The Lass Word: Why This Game Will Be Different

Packers have one score to settle before becoming Super.

Somehow, it has always seemed inevitable that the Green Bay Packers would have to prove their worthiness for the Super Bowl by showing they can beat the one team that dominated them during the regular season.  In week six, the Tampa Bay Bucs scorched the Packers 38-10.  When they meet again Sunday to determine the NFC championship, I believe the outcome will be very different.  Here are the reasons why: 

 

Week Six Issue:  The game took place in Tampa, Florida.  Game time temperature was 86 degrees with a heat index of 90.  Halftime temp was 82 degrees. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  Sunday’s contest is at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.  Game time temperature is forecast to be about 20 degrees with a chance of snow.  Halftime temp projected to be about 17 degrees. 

 

Week Six Issue:  A rattled Aaron Rodgers throws 2 interceptions, takes 5 sacks, and misses multiple open receivers. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  Rodgers’ confidence seems to be at an all time high.  It seems unlikely he will be rattled, particularly playing at home.  Green Bay’s running game is peaking, which should slow down the Bucs’ pass rush.  MVS and Allen Lazard have shown improvement at getting open faster, allowing Rodgers to throw on schedule. 

 

Week Six Issue:  The Packers’ attempts to run wide were smothered by the lateral speed of linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  Green Bay found success against the vaunted Rams defensive front by running straight at them.  The offensive line seems to have found its groove pushing instead of pulling.  The Packers will pound the ball effectively between the tackles with the three-headed hammer of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon. 

 

Week Six Issue:  Tom Brady takes no sacks and few hurries or hits. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  The Green Bay pass rush has simply gotten better and better with each game.  Preston Smith, who was all but invisible in week six, has become a beast again.  Rashan Gary, who had one tackle in week six, is becoming dominant.  Kenny Clark has fully recovered from the groin injury that hampered him throughout the first half of the season.  Brady is going to feel some heat, and he doesn’t handle it well. 

 

Week Six Issue:  The Bucs’ Ronald Jones was able to power through the middle of the Green Bay defense for 113 yards and two touchdowns. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  Krys Barnes was hurt early in week six and replaced by Ty Summers who didn’t play well.  Barnes is back.  The Packers also now have Snacks Harrison, if needed, to bolster the defensive front.  Dean Lowry is playing much more aggressively in recent games. 

 

Week Six Issue:  All Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari was hurt early in the third quarter and replaced by Rick Wagner, who almost immediately gave up a sack to White and struggled throughout. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  Bakhtiari is out again, but this time his substitute will be Billy Turner, who has been a revelation at the position, playing effectively against the stout fronts of the Bears and Rams.  Wagner is back at right tackle, where he is more comfortable and played well in the last two games. 

 

Week Six Issue:  Josh Jackson started for the injured Kevin King.  He was beaten for a TD by Tyler Johnson, had a DPI on the two yard line covering Scotty Miller, and had a holding call. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  King is back.  He tends to play too far off and misses too many tackles, but he’s a definite upgrade over Jackson. 

 

Week Six Issue:  Rob Gronkowski dominated the middle with 5 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  Safety Adrian Amos was a step slow covering Gronk the whole game.  Both Amos and Darnell Savage have shown great improvement, breaking quicker on the ball and striking with more authority.  Barnes has been an upgrade from Kirksey dropping in middle coverage.  Adding the experience and toughness of Tramon Williams would help even more. 

 

Week Six Issue:  Tampa Bay had zero penalties in the game.  The only call against them was a late hit on the quarterback, which was offset by a Packers infraction. 

Why This Game Will Be Different:  The aforementioned improved pass rush will force at least a few holding calls on the Bucs’ O-line.  The speed of MVS and the route precision of Davante Adams should result in some defensive holding and pass interference calls. 

 

OUTTAKES

•  Tampa Bay is 2-4 against winning teams thus far. 

 

•  Tampa Bay’s highly ballyhooed four game win streak at the end of the regular season came at the hands of the Vikings, Lions and the Falcons twice, all losing teams. 

 

•  I believe Aaron Rodgers senses this may be the final year he is surrounded by enough talent to win a Super Bowl.  Because of salary cap issues, the Packers may look very different next season.   

 

•  Green Bay’s receivers need to get ready for a street fight.  Watching the Bucs play New Orleans last Sunday, I was amazed at how handsy and physical the defensive backs were.  The worst offender is Sean Murphy-Bunting, who seems to hold on every play.  He got away with a hold on his interception.  Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean are close behind.  These guys are a wrestling match off the line, but if you can get free of them, there will be plays to be made downfield. 

 

•  If it is true the Houston Texans are going to be forced to trade Deshaun Watson, I’m hoping it’s not to the Lions or Bears, though he seems destined for one of those locations. 

 

•I have this feeling that Green Bay’s special teams, a thorn in their side all year, is going to come up with a big play to help win this   game.  Lord knows they are overdue. 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (41)

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bbarryirish's picture

January 21, 2021 at 03:54 pm

Ken, Well said. Go Pack Go!

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ricky's picture

January 21, 2021 at 04:18 pm

Do either the Lions or Bears have the draft stock and the salary cap space to get Watson? The Jets would seem to have the inside track, assuming Miami doesn't make a move.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2021 at 08:11 pm

Boop.

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Bure9620's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:43 pm

The Bears do not, the Lion maybe kinda do, I see them unloading a bit.......

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

January 21, 2021 at 04:20 pm

I can't see Watson coming to the NFC North. Watson has approval over any trade destination. Would he want to play for the dysfunctional Bears in the cold, with their west WR on the way out? And do the Bears have enough in draft capital or players to make the trade? I don't think so. Lions are in worse shape with a worse roster and a brand new coach and GM. Not sure he'd want another experiment. My guess is the Pats go after him. Or Niners. or WFT.

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Coldworld's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:30 pm

Indy and some other teams such as those you mentioned have the cap space and or the picks

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:43 pm

If the Texans could deal him, I don't know if they deal him within their division where they'd have to play him twice a year for a long time. The price for the Colts would have to be really high.

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Coldworld's picture

January 21, 2021 at 08:10 pm

True, but just an example of cap potential

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Swisch's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:46 pm

Yeah, maybe, but what about this game with the Bucs?
We've got months and months of off-season, but just two more games to win the Super Bowl.
Do we play Brady and his receivers mostly tight, daring him to complete the long ball most of the game?
Focus, please, on how we beat the Bucs.
:-)

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 22, 2021 at 01:04 am

Mr. Lass mentioned the Watson situation as part of his Outtakes section. That makes it a subject worthy of comment. Perhaps you would like to argue with Mr. Lass's 43 years of journalism experience. Of course, you probably would since you are of the ilk that constantly whines about the "mainstream media".

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Swisch's picture

January 22, 2021 at 10:42 am

The fine article Mr. Lass was overwhelmingly about the huge game with the Bucs.
My comment was respectful and good-natured, but also a plea to not get too sidetracked by the asides.
How sad it is when the season ends, and there's months and months and months with nothing to talk about on the field -- only transactions, and the possibilities of other transactions.
Having a high regard for the fans here at CHTV, I want to hear their thoughts about how the Packers should approach this game for the NFC Championship.
Please excuse any impatience on my part, but 'twas meant in good fun.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 21, 2021 at 05:19 pm

The biggest question to be answered on Sunday is which team will be playing the Packers in SB LV.

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mnbadger's picture

January 21, 2021 at 06:17 pm

Sad to hear of Mr Thompson's passing. I was never a huge fan of his inactivity during free agency and lackluster performance in the early rounds. But I was proud to have a level headed professional running the organization. Character, humility and honesty matter to me. He was right on favre, Rodgers and many more of his biggest decisions. I hope the veterans he brought in can take something positive into Sunday's game. He drafted all four of this year's all pro Packers along with Crosby and Tramon. Not many GMs can say that. Pack 23-19. (it worked last week) GPG

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Stroh's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:38 pm

RIP Ted. He was a class individual in every way. He had all those traits in spades!

Regarding his lack of activity in FA, He rarely had the cap space to work with to be active. Every year he basically had a QB taking up a huge part of the salary cap.

Many current and former Packers have posted on Twitter about his passing and the Packers are going to honor him with his name on the facade.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 22, 2021 at 10:18 am

MNBadger and Stroh,
The last 3-4 years TT was around I fell off the TT bandwagon because of his inactivity in FA, trades, etc. My philosophy is leave no stone unturned to improve your team. Was a huge Wolf fan because of his philosophy and approach to improving the team. Having said that, Ted was a class act and individual. Passing away at 68 years old after serious health issues for quite a few years is way too young!

RIP!

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Bearmeat's picture

January 21, 2021 at 06:19 pm

I'm very sad to hear of Ted's passing. Too young. He was all about the Packers and you could tell he cared very deeply for the people he employed - and not just the players. Less importantly, he was a great evaluator of talent prior to his health concerns that hastened his retirement. 1265 and all the people tied to the organization have benefitted from Ted's wisdom, kindness, and hard work.

RIP Ted.

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porupack's picture

January 21, 2021 at 06:24 pm

Very nice article, and like your format going through the previous and why it will be different. TB is also different as well with more confidence. I have hard tie seeing GB successful running the ball.
Very much agree that the TB pass defenders will be very physical. I had the same thought watching the NO-TB game.

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wildbill's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:05 pm

Nice article and I’m onboard with almost all of it but doubt the Bucs OL gets “a few” offensive holding calls. The refs have let a lot of offensive holdings slide this year and I doubt they alter their outlook at this point. Execute with no turnovers and we should win(please ST play well)

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JohnnyLogan's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:21 pm

Not worried about Tampa Bay. Green Bay by 2 TDs. Under McCarthy, Rodgers felt great, like he was driving a '67 Chevy Corvette 427 the world's fastest Powerglide-equipped car ever. The Corvette is a four-speed, and so were the McCarthy Packers; you could shift to Jordy, Jenkins, Driver, Finley, and you'd win most of your races. it was great. But there was a problem with the Corvette, it often leaked oil. And there was a similar problem with the Packers, in the playoffs, they leaked oil too. McCarthy was no great mechanic, he learned his offense in Pennsylvania, not in college but from a Bill Cosby street football routine; "Fat Albert, you're the bottle cap... I don't wanna be the bottle cap, I wanna be the piece of glass. Ok, you're the piece of glass. Go long." That was Packer football under McCarthy. Go long. Then last year this young fella, LaFleur, rode up in a Lamborghini with 730 plus hp, a car that not only doesn't leak oil, but you need an oil well to own it. He told Rodgers to take it for a ride. He did. He rode it around all of 2019, and by 2020, he was ready to drive as he'd never driven before. And that's where the Packer offense is now. A fine-tuned powerful mechanically elite machine driven by the best QB in football history. Oh, and the defense is at least a Ford F-150. Yeah, Packers by two TDs, maybe 3.

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porupack's picture

January 22, 2021 at 04:48 am

That was worthy of more than a thumbs up. I never was in the realm of corvettes and lamborghinis, but I well know the F-150 hauling pigs and shit. So, if the F-150 shows up, it'll carry the 1+ ton of hay beyond its rating, or more if it needs to.

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murf7777's picture

January 22, 2021 at 09:21 am

Really enjoyed reading.....Great analogy Johnny!

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 22, 2021 at 11:21 am

Worthy of a smack off championship from Rome's Show.

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Malihamala's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:21 pm

NFL Football Game 2021 Live

NFL Football Game 2021 Live

NFL Football Game 2021 Live

NFL Football Game 2021 Live

NFL Football Game 2021 Live

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Swisch's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:25 pm

I'm glad we have an opportunity to beat the Bucs on the way to the Super Bowl.
I'm concerned about the Bucs with Tom Brady and a lot of other talent, but the Bucs should be at least as concerned about the Packers.
Last week against the Rams, I was concerned about overconfidence; this week, I'm concerned about under-confidence.
It's likely to be a tough game, but I'm confident we can beat these guys. I'm looking forward to three or more sacks of Brady; to a defense smart in their assignments, while also aggressive and swarming to the ball; to our blockers and running backs busting the ball up the middle; and to Rodgers completing an array passes all over the field.
Also, perhaps we've been saving just the right trick play for this game.
My key is composure whether we're ahead or behind. If we keep looking for advantages and making adjustments, and play it through with determination for all four quarters, we'll win.
What a treat it is to be in this game for us fans. I hope the players enjoy the moment by cherishing the opportunity of each play.
GPG!!!

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porupack's picture

January 22, 2021 at 05:05 am

Often like your comments, swisch. You hit it: its all about determination and composure. If any lesson on the disastrous game against the Bucs earlier this year was a stark difference between the first 2 drives, and the rest of the game. Blown composure. Too often in previous years the packers just did not come into games with the firey passion to will the team to victory. Too often they got 'out-physicaled', and seemed to wither in the face of physical defenses in the playoffs as refs allow more contact. Too often in previous years, they just seemed to go through status-quo offensive scripts, or play not to lose. So, it won't be the weather, it won't be the home game, it won't be a lot of things...but it will be like you said, the will and determination each player brings to each play as if the game depends on that play.

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Swisch's picture

January 22, 2021 at 10:32 am

Thanks, porupack.
Whatever the level of confidence going into this game, what matters is when we face adversity.
Then the doubts come in. . . the Brady mystique, all the big names on their roster, the drubbing by the Buc last time, the trouncing by the 49ers in this championship game a year ago.
That's when our guys on the Packers have to keep their cool and tell themselves that they're just going to keep playing their best football all the way to the end.
No cheap shots, but go out there and hit somebody. No wild plays, but let's figure out ways to outsmart them. No panic, but urgency and determination.
In any case, no regrets!
I'm big on the Packers winning this game if they play it through.

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murf7777's picture

January 22, 2021 at 09:25 am

"I'm concerned about under-confidence".....These packers are on a 7 game winning streak, have the hottest QB in the league and a defense that is playing lights out.....I think they all are confident they can beat the Bucs in Lambeau, at their HOUSE.

Oh, and maybe a bit of revenge:)

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pacman's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:57 pm

Great article, up until the last comment on ST. Just please let them not do anything bad.

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Daren726's picture

January 22, 2021 at 05:38 am

Agree, that’s our only Achilles heal.

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Guam's picture

January 22, 2021 at 07:57 am

The only good news about special teams is that the Bucs special teams are just as bad as ours.

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GregC's picture

January 21, 2021 at 08:15 pm

I enjoyed the article and agree with most of the author's points. I think the Packers are going to win. Just a few nits to pick:

1. The NOAA forecast for Green Bay on Sunday is about 10 degrees warmer than the forecast mentioned in this article. I think NOAA has it about right: a high temperature of 29 degrees, which would most likely be sometime around kickoff. The slight chance of snow looks to be earlier in the day. We are not going to get a really frigid game in Green Bay this season, and that's good news for the socially distanced fans who won't be able to huddle together for warmth.

2. I don't agree that Kevin King is a poor tackler. I think he's pretty decent for a CB in that regard, although not as good as Jaire Alexander of course.

3. Predicting holding penalties on the Bucs seems like a bit of a stretch to me. It could happen of course, but I doubt that it will be a big factor in the game.

This is a great matchup. I can't wait to watch it!

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Swisch's picture

January 21, 2021 at 09:36 pm

I'm glad the weather won't be a hugely frigid factor, because I don't want the Bucs to have any excuses.
If it turns out to be about 30 degrees with little wind, that's just about right for the Packers.
It won't be the hot conditions of the regular season game, and the Bucs will be a little out of their element.
I'm really glad the Packers are home in a familiar setting and with at least some fans in attendance.
Overall, it's a nice advantage for the Packers but not overwhelming, which is just about right, to my mind, to reward us for best record in the NFC.
In a big game, this moderate advantage is still a big deal.

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GregC's picture

January 21, 2021 at 09:57 pm

That's the way I look at it too. The one thing I don't want to see is wind. The Packers lost to the Vikings in windy conditions, and there was another home game where the wind made it hard to throw the ball. Cold conditions, but not TOO cold, sound perfect to me.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 22, 2021 at 07:42 am

Agree on the penalties. The officiating crew and its tendencies really matter. I, too, watched TB and NO. Those DBs really held a ton. The back judge is Perry Pagnelli. He is middle of the road on the number of penalties called (slightly less than average) but also skews heavily towards fewer penalty yards. Not the guy who calls PI if it is 60 yards downfield.

The head referee is Clete Blakeman. He doesn't award penalty yards. He skews massively less than the average official. He doesn't call PI. He is slightly above average on holding (but the stat doesn't distinguish between offensive and defensive holding!).

https://www.rotowire.com/football/referee-stats.php
https://www.pro-football-reference.com/officials/PagaPe0r.htm

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flackcatcher's picture

January 22, 2021 at 02:35 pm

As you say TGR, a completely under covered story. The degree to which game crews and head referees make game calls is strikingly different from game to game. There seems to be no baseline in the league this season. Depending on which crew we see, Tampa could get no calls with their physical play, or they could get flagged all over the place. Packers, to their credit have adjusted their style of play in the secondary and on the OL. Will be interesting on Sunday on how the Referees call this.

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JQ's picture

January 22, 2021 at 05:21 am

As usual Ken, a great read! Thanks.

A few thoughts on the game:

-The weather may not be a factor, but TB and Brady are still playing on the road. The Packers have gotten to stay home.
-On the physical play of the TB D-backs - The Packers have a fleet of strong, physical WRs, as well as Tonyon, Dillon, and even #49. Remember, Lazard didn't even play in the first game. The Packers have the ability to bring the Big Hammer to the passing game.
-If Dillon is ready, along with Jamal, the Packers have the means to soften up the middle of the D-line and for Jitterbug Jones to swivel through the wreckage.
-On special teams the Packers have Mason 'Ice' Crosby, and the bucs have...
-Rodgers' two interceptions in week 6 were an anomaly, much more so because the first was a pic 6. That's QUITE unlikely to happen on Sunday. Things unraveled from there, and I think the players and Lafleur learned some valuable lessons.
-Green Bay needs no extra motivation to win this game, but they have it after losing one of their FOUR all Pro players in David Bakhtiari, and after the too-early death of Ted Thompson. Rest in Peace Ted.
-Finally, the Packers have played well in the past three games against playoff teams (even though the bears weren't worthy) and I look for that to continue. As I see it, the only way the Packers lose this game is if they beat themselves. I like the Packers by 27-17.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 22, 2021 at 08:53 am

Tonyan - do you even care what are Packers players really names? Or you just do not care at all?

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Starrbrite's picture

January 21, 2021 at 10:01 pm

NO FEAR—-Go Packers!!!

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porupack's picture

January 22, 2021 at 05:12 am

The coaching preparation and scheme is the key to victory. It is how David slays Goliath, to outsmart the other guy's assets and expectations and plan. The coaches and players obviously will study Brady and Bucs tendencies and need to scheme to put defenders in position to take calculated risks and alter the game. The issue is how much risk are they prepared to take, and at what point in the game. As mentioned by other poster; bucs CBs ands safeties will be very physical, so MLF should have receivers prepared to hold their ground and fight equally.
The bucs will have some tape on GB's wins the last 2 games, and will probably prepare for the run game. Will GB be a step ahead? What will the first play be, to see if the bucs can stop the expected run, or counter that right away with play action deep ball? How much risk, and when.

It won't be about weather, home game, or many things, but whether every player comes to treat his role as if each play will determine the outcome. Willing the victory more than the other guys.

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Swisch's picture

January 22, 2021 at 11:01 am

I really like the threat of those jet sweeps to help keep the defense honest when we want to run it up the middle, or pass to the side of the field vacated by the player in motion. Also, I think Tavon may get a big gain if he gets the ball at the right point in the game.
***
Perhaps today Coach Matt LaFleur asks publicly if the refs are going to allow wide receivers to be manhandled to the detriment of a fair and flowing passing game that fans come to expect for an exciting game.
Maybe he talks with the refs just before the game about it.
Maybe in the first half MLF challenges a play in which he thinks there was pass interference but we didn't get the call.
Plus, in case all that falls short, perhaps he has Davante talk to all of our pass catchers about not getting bothered by any rough handling by the Bucs cover guys, and how to beat it.
In other words, try to get the game called in favor of talent over heavy-handedness and trickery -- but whatever happens, we've got to work through it on the field and find ways to win.

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tonys247's picture

January 22, 2021 at 10:50 am

Watch Packers vs. Buccaneers Game Live Online :2021 NFL Conference Championship

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The opponent? Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who won six Super Bowls with New England and has a chance to win a seventh for his new team.

One day after the Packers mostly dominated the Los Angeles Rams in a 32-18 victory, the Buccaneers punished the New Orleans Saints 30-20 at the Superdome. The same swarming defense that made life miserable for Rodgers and Co. in October produced four takeaways and made Drew Brees look like an old man.

That set up a made-for-TV showdown between two living legends. Rodgers and Brady will meet for only the fourth time in their illustrious careers. It will be by far the most important, with Green Bays infamous loss at Seattle in the 2014 NFC Championship Game robbing the world of a Rodgers vs. Brady matchup in the Super Bowl. Rodgers desperately wants to win a second Super Bowl. Brady desperately wants to win a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick.

We ve got to go beat a great football team. Aarons playing incredible. Were going to have to play great to beat them,” Brady told Foxs Erin Andrews after the game.

The early forecast for Sunday is a high of 23 with a chance of snow.

While they never would have admitted it, the Packers probably would have preferred a matchup against Brees and the Saints. Never mind that Green Bay won at New Orleans 37-30 in Week 3 but lost at Tampa Bay 38-10 in Week 6. Brees, who has spent all 20 seasons playing in the warmth of San Diego or the dome in New Orleans, played in only one game with a kickoff temperature of 25 or colder. Brady, meanwhile, is a resounding 15-3.

Almost exactly three months ago, the Packers were outclassed by the Bucs. Coming off its bye, Green Bay raced to a 10-0 lead but Rodgers threw a pick-six and an interception on back-to-back possessions. The Packers never crossed midfield over the final three quarters. They had nine first downs on their first two possessions and four in their final 10.

Might need to add an extra finger to the scotch, but I do feel good about the team,” Rodgers said after a miserable afternoon. Ive played for so long, youre going to have a couple stinkers. I think about the game at New York many years ago [2012] where I hit Jordy (Nelson) on an out-and-up to start the game, and we lost 38-10. Tonight kind of felt like that, unfortunately, where you kind of got off to a nice start and then just nothing. So, I feel really good about our squad. Weve had four really, really good weeks, being efficient, winning, offensively being very explosive, defensively coming up with timely stops.

This is, I believe, an anomaly, not the beginning of a trend. And weve got a chance to prove me right next week.”

Rodgers was proven right again and again. The Packers will enter Sundays championship game with seven consecutive wins.

In a heavyweight showdown on Saturday, Green Bays top-ranked scoring offense overwhelmed the Rams top-ranked scoring defense. It will be a similar challenge on Sunday.

Brees was 19-of-34 passing for just 134 yards. Premier receiver Michael Thomas was shut out on four targets.

Rodgers, of course, is a far better player than Brees at this point in his career. Hes the likely MVP after throwing 48 touchdown passes in the regular season and two more in the playoffs. He led the NFL in passer rating, touchdown passes, completion percentage, touchdown percentage and interception percentage.

Tampa Bays defense is legit. The Bucs finished eighth in points allowed and first against the run with 80.6 yards per game and 3.60 yards per carry. Linebacker Devin White, who had 11 tackles and one interception against the Saints, had 10 tackles, one sack and three tackles for losses against Green Bay. The Bucs had five sacks in the first meeting.

While the reality is it will be Rodgers facing that dominant defense and Green Bays defense contending with the legendary Brady and his deep list of weapons, the hype will be centered on Rodgers vs. Brady – arguably the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

When it comes to big picture and you guys writing your stories and telling that whole story, which I know is a part of it, its two older guys,” Rodgers said before the Week 6 game. Hes a little bit older than I am – hes got me by about six-and-a-half or seven years – but we havent played a lot because hes been in the AFC the majority of his career and Ive been over here.

Hes obviously done it at the highest of levels for so long. Hes been an icon at the position. Hes been somebody that weve all looked up to for so many years as the standard of excellence. I think theres a ton of admiration and respect for the way that hes played the game from so many of us, especially us guys whove been in the same era for so many years with him and gotten to compete with him every now and then being an NFC guy. I think its good that we just enjoy it for what it is, have respect and admiration for the way that we have played over this time, and enjoy where were at in our careers now.”

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