Buccaneers 31-26 Packers NFL Playoffs results, summary: NFC Championship Game

David Nelson


Full-time: Buccaneers 31-26 Packers | NFC Championship Game 2021

LaFleur: "I'm at a loss for words right now, it's hard to have a lot to say about something you were not prepared for." 

He admits the defeat "hurts"

Brady has been to the Super Bowl more times than every team apart from one. 

Full time! Buccaneers are into the Super Bowl, to be played at their own stadium. 

At half-time it looked like the Bucs were already there, but Rodgers marshalled everything the Packers had to put them back within touching distance, until everything went wrong for them right at the end. 12 men on the pitch to gift the Bucs a 1st down with the clock nearly out of time was the final straw. 

Tom Brady will play in his 10th Super Bowl on 7 February 2021, at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida

Brady will play in his 10th Super Bowl. This is crazy. 

Godwin runs right and gets the 1st down!! The Bucs have done it!! 

If the Buccaneers get a first down here, they will be in the Super Bowl... five yards...

Fournette flies into the scrimmage and maybe makes a yard. 3rd and 5. One minute left. 

2nd and 7 Bucs, 1:34 remaining. We're getting a booth review, not sure what it's for - possibly number of players on the pitch. 

Packers had 12 on the field! Another penalty. This is amateur stuff from the home side. 

Brady throws long and Johnson is claiming he was fouled. Interference given! He was pulled - the shirt stretched to about two feet - then he threw himself acrobatically to make sure the officials saw it.

Fournette scrambles through, 3rd and 4! 1:46 left.

Damon Harrison encroaches and that's five yards and a first down, which doesn't help the Packers at all. The Bucs at their own 31. 

Two minute warning!

It's good, but it's not what they wanted, or needed...

Packers forced to take the field goal. 31-26, two minutes for the Buccaneers to try and run down. 

Third and goal... Rodgers has to run through the scrimmage line and he throws at Adams right on the edge of the endzone and it's NEARLY INTERCEPTED, just going dead as nobody can hold it.

There was actually a gap for Rodgers to run into, possibly with a route to the endzone, but he didn't take it, preferring to throw.

Rodgers zips one looking for Lazard, but he doesn't even know it's coming. 2nd and goal, and Rodgers throws wildly... THIRD and goal...

Neat throw from Rodgers to Adams who falls just a yard short at the 19 yard line. Third down, and Adams makes it this time. 1st and goal...

Two minutes left...

Rodgers goes long to MVS, who collects and gets up to the 28 yard line! 

Williams returns the kickoff to the 35 yard line. Packers to drive to get level. 

Brady goes left to Godwin, but that's always over his head. This is now a very, very big third down! Eight to go, to the 20 yard line. 

Brady bizarrely throws the ball straight into the ground. So it's field goal time. And it's good! Eight points up the Bucs. The Packers need a touchdown and a two point conversion to tie. 4:42 remaining.

Massive run to the 30 yard line from Gronkowski!! Once he's going it's hard to put him down.

Brady to Godwin for a simple first down. That was after the quarterback had to leap to catch the snap. 

1st and 10 at their 28 yard line. 8 minutes to go. Bucs leading 28-10.

4th and 11 means it's punt time for Packers... they swarm up and give the Bucs no chance to run - the visitros will start on the 28 yard line. 

Rodgers throws long inside the 10 yard line, but it's just out of reach of MVS!

Packers keep intercepting and the Bucs KEEP SACKING RODGERS! Fifth time now!

ANOTHER INTERCEPTION! Brady was under huge pressure with a man on, he just fired it roughly towards Evans and Alexander, who was actually watching, picked it off. Brady has words with Evans after that.

Possession time:

Buccaneers: 18:32
Packers: 30:55

About 87% of the Packers possession came in their last TD drive to be honest. 

Tampa Bay start at their own 38.

Rodgers sacked for the fourth time

Less than 11 minutes remaining. Packers decide to punt and Buccaneers return it to just before the half-way line.

RODGERS SACKED! That's the fourth time tonight. Shaq Barrett breaks through.

Arians wanted the Buccaneers to "attack, attack" and they have, but Brady's long balls have not hit the spot in this half. 


INTERCEPTION! Another one! Ball flies through Evan's hands and straight to Alexander!! Packers need one touchdown to go ahead and they have the ball. 

2nd and 5 at the 39 for the Bucs. Flag on the play. Too many defenders on the field of play, 5 yard penalty and 1st down.

24 plays from the Packers in this half to just 9 for the Buccaneers. 

Super reception from a fast ball for 1st down from Johnson. At the 37-yard-line now.

2nd and 8 at the 47 yard line for the Bucs to start the fourth quarter. 

S Jordan Whitehead is out for the rest of the game with a shoulder injury.

End of the 3rd quarter! Buccaneers 28-23 Packers

Simple stuff... or at least they make it look simple

Packers go for two points and St Brown has it in his grasp BUT PUTS IT DOWN! 28-23!

TOUCHDOWN! Davante Adams! That was an absolutely superb drive. Showing all the mental strength Matt LaFleur had asked of them. 

Slipped to third and goal now, as that pass goes to nobody.

Rushing Yards: Buccaneers 52, Packers 58

Flag on the play as Davis goes on helmet first. Half the distance to the goalline and 1st down. Davis is raging about that, but it was pretty clear. 

1st and goal Packers!

Another 1st down! Rodgers to Williams! And he's up to the 13 yard line now. 

Four minutes left in the quarter. 2nd and 4 at the 32 for the Packers. They're trailing 28-17

Packers on the drive here. To Dillon out right for another 1st down at the Tampa 44 yard line. 

And again, left this time, to Tonyan, who spins to make the 1st down. At the 32 now.

Rodgers goes long to the 35 yard line, but nobody can get on the end of it and THERE'S A FLAG ON THE PLAY. Defence, Ndamukong Suh, for going early on the snap. 5 yard penalty. 

Intercepted! Brady wants to go long to Mike Evans, and he telegraphs to everyone where it's heading. Amos reads it perfectly and gets the interception! 11-point game and Packers back in possession. 9 minutes left in the third.

Brady goes long 1st down, and Godwin SO close as he jumps, but can't quite get a finger on it. Back to the 38.

3rd quarter. Less than 10 minutes to go. Kick-off and the Bucs are on the drive from their own 29 yard line.

Fournette runs and he JUST sneaks across - 1st down.

TOUCHDOWN! Tonyan in the endzone, Rodgers well protected (this time) and he converts perfectly from eight yards. 28 - 16. And the extra point is good: 28-17

Rodgers forced to dance - he escapes and sends it to Lazard inside the 10! 1st and goal!!

Valdes-Scantling next up to move the play up field to the 29 yard line. This is a nice drive from the Packers. 

And by saying that I've cursed the next play, Rodgers has nowhere to throw and ends up chucking it miles long before he gets sacked. 

3rd and 3 at the 33. And the Packers convert for the 1st down, Rodgers finding Adams. At the 42 now.

The 6,500 Packers fans who managed to get a ticket are wishing right now that the restrictions had been a lot tighter. 

I'd be that reliable too if the entire defence left me alone and Brady threw it right into my open hands in the endzone.

TOUCHDOWN BUCCANEERS!! Brady protected, Brate runs completely unmarked into the endzone and THAT IS TOO EASY!

Turnover! Massive hit on Jones by Whitehead and the ball goes flying - the Buccaneers pick up and go riotously up the pitch to 1st and goal. That's a pretty dire start to the second half for the home side. 

Second half underway! Packers coach at half-time was stressing the importance of being mentally strong through the half: "You're not going to get all those points back at once".

Word from the Buccaneers camp is that all Bruce Arians wants is to keep attacking. Pedal to the metal right to full time. 

Brady enjoys the pressure...
The Bucs on 1st & 2nd down: 6 plays, 10 yards. 
3rd down? 3 plays, 56 yards. 


That's Marquez Valdes-Scantlin picking up for his touchdown to make it 7-7 at that stage.

There's that interception. Vital play. Vital. 

He was not joking...

Half-time! Buccaneers post a last second touchdown to lead 21-10 at half-time. 

OH. MY. WORD! Brady sends it all the way, Scotty Miller runs right onto it and that's a touchdown!! With six seconds left on the clock before half-time.

What were the defence thinking letting anyone in behind them?

That TD was born with the interception from Murphy-Bunting. 

Brady to Fournette and he completes the pass to the 39 yard-line. Six seconds left. 

4th and 3 on the Packers' 45. 13 seconds left.

Interception!! Ball to Lazard but Sean Murphy-Bunting gets there first and makes the interception. Buccaneers start on the Packers' 45.

Rodgers SACKED! That's the third time today! 2nd and 18!

Rodgers down the middle to Lazard! 1st down!

Two minute pause. Packers will start their drive on the 12 yard line.

Bucs punt, to the 12 yard line. 2:10 left in the quarter. 

On the Packers' 48. Another 3rd down for the Buccaneers, nine to go. 

Brady to Godwin, first down! 19 yards on the play. 

Fournette again! He dances and batters his way through to grab seven yards. 2nd and 3 for the Bucs. 

3rd and goal... Rodgers straight down the middle, finds Adams but he's out the back of the field before he can get his feet down. Packers decide to take the field goal, which Mason Crosby converts from 24 yards. But that will hurt having been so close. 14-10.

1st and goal. Rodgers goes left to Adams who had made space but he can't catch it. 

Aaron Jones running again. Rodgers is mixing this up well.  But he decides to use Jones again and it's 1st and goal as the running back batters through. 

2nd and 1, easy pass left to Tonyan, who makes 1st down no bother AND THEN FUMBLES! He's breathing again though when the ball flies out to a teammate. 

And now Jones running right and another first down and he's made some solid yards there. 

Williams running left and he gets through the defensive line! 1st and 10 past the halfway line now!

MVS again! Up to the 37 now as Rodgers completes. 

Packers start at the 25 yard line after they inquire about the call on the kick-off. It did hit the line. 

Super moves from Fournette

Williams thinks the kick-off is going straight in the endzone, but it lands on the line and bounces back down the pitch! He runs and the Packers are starting right at the back. 

Fornett! TOUCHDOWN! He runs, he spins, he gets JUST in the corner of the endzone. Well that's two fantastic plays to put the Bucs back on top. The long pass to Godwin and that from Fornett. 

Succop pops over the extra point.

My word! Brady goes crazy long to Godwin who knocks a defender out of the way as he jumps and he catches and holds as he goes down. That's 52 yards.

Godwin fumbles under pressure and it's 3rd and 9 for the Bucs at the 28 yard line.

Half the pitch to MVS, who did so well to take the ball cleanly out of that situation. 

Rodgers said this about MVS back in September:

"I would say the receiver I've been most impressed with, especially the last week or 10 days of camp, is Marquez."

They've had a pretty good connection all season, and they showed it again there. 

TOUCHDOWN PACKERS! BOOM! Rodgers goes long, long, long and Valdes-Scantling beats his man to the ball and runs it in! 

Packers take the extra point and we're all square. 7-7.

Second quarter underway. Packers 2nd and 5 just behind the half-way line. 

That was some movement from Rodgers.

End of the first quarter! Buccaneers lead 7-0, scoring on their first drive as Brady converted three third downs to then find Evans in the endzone with a 15-yard pass. 

And Davante Adams is off and running. He gets another 1st down. That pass out of the endzone from Rodgers was clutch. 

Rodgers runs round the back of the endzone and MAKES THE PASS TO LAZARD. Right up the right-hand line to the 28 yard-line. 1st and 10. 

Two drives, two sacks. Rodgers looks distraught. 

Packers start their second drive on their own 10 yard line. And Rodgers SACKED on the second down!

Packers fan

It's not THAT cold...

SACK! Kevin Clark! Buccaneers will punt. And the protection for Brady had been ROCK SOLID up to that point. 

Brady goes  long again to Johnson and it GOES RIGHT THROUGH HIS HANDS! 3rd and 10. 

Brady goes long and right to Godwin, but he's under too much pressure to grab it. 

Godwin! Makes up all the lost yards and it's 1st and 10 again. That's superb running. And blocking to open up the space. 

Kevin King reads the play perfectly and stops Miller behind the scrimmage line! Well spotted by King as there were runners all over the place. 

Brady completes again, neat throw to Barrett out left, and they are just a yard shy. 

And Jones goes over the top to grab the yard and it's 1st and 10 on the 38 yard line. 

Ronald Jones running for 1st down, and he makes some good yardage there. 2nd and 6.

They enjoyed that sack in Tampa. 

Goes to the 27 yard line. Buccaneers 7-0 Packers.

Barrett sacks Rodgers who was dallying far too long. Punt time for the Packers. Great work from Barrett who was tussling with his marker, but managed to break free and get the sack. 

Rodgers SACKED!!

Rodgers fakes to the runner and picks out a man straight down the field, completion! 1st and 10 just shy of the half-way line.

Such a neat pass.

Bucs kickoff goes straight into the endzone. And Rodgers will start on the 25. 

If he plays tonight, Tramon Williams will become the first player to play for two teams in the same postseason. He played for the Ravens in the playoffs but signed to the practice squad of the Packers on 21 January. He's now been promoted to the active roster for this game. 

Three first downs and a touchdown pass to Evans. Brady starts on fire. 

They take the extra point and it's 7-0 for the Bucs. Football is such a simple game when your QB is throwing well and people are finding gaps to run into. 

TOUCHDOWN! Brady to Evans in the endzone and that's 6-0! 

Brady converted three third-down situations in that drive. The last was that 15-yard touchdown pas to Mike Evans. 

The Buccaneers return the kickoff to the 34 yard line, and Brady's arm is functioning fine as he picks up two first downs. Better than Fournette's hands as he fumbles twice.

We're underway at Lambeau Field!

Bucs are ready

All set for the NFC Championship Game!

Weather at Lambeau Field

Weather at Lambeau Field

It's not exactly warm for the match, with temps falling as the game goes on. It was snowing earlier and expect flurries throughout the action. 


Brady vs Rodgers: years in NFL

Another quick QB stat. Brady is now in his 21st season in the NFL, having spent 20 with Patriots before his move to the Bucs. 

Rodgers is in his 16th year in the NFL, and he's a one-team man, having joined the Packers in 2005. 

Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers stats and completion average

The duel of the quarterbacks is just 15 minutes away, so here's a quick look at their stats this season:

Both have played 14 games and curiously, their total yards thrown is almost identical, but Brady has been sloppier, with a completion average a full 4 points off his rival.


Rodgers: 332
Brady: 353

Pass attempts

Rodgers: 477
Brady: 542

Completion %

Rodgers: 69.6%
Brady: 65.1%

Passing Yards

Rodgers: 3,828
Brady: 3,886

Passing Touchdowns

Rodgers: 40
Brady: 32

Touchdown %

Rodgers: 8.4%
Brady: 5.9%


Rodgers: 4
Brady: 11

Interception %

Rodgers: 0.8%
Brady: 2.0%

Brady and Rodgers stats

Packers and Buccaneers stats

Courtesy of Sofascore

In-depth preview

How the Packers and the Buccaneers stack up coming into the game. 


Brady warming up at Lambeau Field

Adams on how he feels his way through a game

You've just got time to watch this before the action gets underway. Worth it. (h/t Robbie Dunne)

Coming in through the snow

Lambeau Field

Crowd at Lambeau Field

There will be ticketed fans in the ground for today’s final, with 6,500 season ticket holders grabbing the chance to watch live football. Fans will be following covid-19 protocols, remaining in their socially distanced ‘pod’ of seats and wearing face coverings at all times. 

How they got here

The Buccaneers got here by… first signing Tom Brady. Then they finished second in NFC South but clinched a wildcard to get into the Playoffs where they beat the New Orleans Saints 30-20, scoring an unanswered 17 points. Brady threw two touchdowns and ran another in.

The Packers won NFC North and then their divisional round 32-18 over the LA Rams, with Rodgers and Davante Adams proving too strong even for a defence led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey

Brady and Rodgers

Previous game this season

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium back on 18 October last year, and the Bucs took the Packers to pieces, winning 38-10, with Rodgers throwing a pick-six. Expect today to be closer. A lot closer.  

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the NFC Championship Game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers. 

The fifth seeded Buccaneers face the top-seeded Packers today, Sunday 24 January, at Lambeau Field, starting at 3:05 p.m. ET.

Narratives? There ARE several narratives running through this game, but the one everybody is focusing on is Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers. Two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, facing each other for a place in the Super Bowl, and Brady is doing it with the unfancied Bucs at age 43, having moved from the Patriots after 20 seasons there.

This is the first of today’s two conference championship games, with Chiefs vs Bills coming at 6:40 p.m. ET.