The Bucs are headed to Super Bowl in their own backyard at Raymond James Stadium as they defeated the Packers 31-26 in Lambeau Field to win the NFC Championship. It was a historic day for the Bucs as they started out with a 21-10 lead at halftime with a last second touchdown from Tom Brady to Scotty Miller, and held on in the second half to come out on top.
Here were the most impressive players on the offensive side of the ball from the game.
WR Chris Godwin
It was an outstanding NFC Championship game for Godwin, who was having drop issues in the postseason up to that point. He had one drop early on in the game that could have caused fear in Bucs fans that the drops would continue, but he bounced back on the next play, making a tremendous 52-yard acrobatic catch on a ball that he came down with after juggling it. It was a huge play that set the Bucs up for a touchdown. He also made a great play by taking a screen pass 15 yards on a third-and-14, breaking tackles to get the first down. Godwin was the most consistent receiver for the Bucs, and he sealed the game at the end with a toss sweep that went for a first down. Godwin made five catches for 110 yards and had one rush for six yards.
QB Tom Brady What more can you say about a man that is going to his 10th Super Bowl? Brady looked dialed in during the first half throwing dime after dime in perfect spots, but didn’t get a lot of help from his receivers as the Bucs had six drops. Tampa Bay went 7-for-9 on third downs in that half, which played a big factor. He capped off a great first half by hitting Scotty Miller for a 39-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining. While Brady threw three interceptions in the second half, one came after the ball went off Mike Evans’ fingers, and another was a jump ball thrown following a missed blocking assignment on third down. But when the game was on the line at the end, Brady and the Bucs were able to convert some first downs, which was set up by a nine-yard reception to Evans that helped clinch the game. Brady finished the game throwing for 280 yards on 20-of-36 passing, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Bucs’ Offensive Line Brady can’t have a good game if he’s doesn’t have time to throw, and the offensive line gave him plenty of that. Brady was sacked just one time in the entire game and that happened in the first half. Brady had all day to throw as the line did a good job to keep him clean. A lot credit should go to tackles Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs as they both continue to play at a very high level in the postseason. The Bucs have played some tough pass rushing teams so far and they’ve passed the test each time.
WR Scotty Miller With Antonio Brown unable to play, Miller was once again utilized as one of the Bucs’ primary down field threats. While he made just two receptions, his 39-yard touchdown catch at the end of the half to put Tampa Bay up 21-10 was arguably the play of the game. Even if he’s not getting the ball, Miller can take the top off of the defense and open up things for all the other weapons. Miller put the burners on for his touchdown reception, getting past Kevin King and making the catch in the end zone. Brady and Miller have had an excellent rapport together on the deep ball, and it paid off there. Miller had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.
Honorable Mention: RB Leonard Fournette (55 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, one rushing touchdown)