The 14-3 Green Bay Packers come into this game as the top seed in the NFC. The Packers come into this game off a 32 - 18 trouncing of the Los Angeles Rams. The Packers have won seven straight games and nine out of ten. Green Bay has benefited this year from the renaissance of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After a few relatively pedestrian seasons, at least by his lofty standards, Rodgers came back with a vengeance in 2020. He led the NFL in completion percentage, touchdown passes, touchdown percentage, interception percentage, passer rating and total QBR. It was one of the finest seasons any quarterback has ever produced. Due in large part to Rodgers’ sublime season, the Packers led the NFL in points scored, and they turned the ball over just 11 times, best in the NFL. The Packers scored 30 or more points 13 times this season, and were held under 22 points just once all year. The defense also gelled as the season wound down, giving up 18 points or less in five of the last six games. With an offense this good and a defense this stingy it’s pretty tough to beat this team.
The 13-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the regular season with a flourish, winning their last four games after losing three out of the prior four. They come into this game off a 30 - 20 victory over the New Orleans Saints, avenging two regular season losses to the Saints. The Buccaneers, led by Old Man Brady, have dominated on offense lately, averaging 36+ points per game over their last five games. With perhaps the NFL’s best cast of skill players, an offensive line that gives Brady all kinds of time to throw, and the NFL’s #6 ranked defense, the Buccaneers may be primed for a Super Bowl run. The only fly in the ointment might be Brady himself, who looked decidedly pedestrian when he faced good teams in the regular season. Against the six playoff teams the Buccaneers faced in the regular season this year (Rams, Saints twice, Bears, Packers and Chiefs), Brady threw nine interceptions and the Buccaneers went 1-5. In the playoffs so far Brady has been better, throwing four touchdown passes without any interceptions against the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Football Team. One more good performance by Brady against the Packers and he might get yet another shot at a Super Bowl title.
It’s the Packers and the Buccaneers in the first game of Conference Championship Sunday. Enjoy the game everybody.