Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Find First NFC Championship Game Since 2002
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans have not experienced seeing them reach the NFC Championship Game since 2002 (Won Super Bowl vs Oakland Raiders). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took down the New Orleans Saints on the road 30-20 on Sunday night and Tampa Bay advances to the NFC Championship Game.
New Orleans beat them twice during the regular season, and it is tough to beat a team three times in one season. The Buccaneers defense won the turnover battle 4-0 and that is why they won this football game.
The game-changing play came in the third quarter when they were trailing 20-13. Drew Brees completed a pass to Jared Cook. Cook fumbled the football and it was forced by Antoine Winfield Jr. Tampa Bay scored the game’s next 17 points and they never looked back.
Tom Brady playing turnover-free football was another reason why Tampa Bay won. He completed 18-of-33 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Brady also rushed for two yards on five carries and a touchdown for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He is the heart and soul of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tom Brady has changed the culture overnight in Tampa Bay for Bruce Arians’ squad.
Leonard Fournette has been a big help from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the backfield. He rushed for 63 yards on 17 carries. Fournette also caught five passes for 44 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Ronald Jones II rushed for 62 yards on 13 carries.
Cameron Brate caught four passes for 50 yards receiving.
Chris Godwin caught four passes for 34 yards receiving and a touchdown. He has been having trouble catching the football this season, especially as of late for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tyler Johnson had a huge 15-yard reception in the fourth quarter on a pivotal third-down when the game was tied at 20.
Antonio Brown caught one pass for 10 yards receiving. He left this game with a knee injury and Brown did not return.
Mike Evans caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter. That was Evans’s only reception in this football game. Mike Evans was locked up for the most part by cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Tom Brady is looking to go to his 10th Super Bowl appearance. He is obviously winning the Bill Belichick divorce with the New England Patriots.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-5) will be on the road against the Green Bay Packers (14-3) and Aaron Rodgers next Sunday.
If Tampa Bay wins, it will be the first time in NFL history that a team will be playing in their own stadium for the Super Bowl (LV) at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The New Orleans Saints (13-5) season concludes also.
What did you think of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers advancing to the NFC Championship Game? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.