The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first team to choose the Super Bowl qualified. In the conference finals of the NFC, the semi-finals of the NFL, succeeded the team around quarterback superstar Tom Brady a surprising 31:26 (21:10) win against the Green Bay Packers.
While it is the tenth Super Bowl participation (six titles) for the 43-year-old Brady, the Bucs are only in the final for the second time in their history, in the 2002/2003 season they were able to win the Super Bowl for the first time. This time the final will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, so the 55th Super Bowl will be a home game for the Bucs.
The way there led over an outstanding performance in the first half Brady in the quarterback duel with Green Bay’s veteran Aaron Rodgers. For Rodgers, the Bucs, who had actually gone into the game as outsiders, were previously feared opponents: In the regular season, the Packers lost 10:38 when they met directly, Rodgers had been sacked four times.
A similar debacle seemed to be looming in the first half: Rodgers was slumped three times, and Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting managed an interception. While Brady shone as a sovereign ball distributor and threw three touchdown passes in the first two quarters – including one over more than 40 yards a few seconds before the break – Rodgers had problems in the decisive moments, threw only one touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Green Bay also managed a field goal, with 21:10 from Bucs’ point of view it went into halftime.
The second half started as badly for the Packers as the first had ended: Aaron Jones underwent a fumble, 66 seconds after the restart the Bucs increased to 28:10 with Cameron Brate and the following extra point.
Then Green Bay started the supposed comeback: Robert Tonyan completed the next drive with a touchdown, with an interception Safety Adrian Amos ended the next attacking game of the Bucs early. Rodgers then found Davante Adams in the end zone, because the subsequent attempt at the two-point conversion failed, it was now 28:23.
In the closing stages, the attack lines of both teams stalled: Brady conceded two more interceptions, Rodgers was sacked again. With a field goal, the Bucs then moved away to 31:23. The Packers could have saved themselves with a touchdown and a two-point conversion in overtime, but only managed one field goal for their part.
In the Super Bowl on February 8th (0.40 a.m., TV: ProSieben, live ticker: SPIEGEL.de), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet the winner of the second conference final, in which the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills meet.