This year’s two NFC and AFC Conference Championship games are an intriguing mix. While in the AFC it is a battle of the next-generation of quarterbacks in the NFC, two legendary quarterbacks will go head to head with nothing to prove, but everything to gain.
37-year-old Aaron Rodgers is the youngster of the duo and the incredibly talented play caller will lead his exciting Green Bay Packers into battle on homefield against the man many consider as the Greatest Of All Time. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, the 43-years-young, Tom Brady.
A Lasting Legacy For Both Quarterback Superstars
Brady (pictured) has just the six Superbowl rings from his time in New England and his legacy, come
what may with Tampa Bay, is already assured. He will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest quarterback in the history of the game.
In terms of sheer ability alone, Rodgers probably is even better than Brady. Where Rodgers comparison falls though is that he has just one Superbowl ring, from the 2011 Green Bay Packers victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Texas.
However, in whatever measurement you want to use, Rodgers is every bit as talented as Brady as his team’s signal caller and he is almost certain to replace Baltimore’s quarterback Lamar Jackson as the NFL’s MVP for 2020 when the results are announced.
It will be the second time Rodgers has received the vote, after winning it in 2011 also. Brady has won it three times in total (2007, 2010 and in 2017).
It’s fair to say that both teams are stacked with talent with their starting quarterbacks, however it may well be the other facets of their respective teams that decide the game.
Green Bay Packers Strengths And Weaknesses
- Home Field Advantage (and the Wisconsin weather!)
- 13-3 Regular Season Record
- Second Ranked Offense in the NFL
- Superb depth at both WR and RB.
- One of the best Offensive Line’s in the NFL
- Exceptionally few turnovers on offense
- Highest number of touchdowns of any team in the Regular Season.
- The defense is not the best and you can score against them
- Rodgers has a 1-3 record against Tom Brady as an opposing quarterback.
- The Bucs were the only team to heavily beat the Packers in the Regular season (38-10)
- Defense is not the best against the run. That’s putting it mildly.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Strengths And Weaknesses
- They have Tom Brady, who just knows how to win in the biggest games of the season.
- They finished the season strongly and took that form into the playoffs.
- A vastly experienced team on offense and defense.
- Have already beaten the Packers once this season comfortably.
- Brady has a good record against Aaron Rodgers teams.
- Depth at running back could help against a suspect Packers run defense.
- The pressure is on. This Tampa team has this year, possibly next, to win the Superbowl.
- Special teams play has been appalling at times this season.
- Not too many from the Florida-based team will be keen to play in cold weather.
- Bucs defense has struggled on zone coverage against elite quarterbacks this season.
What Do The Sportsbooks Think?
The betting sites are pretty unanimous in thinking that the Packers have the edge(-186). While that 38-10 loss to Brady and the Bucs on Week 6 is one thing, that game was in Tampa. This game will be at a cold and potentially wet and windy, even snowy, Lambeau Field.
The Buccaneers (+163) record in these cold weather games is not great. In fact, it is awful. Eight times they have played the Packers at Lambeau Field in cold or snowy weather. Eight times they were defeated.
However, Tom Brady is no stranger to cold weather games from his time in New England, so perhaps this won’t be quite the issue that many experts and punters are fearing.
The feeling with DraftKings Sportsbook is that this is going to be a close one and I completely agree with that assessment.
What Are My Tips For The Buccaneers @ Packers In The NFC Conference Championship?
I think how this game pans out does depend a great deal on the weather. A cold, still day could see a bit of a shootout between two pass-happy quarterbacks. But snowy, icy, wet weather, with the ball like ice, may well see the game placed into the hands of each team’s running attack for the most part.
As talented as Green Bay’s running backs are, I feel that a strong Tampa defense against the run would see this scenario favour the Bucs as we know that Green Bay can be awful against a strong run attack (just ask Dalvin Cook, following his 4 touchdown, 226 yard game back on Week 7).
If it comes to a straight out shootout between Brady and Rodgers, what a prospect that would be and while Brady is undeniably a legend, he has had a few erratic games this season, whereas Rodgers has not missed a beat all season. This scenario, I feel favours the Packers.
For me, I’m going with the Packers, just, but it should be an absolute thriller at Lambeau Field on Sunday night with two genuine legends of the game slugging it out for a place in the Superbowl.