The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2020 playoff journey has already gone through Landover, Maryland and New Orleans, Louisiana. Now, after defeating the Saints, 30-20, on Sunday in a Divisional Playoff game at the Superdome, the Buccaneers will head to Green Bay to take on the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. The ultimate goal is to win a spot in Super Bowl LV and seek the second league title in franchise history.
In the process, the Buccaneers could become the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field, as Super Bowl LV is scheduled for Sunday, February 7 at Raymond James Stadium. First, however, comes the Battle of the Bays as the two former NFC Central Division foes square off at Lambeau Field on Sunday, January 24, with kickoff scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET.
The game will be headlined by two of the most accomplished quarterbacks in NFL history. The Buccaneers' Tom Brady is the league's all-time leader in touchdown passes (581), with Rodgers coming in seventh on that list (412). Rodgers' career passer rating of 103.9 is third in league history. Brady owns virtually every postseason passing record and, of course, is the only player ever to win six Super Bowl championships, including four in which he was named Super Bowl MVP. Rodgers also has a Super Bowl ring and a Super Bowl MVP trophy. Between them, Brady (3) and Rodgers (2) have combined to win five of the last 13 NFL MVP awards, and Rodgers is widely expected to add his third in 2020.
Rodgers got his team to the NFC Championship Game on Saturday, leading the Packers to a 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field. The Green Bay passer threw for 296 yards, was not intercepted and had a passer rating of 108.1, as his two touchdown passes increased his overall 2020 total to an even 50. Rodgers was the only quarterback in the league to throw more than Brady's 40 touchdown passes during the regular season.
This will not be Tampa Bay's first postseason experience at Lambeau Field. In 1997, the Buccaneers broke a 14-year playoff drought with a 10-6 record and a Wild Card berth. After defeating the Detroit Lions at home in the Wild Card round, the Buccaneers went to Green Bay for the Divisional Round, in which Brett Favre led the Packers to a 21-7 victory.
This will be the fourth conference championship game in Buccaneers history, and the third on the road. The Bucs first lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 9-0, in the 1979 NFC Championship Game at Tampa Stadium. Twenty years later, Tampa Bay went to St. Louis for the unforgettable conference championship tilt against the Rams and the "Greatest Show on Turf." The Bucs' swarming defense controlled the action for most of the day but the Rams pulled out an 11-6 victory at the end. In 2002, the Buccaneers won the NFC Championship Game at Philadelphia, 27-10, securing their first trip to the Super Bowl when Ronde Barber returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.