The Buccaneers have advanced to the NFC Championship game to face the Green Bay Packers. Things have changed since the last time these two teams met as the Packers became became the No. 1 seed in the NFC behind the red-hot arm of Aaron Rodgers and the very good running game behind Aaron Jones.
In their first meeting, Jason hit on his bold prediction of the Buccaneers getting to Rodgers and sacking him at least twice. How bold does the Bucs Nation staff get this time around for the NFC Championship game? Check out the predictions below.
David: The first time these two teams played the Bucs defense held Aaron Jones to 1.5 yards per carry. That is now his career low when getting five or more carries. His next lowest output this season was a 3.54 yards per carry performance in a four point win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Holding Jones to another career low is going to be nearly impossible because of what Tampa Bay’s run stoppers did in Week 6, so I’m splitting the difference. The Bucs hold Jones under 2.5 yards per carry on Sunday while keeping Green Bay from reaching 100-yards on the ground, and the numbers say there’s about an eight point per game difference from Aaron Rodgers’ offense when that happens.
Jason: If the Bucs have any chance to win the NFC Championship, they have to shut down Rodgers. This game will come down to who can cover the pass better and make Rodgers miss. Aaron Rodgers only has five interceptions this year, tied for first in that category. Two of those interceptions came in week 6 against the Bucs. My bold prediction is that Rodgers will throw at least one interception in this game and the Bucs will capitalize on it. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, however, Rodgers has only thrown one interception in the past 7 weeks.
James: It's been a rough two game stretch for wide receiver Chris Godwin. His uncharacteristic drops against Washington and New Orleans have put the Bucs offense into some tough spots - but all that ends on Sunday. Godwin will lead the team in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns while having zero dropped passes, helping the Bucs overcome the red hot Packers as well as the elements.
Evan: So, the Bucs offense has been extremely disappointing inside the red zone. Like, a 36% touchdown conversion rate disappointing. They’re 4-of-11 over the last two games. The Bucs will undoubtedly move the ball against the Packers, but they may have to rely on a bunch of kicks since they may not be scoring touchdowns. Ryan Succop is 30-of-31 when it comes to making field goals over the last 14 games. Not only will he be the Bucs’ top scorer this weekend with 15 points, but he’ll make all seven kicks (four field goals, three extra points). And as the cherry on top, his final kick will be the game-winner that sends the Bucs to Super Bowl LV thanks to a score of 33-31.
Bailey: Bucs fans, if you weren’t a fan of Rob Gronkowski before this season, you better be by now. There doesn’t seem to be a selfish bone in that man’s body, as he’ll do whatever he’s asked. If that means blocking the entire game to help eliminate the opposition’s pass rush, so be it. He’s done that well all season, and especially in the first two games of Tampa Bay’s playoff run. But I think this is a week for him to do some work as a pass-catcher. His first big game this season came against Green Bay, so why not do it again? He goes for 75-plus yards and two touchdowns in a Bucs win.
Editor’s Pick by Gil Arcia: Not to play the role of Captain Obvious here, but the Buccaneers will have to shut down Green Bay’s offense. It won’t be just the defense that’ll be in charge of that, but the offense, too. Tom Bray and the Bucs offense has to control the clock, sustain drives and put points on the board at the end of those drives. It’ll help if Green Bay never establishes the run game, so I’m rolling with David this week. Holding Jones and the Packers offense to under 100 yards on the ground could very well put Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
Which bold prediction do you like for the NFC Championship?
This poll is closed
Jones/GB under 100 rushing yards.
Rodgers with at least one crucial INT.
Godwin has a game.
Bucs ride Succop’s leg.
Gronk has a game.