Updated: Feb 3
There’s no question on who’s the greatest QB of all-time anymore: It’s Bucs QB Tom Brady and it’s not even close.
The Brady Legacy
After leading the New England Patriots dynasty for the past two decades, Brady took his talents to the NFC in Tampa Bay and didn’t disappoint. In his first season, Brady led the Bucs to its first Super Bowl in nearly two decades and is going to his mind-blowing 10th Super Bowl. Tampa Bay will also become the first team in Super Bowl history to host the big game on February 7th.
tom's Travail at Lambeau
As for the game, Brady wasn’t perfect (3 INT's) but made the necessary throws when he needed to. The best example was what is called the “middle eight” or better known as the last 4 mins of the 1st half and the 1st 4 mins of the 2nd half.
After forcing a rare Aaron Rodgers INT, the Bucs Hail Mary prayers were answered as WR Scotty Miller hauled in a Brady bomb with only a second remaining to put the Buccaneers up 21-10 at halftime.
Even though the Packers got the ball to start the 2nd half, things quickly turned in Tampa’s favor once RB Aaron Jones fumbled deep in Green Bay territory. This resulted in an eventual TE Cameron Brate TD to put the Bucs up 28-10. This was a crucial 14 point swing which ultimately proved a tremendous help with Green Bay making it a game late.
Just like in Week 6, Tampa’s defense was able to get after Rodgers as they sacked the MVP front runner early and often. The Bucs front four was able to take advantage of an injury-plagued Packers O-line as it got consistent pressure all afternoon long. LBs Shaquil Barrett (3 sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul (2 sacks) combined for all of the team’s five sacks. A true difference as Brady was only sacked one time.
Green Bay Packers
I mean there’s nowhere else to start but late in the 4th quarter with a 4th and goal at the Bucs eight yard line. Trailing 31-23 with just over 2 mins remaining, Packers HC Matt LaFleur inexcusably settled for a FG in a one score game. Even though they still had a chance if they stopped Brady, it’s maddening to give them the ball back with the opportunity. A failed conversion would’ve given Tampa Bay the ball deep in its own territory and could've set the Packers up with great field position if they made a stop. Instead Green Bay’s defense couldn’t get a stop and ultimately ended the game.
In reality it shouldn’t have even come down to the final drive. Brady threw an INT on three straight drives in the second half. However these turnovers resulted in only one TD and a combined -5 yards on only six plays on the other two drives for Green Bay. Just plain inexcusable execution by the Packers offense in the biggest game of the year.
The Packers face serious questions this offseason as they have looming FA decisions with impactful players such as RB Aaron Jones, CB Kevin King, TE Robert Tonyan and C Corey Linsley all set to hit the market. It also doesn’t help that the team is currently projected with negative cap space as it's currently projected in the bottom-six with around ~$25 million in cap room. With QB Aaron Rodgers turning 38 next season, the Packers Super Bowl window is closing sooner rather than later if it’s not already shut.
Bucs in Super Bowl LV
Tampa Bay will now get two weeks to prepare for a home game against the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Brady will look to lead the Bucs to its first title in 19 years and the seventh Super Bowl of his career.