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The Green Bay Packers will be playing in the NFC Championship at home for the first time during the stellar career of quarterback Aaron Rodgers against another heavyweight of the NFL in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady. The Packers and Bucs met once already this season, a game in which Rodgers played worse than he had all (MVP level) season.
The betting world seems split on the outcome of Sunday’s action, for example Sports Betting Dime’s predicted score has Tampa Bay heading to the Super Bowl, despite the fact that most betting sources having the Packers as three-point favorites Sunday. That may be a testament to the 38-10 victory that the Bucs had at Raymond James stadium back in Week 6.
But what do the UFFda! Sports football writers think will happen Sunday? Let’s find out!
Josh Frey, Senior Writer, purplePTSD.com/VikingsTerritory.com
In this battle of the Bays, both teams head into the NFC Championship Game on a roll. Neither team has lost since November; of their last 12 games combined, eight have been won by double digits. Obviously, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have been very good during this stretch, but the biggest reason has been great improvement on the defensive side of the ball.
In the regular season matchup, Aaron Rodgers struggled mightily, throwing for just 160 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Packer defense also allowed 158 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. When Tampa Bay can run and force turnovers, they are at their best as we saw in the 38-10 victory.
That said, Aaron Rodgers has made himself the MVP, and Green Bay has shut down every running offense they’ve faced since that game. The Buccaneers relied on four forced turnovers of the Saints last week to win 30-20, but it’s hard to see the Packers being that sloppy with the ball.
Packers win 28-24
Joe Johnson, owner, UFFda! Sports
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Rodgers had one bad game this season it coincidentally against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In that game he threw for just 160 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions for a QB rating of 35.4. It was his only multi-interception game of the season, and was not coincidentally due to the fact that the Bucs employed zone coverage on 61% of plays.
As Vikings fans saw the week after the bye, Rodgers doesn’t really perform well against cover 2 formations, and that’s something that Matt Lafleur and Rodgers clearly have thought about in the weeks since the Bucs were the only team that kept the Packers league leading offense to under 20-points.
Despite the fact that the Packers are 3-point favorites this weekend, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Bucs will come out on top at Lambeau. If anyone can figure this out it’s 2020 Rodgers, although if you can knock Matt Lafleur for it’s been his ability to adjust mid-game.
Luckily, again, they’ve had a lot of time to consider what happened the first time against the Bucs. But, it’s definitely something to keep an eye out for this weekend as Rodgers and Brady duke it out for all the marbles.
My pick is Tampa winning a close one for this reason, as I think that the Bucs are the more balanced team and that we’ll get a glimpse of vintage Brady this weekend.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 38
Green Bay Packers – 30