Road warriors: Bucs win 31-26 at Green Bay, reach Super Bowl


GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (AP) – Tom Brady and the road magic of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have them come home to the Super Bowl, the first team to play in one on their field.

Brady owns six Super Bowl rings with New England and is now heading towards his 10th NFL Championship game with his new team. With the help of a stifling pass run and a curious late call to the Packers’ fourth base, Brady and the Bucs beat Green Bay 31-26 for the NFC title on Sunday.

“It’s great to get another road win, and now we have a home gameSaid Brady, who finished 20 of 36 for 280 yards with three touchdowns. “Who ever thought of a home Super Bowl for us? But we did.

The Bucs (14-5) earned their franchise-record eighth straight road victory to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since their 2002 championship season.

They were helped by a strange decision by Packers coach Matt LaFleur with just over two minutes left and eight points short. At fourth base, he chose to throw a basket to get less than five. Tampa Bay then missed the stopwatch on the Packers (14-4).

The Bucs face the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on February 7.

“We’re coming home,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. “We are going home to win.”

Green Bay trailed 31-23 and had the first and the 8 goal in the dying minutes. But after Aaron Rodgers threw three straight incompletions, the Packers were content with Mason Crosby’s 26-yard field goal with 2:05 to go.

The Packers had all three times out and were hoping their defense could force a punt. The Bucs thwarted that plan, draining the rest of the clock, helped by a pass interference penalty on Kevin King.

Led by Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul combining five sacks, Tampa Bay broke Green Bay’s seven winning streak. The Packers lost in the NFC Championship game for the fourth time in the past seven seasons. Green Bay has not reached the Super Bowl since its 2010 championship season.

Rodgers finished 33 of 48 for 346 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, but fell to 1-4 at the conference championship games as the starting quarterback.

Tampa Bay took command in the central part of the game.

Green Bay trailed 14-10 and had the ball just before half-time until Sean Murphy-Bunting knocked out Rodgers at the Tampa Bay 49-yard line with 28 seconds left. After converting a fourth and fourth, Tampa Bay was 39th in Green Bay with 8 seconds left. The Bucs missed a long field goal attempt and Brady found Scotty Miller on the left sideline for a 39-yard touchdown with just 1 second left.

“We didn’t come here so as not to take chances to win the gameArians said. “I love the piece we got. I had a great game and got a TD. It was huge.

The Bucs took a 28-10 lead early in the third quarter thanks to Brady’s three touchdown passes. Brady went 20 of 36 for 280 yards.

The Packers got the ball to start the second period and Aaron Jones caught a short third pass. He took a huge kick from Jordan Whitehead that knocked the ball out. Devin White recovered and ran 21 yards to Green Bay 8.

A game 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 records for the second time in his career. Green Bay reduced the lead to 28-23 at the end of the third quarter on touchdown passes from Rodgers to Robert Tonyan and Davante Adams.


Jones suffered a chest injury and Whitehead sustained a shoulder injury in the third quarter play that resulted in a Jones fumble. Defensive Packers …

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