Mark Murphy: “We’re not idiots. Aaron Rodgers will be back.”

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The Green Bay Packers have spoken.

CEO Mark Murphy, appearing Monday on The 5th Quarter Show on WNFL in Green Bay, addressed quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ recent comments suggesting uncertainty regarding his future with the team.

We’re not idiots,” Murphy said. “Aaron Rodgers will be back, he’s our leader.”

He’s a leader that they undermined and confused by adding his apparent eventual replacement last year, using a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to acquire quarterback Jordan Love. At a minimum, Rodgers would like clarity as to whether the team plans to flip the switch from Rodgers to Love next year, the year after, or the year after that.

Unless Love was a Garoppolo-style pick aimed at lighting a fire under Rodgers, the Packers drafted Love with the idea that he’d eventually play. If the Packers want Rodgers to commit to them for 2021, it would be smart to give Rodgers a commitment for at least 2022 and 2023.

Even an idiot can figure that out.

Source: Aaron Rodgers wants a new contract

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sending a message to the team with his post-game comments after Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship. The message likely had multiple tentacles.

Here’s one. Per a league source, Rodgers wants a new contract.

Rodgers should want a new contract. He makes $33.5 million per year. He’s going to win the 2020 NFL MVP award. And he’s getting into the later years of his last deal, which will pay him far less in comparison to other quarterbacks.

He’s due to make $22.35 million in 2021, $25.5 million in 2022, and $25.5 million in 2023.

Rodgers currently ranks fifth in average new-money value, behind Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes ($45 million), Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson ($39 million), Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ($35 million), and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ($34 million).

Rodgers earns the same amount as Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Which means that Rodgers is grossly underpaid, Goff is grossly overpaid, or both. (Both.)

Rodgers has a cap number in excess of $37 million for 2021, but a new contract easily could reduce it. A new deal also would reflect the team’s commitment to Rodgers over the next few years, based on the guaranteed payments and the cap consequences arising from cutting or trading him.

If Rodgers officially asks for a new contract, he’ll definitely get one thing: Clarity as to where he stands. A new deal means renewed vows. No new deal means the clock will still tick toward a potential, if not inevitable, divorce.

While Rodgers may want more (especially as it relates to efforts to improve the team), one thing he wants — and deserves — is a new contract.

Mike Pettine under fire after Bucs touchdown before halftime

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Kevin King did not have his best game Sunday. The Packers cornerback, who played after being questionable with a back injury, gave up a 39-yard touchdown to Scotty Miller on the next-to-last play of the first half and drew a penalty for defensive pass interference on Tyler Johnson late in the fourth quarter.

But King doesn’t bear as much responsibility as defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for the play before halftime, which frankly has become overshadowed by the final 2 1/2 minutes of the game.

The day after one of the most disappointing losses in the Packers’ long history, tire tracks are everywhere, including down Pettine’s back.

Matt LaFleur’s comments immediately after the game invite a question about whether Pettine’s future already is decided.

“It was man coverage. Definitely not the right call for the situation, and you can’t do stuff like that against a good football team and expect to win,” LaFleur said, via Jason Wilde of Wisconsin State Journal. “When you look at it, there was 120 some-odd plays on both sides of the ball plus all the special teams. There were a lot of plays in that game that could have been made, that could have changed the outcome of the game.

“But the ones that really hurt us the most were that play, and then to come out to start the second half, [Aaron Jones] had the fumble and they score to make it 28-10. That really was the big difference in the football game. You just can’t do that stuff.

“I blame us as coaches for putting our guys in that situation. That’s inexcusable. That should not have happened. So we’ve got to take a look at it, do some self-reflection, and try to figure out ways on how that can’t happen again.”

The Bucs were ready to punt on fourth-and-four from the Green Bay 45 before rethinking it after a timeout. They picked up a first down on a Tom Brady throw to Leonard Fournette to the 39 and called their final timeout with eight seconds left.

Brady saw Miller get a step on King, who was in one-on-one coverage, resulting in a touchdown with one second left in the half and a 21-10 halftime lead.

Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy was among those critical of the Packers’ coverage in that situation, writing, “That may be the worst defensive design I’ve ever seen with 8 seconds and no timeouts left. Green Bay — I’m not sure how you play inside technique man to man and [not] just play zone and protect the sideline and the end zone? Amazing.”

Pettine’s mistake could cost him his job.

Josh Allen: I proved Bills didn’t make a mistake

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Bills quarterback Josh Allen didn’t end his 2020 season on the best of notes, but he won’t be facing the kinds of questions that he faced after the 2019 season.

Allen didn’t convince everyone that he was the right quarterback for the Bills during his first two seasons, but the number of unconvinced shrank considerably this season. He completed just over 69 percent of his passes while throwing 37 touchdowns and taking the Bills to the AFC Championship Game.

He was succinct when asked what he thought his play proved to the league.

“I proved that they didn’t make a mistake by drafting me,” Allen said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News.

Allen is eligible for a contract extension this offseason and said Monday that he hadn’t thought about anything on that front yet. It probably won’t be long before someone on his side broaches the subject of a new deal in Buffalo.

Late bye has fueled Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl run

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With no offseason program or preseason, the Buccaneers weren’t as prepared for the 2020 regular season as they could have been. It showed early on, as the Buccaneers developed a habit of falling behind in games.

The Bucs won three in a row after a Week One loss to the Saints, lost on a Thursday night, and won three more. But then came the buzzsaw, with the 6-2 Bucs losing badly at home to the Saints, 38-3, and otherwise landing in a 1-3 slump.

Enter the bye in Week 13. Along with the Panthers, it was the latest week off of the year. So what did they do during the extra time off?

“Just a little bit of looking inside and knowing this is a really good football team,” Arians told reporters on Monday. “We lost some close games to some really good teams. And we have to find a way to win. And it’s gonna take everybody. There’s things that are gonna happen, but if everybody digs a little bit deeper, we’ll figure out ways to win games. And once we get it going, we’re gonna be hard to stop.”

It worked. The Buccaneers have gone from 7-5 to 7-0, counting three straight road postseason wins.

Now, they’ll return home, a place where the Buccaneers went only 5-3 this year (they’re 9-2 as the visiting team). They lost at home to, coincidentally (not ironically), the Chiefs in the last game before the bye.

The Super Bowl rematch gives the Bucs a chance to finish an 8-0 run since winning seven of 12 in the best way possible — by securing the franchise’s second Super Bowl win in team history. The bad news is that they won’t be playing a team from which the head coach had just been traded. The good news is that the quarterback isn’t Brad Johnson but Tom Brady.

NFL reviewed a non-reviewable ruling on Josh Allen incompletion

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Just before halftime of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, Bills quarterback Josh Allen took the snap, rolled to his right, and threw the ball away an instant before stepping out of bounds at the 9-yard line. The officials mistakenly ruled him out of bounds. And then the NFL officiating department made a much bigger mistake.

The replay assistant buzzed down to the on-field referee, who then consulted with NFL head of officiating Al Riveron. They looked at the review and found that Allen had thrown the ball away before he stepped out of bounds. So they changed the call to an incomplete pass.

Big problem: That’s not a reviewable play. When a player in possession of the ball is ruled out of bounds, that’s the end of the play. Nothing that happens after that can be reviewed, even if there’s clear and obvious video evidence that the player didn’t actually step out of bounds.

This particular call didn’t really matter — the Bills ended up kicking a field goal, and it’s highly likely they also would have kicked a field goal if the ruling hadn’t been overturned — but it’s alarming that Riveron didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to review the play.

The NFL often takes criticism for its byzantine rules. When the NFL’s own head of officiating can’t keep track of the rules, it’s hard not to feel that criticism is justified.

In one fateful moment, Matt LaFleur underestimated two GOATs

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The Green Bay Packers’ 2020 season came down to one decision. And it was the wrong decision. As time passes, more and more people inside and outside the organization will realize how wrong it was.

After landing in a 28-10 hole that created a clear sense that the game was over, the Packers clawed back. A pair of touchdowns (and a dropped two-point conversion) made it a five-point game, 28-23, with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

The game then went Buccaneers interception, Packers punt, Buccaneers interception, Packers punt before an eight-play, 44-yard Tampa Bay drive ended in a 46-yard field goal, making the score 31-23.

The Packers got the ball with 4:42 to go. Six plays later, they had a first and goal at the Buccaneers’ eight. First down? Incomplete pass. Second down? Incomplete pass. Third down? Incomplete pass. Fourth down? Field goal.

Field goal? Yes, field goal. Field goal, despite having access to one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, a player on the brink of completing a comeback even more impressive than the one accomplished by the Seahawks against the Packers six years earlier in the NFC Championship. Field goal, despite giving the ball back to one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, a player who is good enough to ice the game under those circumstances (which he did).

Why not go for the touchdown? Quarterback Aaron Rodgers chose his words carefully when discussing the situation, pointing out that it wasn’t his decision and that he didn’t have much of a chance to push back on the call made by coach Matt LaFleur.

“I look over to the sideline, I see five big guys running on the field,” Rodgers said of the moments after the third-down play. “There’s a lot of gymnastics that has to happen to get us to be able to go for it there. But I don’t know. That decision was made, and we moved on.”

LaFleur surely will wonder whether he made the right decision. Rodgers surely will wonder whether he should have asserted himself more, even if it meant calling one of the team’s timeouts.

Yes, the Packers still needed to score from the eight, if they’d gone for it. Yes, they also had to convert a two-pointer. But kicking the field goal meant they had to get the ball back and then score another touchdown.

Failure on fourth and goal from the eight would have given the Buccaneers the ball on the eight, perhaps setting the stage for a more careful Tampa Bay drive and, in turn, a greater chance of getting possession again.

That said, they would have had to stop Brady. But they still had to stop Brady.

Basically, LaFleur’s decision to take the field goal underestimated two GOATS in one moment. He underestimate his own GOAT in Aaron Rodgers, and then he underestimated the other GOAT in Tom Brady.

Brady proved LaFleur wrong. Rodgers didn’t get a chance to.

Don’t dismiss the possibility that Aaron Rodgers will play elsewhere in 2021

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No one would be considering the possibility today that Aaron Rodgers has played his final game in a yellow helmet with a G on each side if he hadn’t veered unprompted into a discussion about his uncertain future after Sunday’s season-ending loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Rodgers’ comments were sufficiently striking to cause multiple reporters who have covered the team for a long time to sense something ominous in his words.

It’s easy to dismiss the notion that the Packers would want to move on from Rodgers. They surely didn’t trade up to pick quarterback Jordan Love with the idea of swapping out Rodgers for Love after one season, especially when Rodgers had one of the most brilliant seasons of his career. But what the team wants is one thing; what Rodgers wants is another.

Some in the media are quick to dismiss the notion of Rodgers wanting out, or of Rodgers getting out. Why is that? Are they stuck in an outdated way of thinking about football players and their ability to shape their own destinies? Some in the media simply may not want to be bothered with spending time and effort working on a story that has a good chance of going nowhere, especially if Rodgers decides after taking some time to think things through that he’s all in for another year in Green Bay, and maybe more.

Regardless, Rodgers dropped this possible turd in the offseason punch bowl, not anyone else. It’s up to the rest of us to figure out whether it’s the real thing or a Baby Ruth.

Five days ago, Rodgers described his future as a “beautiful mystery.” The context of those comments suggested that he was acknowledging the possibility that the Packers would choose to make a change, a proposition that seemed at the time and still seems even now to be preposterous. But his comments from Sunday subtly flipped the perspective from franchise to franchise quarterback.

For that reason, his words cannot be ignored.

Still, plenty of fans and too many in the media will plug their ears and rattle off “not listening” over and over again, even though the evidence is currently hiding in plain sight. Some will cherry pick specific aspects of salary-cap concerns in order to shout down the possibility of the Packers trading Rodgers if Rodgers decides, after taking time to think things through, that he’d like to keep playing for a team other than the one that devoted a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft to his eventual replacement.

As to the cap hit, the chorus of naysayers already are saying that it would cost the Packers more than $31 million to trade Rodgers. First, trading Rodgers costs the Packers nothing; the team would simply take a cap charge from unallocated bonus payments. In Rodgers’ case, past bonus payments already will count for $14.352 million in his 2021 cap number. Trading him before June 1 (more on that in a second) would accelerate $17.204 million into 2021, bumping the total cap charge to $31.556 million.

That’s a lot, to be sure. But Rodgers, with $22.35 million in 2021 compensation, already has a cap number of $37.572 million. Thus, trading him before June 1 (more on that in a second) would actually create a net cap savings of $6.016 million.

Jordan Love, the man drafted in April ostensibly to replace Rodgers, has a cap number of $2.814 million in 2021.

The fact most overlooked by the THIRTY-ONE MILLION CAP HIT! crowd is this: The Packers could keep the cap charge at $14.352 million for 2021 by trading Rodgers after June 1.

Here’s where the naysayers would say that the Packers and Rodgers’ new team would never wait that long to do the deal. But why not? If the Packers would choose to carry $37.572 million under Rodgers’ name from March 17 until June 2 in order to ultimately save $23.22 million in 2021 cap space, a June 2 trade becomes extremely viable. And with the ongoing pandemic likely making the on-field offseason program a nullity for a second straight year, why wouldn’t a team that wants Rodgers agree to do a tentative trade in, for example, March but then agree to delay the execution of the deal until June 2?

Nothing would prevent that. The practice of teams striking tentative trades before the start of the league year has become routine. Reaching a deal with the express understanding that it would become finalized on June 2 would be no different.

And if, in the interim, if Rodgers gets a playbook and participates in Zoom sessions and informally works out with his future teammates, who’s going to complain about that?

None of this is a prediction about what will happen. It’s an effort to understand what could happen, if Rodgers decides after taking some time to think it through that he’s going to walk before the Packers make him run.

He had a front row seat for the team’s effort in early 2008 to get Brett Favre to retire at a time on the calendar when, if pressed for a clear answer, Favre would opt to move on. Rodgers witnessed what happened when Favre decided as football season approached that he wanted to keep playing. Rodgers undoubtedly took mental if not actual notes on how he would choose to navigate his own final days in Green Bay, once he gets the sense that the team is plotting a future without him.

Last April, the Packers made it clear that they are plotting a future without him. Rodgers can either sit back and let their plan play out unchallenged, or he can force the issue.

Again, none of this would be currently relevant if Rodgers hadn’t said what he said on Sunday. Some will say he was speaking extemporaneously or emotionally. Others will say that he’s smart enough to have envisioned the possibility of losing, and adept enough with his brain and his vocal cords to craft a precise message that was delivered not accidentally but intentionally.

So no matter what happens in 2021, it would be stupid and/or naive to watch Rodgers’ press conference from Sunday and to conclude, “He’s just upset about the game. He’ll feel better in a few days.”

FMIA: Ten For Tom—Brady Heading Back To Another Super Bowl, Bringing Buccaneers To Meet Chiefs In Tampa

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Tom Brady can’t quite grasp it, and if he can’t, how can we? Ten Super Bowl appearances in 19 years as an NFL starting quarterback, dwarfing modern-era megastars. Michael Jordan made it to the NBA finals six times in 15 seasons. Wayne Gretzky, six times in the Stanley Cup finals in 20 seasons. Derek Jeter, [more]

“Gutted” Aaron Rodgers expresses uncertainty about his future

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Last year, after the Packers lost 37-20 to the 49ers in the NFC Championship, quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed surprisingly upbeat and optimistic when talking to reporters. On Sunday, after the Packers lost 31-26 to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship, Rodgers expressed a far different vibe.

I’m just pretty gutted,” Rodgers said following the home game against Tampa Bay, speaking slowly and deliberately, as he seemed to search for the right words. “It’s a long season. You put so much into it to get to this point and then, you know, the way — you know, we had our chances, so you know I’m not — different position than the last couple of these when we got blown out and really didn’t have a chance. . . . We had a lot of chances. . . . This one definitely stings and is going to for a long time.”

Near the end of the session with reporters, Rodgers began to talk about the inevitable changes that will come to the Packers. Without prompting, he veered toward a discussion of his own future.

“A lot of guys futures that are, you know, uncertain, myself included,” Rodgers said. “That’s what’s sad about it most. . . . Just the uncertainties is tough and the finality of it all.”

Rodgers next was asked how the team will take the next step.

“I don’t know, I really don’t,” he said. “There’s a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now. And I’m going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and just kind of see what’s going on with everything. But it’s pretty tough right now, especially thinking about the guys that may or may not be here next year. There’s always change. That’s the only constant in this business.”

Consider what Rodgers said last year, immediately after the Packers were overpowered by San Francisco.

“The window is open for us, and that’s the exciting thing,” Rodgers said at the time. “I think we’re gonna be on the right side of one of these real soon.”

Rodgers, in that same session, gushed about the 2019 season in Green Bay.

“This one is special because it became fun again,” Rodgers said. “I wouldn’t say this was our most talented team, but neither was 2010. And we just found a way.”

This year, the team was better. They earned the top seed. They had the only bye in the NFC. They easily handled the Rams. Then it all came crashing down. And Rodgers said not a word as the dust settled about the season being fun.

Rodgers words and tone prompted some reporters to wonder whether he’ll be one of the changes made in 2021. While it’s premature to come to any such conclusions, the outcome seems to hinge on whatever Rodgers decides after he clears his head. But he’s the one who mentioned his uncertain future, and he’s not known for speaking recklessly or without meaning to his words.

Surely, Rodgers is wondering at some level whether the first-round pick that went to a player who held a clipboard all year — and the fourth-round pick used to trade up for quarterback Jordan Love — would have made a difference on Sunday, with up to 18 NFL games under their belts. Surely, he’s wondering why the decision was made to not take advantage of the ball being eight yards from a touchdown that, with a two-point conversion, would have forced overtime.

Rodgers seemed to set aside any frustration emanating from the Jordan Love situation and to embrace the 2020 Packers, playing well enough to become the presumptive league MVP. Now, with Rodgers himself flagging the issue of his football future, everyone will have to simply wait and see what happens next.

The Chiefs are headed back to the Super Bowl

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The last time that Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady matched up in a postseason game, a trip to the Super Bowl was on the line.

A Super Bowl win will be on the line in their second playoff meeting. Mahomes threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns as the Chiefs took out the Bills for a 38-24 win in the AFC Championship Game. Brady helped the Bucs to a win in the NFC title game and the two men will lead their teams into Super Bowl LV two weeks from today.

Mahomes’ last two touchdown passes came to tight end Travis Kelce, who finished the game with 13 catches for 118 yards. Tyreek Hill added nine catches for 172 yards as the Chiefs leaned heavily on their stars in an approach that paid off handsomely for Kansas City.

Not everything went according to plan for the Chiefs. Left tackle Eric Fisher left the game with an Achilles injury in the fourth quarter and seems likely to miss the Super Bowl.

The game was still hanging in the balance early in the fourth quarter with the Bills driving deep in Chiefs territory while down 16 points. Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton picked off a pass intended for Bills wide receiver John Brown to eliminate any realistic chance of a comeback for the road team.

Fenton’s interception was part of a rough ending to a brilliant season for Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Allen seemed to hold the ball a beat longer than you’d like all night and wound up 28-of-48 for 287 yards and two touchdowns to go with that interception. The Chiefs were able to limit Stefon Diggs to six catches for 77 yards and the Bills never found much offensive momentum after taking an early 9-0 lead.

Credit to that should go to Steve Spagnuolo’s defense and the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator has a good history when it comes to dealing with Tom Brady in a Super Bowl. He was the Giants’ defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLII when they knocked off the Patriots.

Brady is in a different uniform now and his team will be the home team with the game taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. One imagines the Chiefs won’t find that to be too much of a concern, but it is one of many storylines that will fill the two weeks until the final game of the 2020 season.

Chiefs extend lead to 31-15

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The Chiefs are moving closer to a second straight Super Bowl appearance.

Kansas City and Buffalo traded field goals to open the second half, but the Chiefs were able to grow their lead on their second possession of the third quarter. Tyreek Hill took a short toss from Patrick Mahomes for a 71-yard gain and Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for a one-yard shovel pass touchdown a couple of plays later.

The touchdown and the extra point extended Kansas City’s lead to 31-15 and the pressure is now firmly on the Bills to pick up their pace.

They settled for short field goals before halftime and on their first possession of the second half, but they can’t do anything but score touchdowns if they want to have a chance to get back into this one.

Aaron Rodgers says there are a lot of uncertain futures, “myself included”

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made clear that he intends to play past his 40th birthday, and that he hopes to stay with the Packers that long.

His comments following Sunday’s home loss in the NFC Championship are causing some to wonder whether Rodgers will be back with the Packers next year.

Via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Rodgers said there are a lot of uncertain futures, “myself included.”

Said Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin regarding Rodgers’ post-game remarks: “Aaron Rodgers sure sounded like a guy saying goodbye.”

Added Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com: “Aaron Rodgers fully sounded like someone who doesn’t know if he’ll be the QB here next season.”

Rodgers’ future came into question after the Packers traded up in the first round of the 2020 draft to select quarterback Jordan Love. Rodgers seemed to be upset about it at the time, but by the time the season began he seemed to be a in a good place.

If Rodgers is thinking about leaving, the Packers aren’t thinking about making him leave. Said coach Matt LaFleur, via Wilde regarding whether Rodgers will return: “The guy’s the MVP of this league. He’s the heart and soul of this football team. Hell yeah, he better be back here. He’s our leader.”

Rodgers has three years left under his contract with the Packers. He could retire (he’d owe $23 million in unearned bonus money) or he could ask to be traded, if for some reason he wants to follow in the footsteps of quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady.

Key pass interference call helps Buccaneers seal Super Bowl berth

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Two years ago, a key defensive pass interference non-call helped keep the Saints out of the Super Bowl — and turned the NFL on its head. Today, a key defensive pass interference call helped send the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl.

With the Buccaneers holding a five-point lead and facing third and four at their own 37 with under two minutes to play, quarterback Tom Brady threw over the middle to receiver Tyler Johnson. Cornerback Kevin King grabbed Johnson’s jersey, slowing him down by a step.

No flag came initially. Then, several seconds later, the yellow hankie flew through the air.

Defensive pass interference. First down, Tampa.

That essentially ended it. And while the jersey pull seemed obvious, the game had a distinct “let them play” vibe throughout.

After the Saints non-call from early 2019, the NFL implemented replay review for pass interference calls and non-calls. That lasted a year.

Even if it still applied, replay review wouldn’t have overturned the ruling on the field. There was a grab, there was impairment of the effort to make the catch. There was interference.

Buccaneers defeat Packers 31-26, advance to Super Bowl LV

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For the first time, a team will play a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 in the NFC Championship Game, and will host Sunday’s winner of the AFC Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7.

But like another conference championship in recent memory, Sunday’s game was not without controversy.

The officials had largely kept their flags in their pockets throughout the game, calling just six penalties. But the most consequential came with 1:46 left.

On third-and-4 from the Tampa Bay 37, Tom Brady‘s pass over the middle to Tyler Johnson fell incomplete. But Packers cornerback Kevin King held the back of Johnson’s jersey and was called for pass interference. It gave the Buccaneers a free first down and effectively ended the game.

The Buccaneers had the ball because with 2:09 left, Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur elected to kick a field goal on fourth-and-8. The three points cut Tampa Bay’s lead from eight to five — meaning a touchdown would have put the Packers ahead even before the extra point. But LaFleur was also betting on his defense to stop Tampa Bay’s offense.

That proved to be a bad gamble.

Though Green Bay’s defense struggled at times to stop Brady, the club did pick off the quarterback three times. Brady hadn’t thrown three picks in a playoff game since losing to Baltimore in 2009.

But the Packers went three-and-out after both of their fourth-quarter interceptions, wasting the extra possessions.

Brady finished the game 20-of-36 passing for 280 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Aaron Rodgers finished 33-of-48 passing for 346 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. That pick was toward the end of the first half, and led to Brady’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Scotty Miller that gave Tampa Bay a 21-10 lead at the break.

Fortunately for the Buccaneers, the NFC is the home team for Super Bowl LV, which means they’ll be able to use their own locker room for the contest.