In a year when COVID-19 could have easily stopped the NFL season, we march toward the Super Bowl right on schedule.
Many games were changed and teams faced flexibility needs throughout the season to bring us to this point. Now that the matchup for the Lombardi trophy is set, we can take a look at what happened during the NFL Championship Weekend to give us the two teams that remain standing.
What Happened in the NFC Championship Game?
The NFC matchup for the chance to go to the Super Bowl featured the Green Bay Packers playing host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This game gave us two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady at Lambeau Field playing for a chance to play in Super Bowl LV in Tampa. As this game unfolded, the story became rather one-sided for a while.
The First Half Was All Bucs
Throughout the first half of the game, it seemed the Packers’ defense couldn’t get off the field at all. Nearly every third-down play that faced the Bucs was converted, some of which resulted in big plays downfield. With only a little time left in the half, the Bucs found a way to capitalize on a poor defensive setup by the Packers to score a touchdown with no time left on the clock. This meant a 21-10 lead for the Bucs going into halftime.
The Second Half Was Looking Different
Even though the Packers received the second-half kickoff, they fumbled early in the first possession which led to a short field and being down by 18 quickly. The Packers defense finally turned things around and began to give the Bucs offense fits. With a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, the Packers had closed the gap to 23-28.
The Buccaneers Held on to Win and Go to the Super Bowl
The fourth quarter featured more interceptions by Tom Brady but offensive stalling by the Packers which resulted in no points. Down by a score of 31-23, Aaron Rodgers missed Devante Adams in the end zone on third and goal with a throw that could have helped to tie the game. After a questionable field goal call by the coach, the Bucs offense ran out the clock and won the game 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl.
The Story of the AFC Championship Game
For the AFC Championship Game, the Kansas City Chiefs were playing host for the second year in a row. This year, their opponent was the Buffalo Bills, who were coming in off of some exciting playoff wins after a long drought. These two teams featured a pair of young guns at quarterback with both Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen being 25-years old or younger.
A Slow Start But Fast Run to Halftime
In the same fashion the Chiefs seemed to play the playoffs last year, they spotted the Bills nine points before getting going. In fact, they spotted the Bills the entire first quarter, but it didn’t seem to matter. When the halftime break came, the score was 21-12 in favor of the Chiefs.
Momentum Continued in the Second Half for the Chiefs
As the game opened in the second half, it didn’t seem the Chiefs were planning to slow down at all. They scored ten points to the Bills three in the third quarter, giving them a comfortable 31-15 lead. The Bills found some footing with a touchdown in the fourth followed by the recovery of an onside kick, but that was about all they found. The game ended with frustration and fighting and the Chiefs ending the Bills run with a 38-24 win and a second trip to the Super Bowl in two years.
What Should We Expect to See in the Super Bowl?
The teams are set and Super Bowl LV will feature the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Kansas City Chiefs. If anything is to be gleaned from previous games, this should be a high-scoring, high-flying, game with tons of offense and a few defensive stops.
Not only will the Super Bowl feature the two winners from Championship Weekend, but it will also be the first time a team has played in its home stadium during the game. Additionally, this will be the tenth Super Bowl appearance for Tom Brady, adding to his legacy and history. The game will be played on February 7, 2021, and it should be an intense and amazing matchup between two high-powered teams.