Here we are, the penultimate weekend of the season in the NFL. The best of the best square off in the conference championship games. In the NFC, we have a classic pitting two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Tampa Bay's Tom Brady and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. The stakes are sky high as the 13-3 Packers, the top seed, host the 11-5 Buccaneers, the wild card. The Bucs destroyed the Packers earlier this year by the score of 38-1o in Tampa Bay. Bit the Packers are a field goal favorite in this one. Can the Bucs pull off the upset?
Buccaneers take out the SaintsThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers advanced to the NFC title game for the first time since they won the Super Bowl in 2002. They did it by taking apart the favored Saints in New Orleans by the score of 30-20. While the offense was great, as it typically is, tit was the defense that won the game. They picked off Drew Brees three times and held him to just 134 yards passing. They held superstar receiver Michael Thomas to 0 catches for 0 yards, and they forced and recovered a Saints fumble.
Meanwhile, the offense did its job as Brady threw for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Leonard Fournette rushed for 63 yards while Ronald Jones rushed for 62 yards. Fournette also caught five passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Mike Evans also caught a touchdown pass. Also, Cameron Brate caught 4 passes for 50 yards. This was against pone of the best defenses in the NFL. The Bucs are third in the NFL in offense and 4th in passing yards. On defense they are first against the run but 21st against the pass.
Packers put on a clinicThe Green Bay Packers took the top seed into the NFC playoffs and they looked like it as they easily took out the Rams in the playoffs last week 32-18. The Packers have the number one scoring offense in the NFL and they showed it by putting up 32 points against one of the best defenses in the NFL. MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers was fantastic, throwing for 296 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Aaron Jones had 99 yards rushing and a touchdown while Jamal Williams rushed for 65 yards.
The Packers Alan Lazard led the wide receivers with 4 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown while Devante Adams had 9 catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Also, Robert Tonyan had 4 catches for 60 yards. The Packers are 5th in passing yards and 11th in rushing yards. They are 13th in points allowed but 7th in passing yards allowed. They have a very balanced attack on offense and are much improved on defense.
Stats & Trends
- Buccaneers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games in January.
- Packers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 playoff home games.
- Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
- Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite.
- Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite.
- Packers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in January.
- Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Packers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 playoff games.
Take the Packers here giving up the points. Brady vs Rodgers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line -- it doesn't get any better than this. Just as the Saints found out last week that it's hard to beat a team 3 times in one year, the Bucs will find out it's tough to beat a team again after you beat them by 28 points the first time. I think the Packers will be fired up and hell bent on revenge. Plus, the weakness of the Bucs defense plays to the strength of the Packers offense, the passing game. Rodgers should torch the Bucs secondary. Plus, the Packers strength in the defense is its secondary so that should slow down Brady enough for the Packers to outscore the Bucs in a high scoring shootout. The home team is 5-2 against the spread in their last 7 meetings between these two. Go with the Pack at Lambeau.