. No, I don’t know how that happened either, but hey they at least made the playoffs this time around.
Speaking of the temperature, it’s currently 29 degrees Fahrenheit/-2 degrees Celsius at Lambeau. So, it’s not a huge factor as of yet, although it will probably get colder as the game progresses.
This is very kind to hear, although I bear no responsibility if this game ends up being a dud.
It feels silly to bet against Tom Brady in a Divisional Game, but this season Brady has shown signs that he’s not quite the quarterback that he once was. If the Packers can get to him in the pocket, it feels like they could have a relatively easy passage to the Super Bowl. I feel like having home field also won’t hurt them, although Brady obviously has plenty of cold weather experience.
If I have to make a prediction, and I guess I sorta do here, I’m saying that it’s Packers 28-17 Buccaneers, with a late Brady touchdown making the end result look closer than it was. Your thoughts? Send them here through email (to Hunter.Felt.email@example.com) or Twitter (@HunterFelt).
Longtime Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who played with the Seattle Seahawks last season, is part of the FOX broadcast today and will, apparently, be part of their team going forward as he takes the opportunity to officially mark his retirement from the NFL. Well, that’s an easy way to break your first big story.
Okay, let’s start with this disclaimer before diving into the NFC Championship Game: NFL games are not duels between quarterbacks. They are not on the field at the same time, their true competition is the other team’s defense. Still, whenever two great quarterbacks are in the same game, we can’t help but compare how they do, even though they don’t directly affect each other’s performance. So, the NFC Championship Game theoretically pits the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Green Bay Packers, but what we’re really here to witness is Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers.
Plenty is on the line for both quarterbacks. While Brady has played in nine Super Bowls, this is his first year with a team other than the New England Patriots. It would be a big deal for him to take a completely different team to the Big Game without the aid of his mentor Bill Belichick (who couldn’t even get his team into the playoffs without Brady). Meanwhile, Rodgers, the presumable NFL MVP this year, has only been to the Super Bowl once before, he has just one ring to Brady’s six.
How did these teams get here? Well, the Packers ended up with the top seed in the NFC, giving them a much-needed bye week. In their Divisional game, they beat the Los Angeles Rams 32-18. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, entered the playoffs as a Wild Card team and had to beat the Washington Football Team and the New Orleans Saints just to get here. Of course, the last time these two teams met, Tampa Bay had its way with Green Bay, beating them 38-10 (although this time around the Packers will have their home field advantage). It would be shocking to see either team put up a huge lead against the other this time around, in so much as anything is really shocking these days.
Then again, that’s a dangerous statement to make before a winner-takes-all playoff game. Let’s see what happens together. If you’d like to contribute to our liveblog, feel free to send us your thoughts either via email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (to @HunterFelt) and we’ll share them with the rest of the world. It’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Theoretically, the game should be starting around 2:05pm EST but we’ll be back with additional commentary before then.
Hunter will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s a guide to today’s game:
What the Buccaneers need to do to win: Surprisingly for two quarterbacks who have ruled the NFL for much of the century, there isn’t a lot of history to go on between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers – this will be only their fourth meeting as starters. Brady won their previous game, a 38-10 beatdown in Week 6 of this season, when the defense harried Rodgers all day, sacking him five times. Rodgers, who has been mostly flawless since, is unlikely to be bullied again though. So Tampa Bay may have to beat the Packers in a shootout, hoping their formidable offensive weapons all click at once. That will put pressure on backup Bucs guard Aaron Stinnie, who made his first ever NFL start against the Saints last week (and did pretty well).
What the Packers needs to do to win: Like the Buccaneers, the Packers have a weakened offensive line. It held up well enough against the best defense in the league, the Rams, last week but Los Angeles’ biggest threat, Aaron Donald, was hampered by a rib injury. Rodgers has been so good this year that it’s hard to see him being outscored by the Buccaneers if he gets enough protection. Some have argued that the frigid Lambeau Field will hand the Packers a big advantage over a warm-weather team like Tampa Bay. But Tom Brady played plenty of games in the New England winter and that seemed to work out fine for him.
Key player: Rob Gronkowski, tight end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronk’s best days are behind him and he is no longer the unstoppable force he was a few years ago. So his importance in this game lies not so much in his abilities but who he matches up against. If the Packers have one obvious weakness, it’s their linebackers. Look for Brady to go back to a familiar safety blanket and find Gronk in the middle of the field as this game goes on.
Prediction: Packers. The Buccaneers struggled to shake off 7-9 Washington in the wildcard round and were helped by a series of Drew Brees turnovers against the Saints last week. Brady and his new teammates gel much more than they did at the start of the season, but are still not the threat they should be, given their talent. I don’t think they’re at the level where they can beat Rodgers and Davante Adams this time around.