Brady, Buccaneers stun Packers 31-26 to reach Super Bowl
Los Angeles (AFP) –
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team in NFL history to reach a home-turf Super Bowl on Sunday with a 31-26 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
The 43-year-old Brady advanced to a record 10th Super Bowl appearance as a late Packers fightback stalled in a thrilling NFC Championship game.
Brady threw for three touchdowns and 280 passing yards as opposite number Aaron Rodgers' dreams of leading the Packers to the February 7 championship game in Tampa ended in bitter disappointment.
Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and 346 yards, but the Packers were left ruing a decision to go for a late field goal instead of a possible game-tying touchdown in the closing stages.
"It's been a long process for the whole team, and today was just a great team effort," Brady said afterwards.
"We played sporadically a little bit but the defense came up huge and we're going to need it again in a couple of weeks."
Brady, who left the New England Patriots last March after two decades, will now be chasing a seventh Super Bowl ring in what would be another improbable chapter to his age-defying career.
He could also become only the second quarterback to lead different franchises to a Super Bowl title if the Buccaneers win next month's game at their own Raymond James Stadium.
"We'll get to enjoy this a little bit and then get ready to go against whoever we play," said Brady.
The Buccaneers will face either the Buffalo Bills or the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills and the Chiefs were playing Sunday in the AFC Championship decider.
The Buccaneers, meanwhile, will return to Florida brimming with confidence after upsetting the top-seeded Packers, a third straight victory on the road in the playoffs.
"To come here and beat them at home -- there were 9,000 fans here but it felt like a little more," Brady said.
"Just great to get another road win but we did it."
© 2021 AFP