Best Tampa Bay Buccaneer Coverage

Best Tampa Bay Buccaneer Coverage

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Buccaneers to Host Super Bowl vs. the Chiefs After 31-26 Win Over Packers!

Scotty Miller hauls in a huge TD catch from Tom Brady to end the first half in the Buccaneers' 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the first team to host a Super Bowl, and will be playing in the big game for the first time in 18 years after defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the NFC Championship Game Sunday in Green Bay.

They will face the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship on Sunday night. Earlier this season, the Buccaneers lost to the Chiefs here at Raymond James Stadium, 27-24 in week 12.

Scotty Miller got behind the Packers secondary on the Bucs' last play of the first half for a remarkable 39-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to put the Bucs up 21-10. Call it a Hail Mary if you want, but there was single coverage on the play by Green Bay cornerback Kevin King, and Brady and Miller exploited it.

Brady threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, with the Bucs' other TD coming on a brilliant 20-yard touchdown run by Leonard Fournette early in the second quarter.

And on the Packers' first series of the third quarter, Jordan Whitehead forced a fumble that was recovered by Devin White, giving the Bucs the ball at the Green Bay 8-yard-line. On the very next play, Cameron Brate hauled in a pass from Tom Brady, Brady's third TD of the game, to extend the Tampa Bay lead to 28-10.

But the Packers weren't quitting, as there was plenty of time to go. A Robert Tonyan 8-yard touchdown reception cut the Buccaneers' lead to 28-17, and there was still only 9:28 to go in the third quarter.

And Green Bay picked up some more momentum on the next Bucs' series as Adrian Amos picked off a Brady pass to give the Packers possession at the Packers' 32. Green Bay then drove right down the field on the depleted Tampa Bay secondary, having started the game without Antoine Winfield Jr., and then losing Jerome Whitehead during the game with a shoulder injury. Aaron Rodgers tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams to end that drive, cutting the Tampa Bay deficit to five, 28-23.

After that score, neither team could muster a prolonged drive, as the fourth quarter became more tense with every play.

Jordan Whitehead forces a huge turnover early in the third quarter that set the Buccaneers up ...
... for this eight-yard touchdown reception by Cam Brate that gave the Bucs a 28-10 lead

After a nice kick return by Jaydon Mickens, the Bucs drove the ball into Green Bay territory, but a high pass to Mike Evans deflected off his fingertips into the hands of Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, Brady's second pick of the half. But the Packers went three and out after a huge third-down sack of Rodgers by Shaq Barrett.

The Bucs also went three-and-out, but out on their third play on yet another Alexander pick of Brady, who was hurried and threw a lob behind Evans that Alexander picked at their own 24. And then the Packers went three-and-out on the following drive.

A big 29-yard pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski provided a temporary spark, bringing the ball to the Packers 30, and then on third-and eight, Brady threw the ball into the ground, setting up a Ryan Succop 46-yard field-goal to extend the Bucs' lead to 31-23, with 4:42 remaining.

Now it was Aaron Rodgers' turn. It took only two plays to get to the Tampa Bay 29, the latter being a 29-yard completion to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who had caught a 50-yard touchdown pass earlier in the game to tie it at 7.

Later in the drive, facing a fourth-and-goal, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur opted for a 26-yard Mason Crosby field goal to cut the deficit to 31-26, a move that was highly criticized after the game.

The Pack had all their timeouts left, and the Bucs got the ball, with Green Bay starting to burn its timeouts after the two-minute warning. After burning their first two timeouts, the Packers needed to stop a Tampa Bay third-and-four, but a pass interference call on Kevin King allowed for the Bucs to run out the clock, following a delay of game call on the Packers for 12 men on the field.

Super Bowl 55 (or LV, if you will) will take place in two weeks, February 7, here at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, in a rematch of the week 12 game against the Chiefs. And for the first time ever, a team that plays in the stadium hosting the Super Bowl will play in that game.

Photos Courtesy: Getty Images

Tom Brady celebrates the Bucs' 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field on Sunday

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