Young Bucs secondary braces for another dose of Tyreek Hill
(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)TAMPA, Fla. – Like most NFL cornerbacks, Carlton Davis plays with a short-term memory but never forgets a bad performance. The third-year pro and the rest of Tampa Bay’s young secondary was dominated by Tyreek Hill during the regular season and are eager to redeem themselves against the speedy Kansas City Chiefs receiver in the Super Bowl. Hill had 13 receptions for 269 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-24 victory over the Bucs on Nov. 29. “I play defensive back in the NFL, so you’re going to have your share of losses. I’m going to continue to be a dog and go out there and give it my all,” Davis said.
NFC Matchups: Where else to start but Brady and Rodgers?
But Gronk in particular has always been a big-play guy in big games for Brady, and Green Bay doesn't have linebackers who excel in coverage. Green Bay will do some blitzing, though not as much as Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles figures to do. Unlike Brady, Rodgers can create outside the pocket, and he's especially dangerous when doing so. Veteran placekicker Mason Crosby is solid, making all 16 field goal attempts, but missed four PATs for Green Bay. Tampa Bay's Ryan Succop, now in his 12th pro season, made 28 of 31 field goal tries but missed five extra points.
Packers realize how much Rodgers has at stake this weekend
Rodgers gets a chance to make amends for that performance Sunday when the top-seeded Packers host the Bucs in the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken, File)Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers teammates understand what this NFC championship game means to the All-Pro quarterback’s legacy. Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl crown in the 2010 season, but hasn’t brought them back since. Green Bay led Tampa Bay 10-0 early in the second quarter back on Oct. 18 until Jamel Dean scored on a 32-yard interception return. There’s no one who’s been better.”This marks Rodgers’ fourth NFC championship game appearance over the past seven years.
Top cornerbacks standing out on NFL's Super Bowl hopefuls
Nearly every team still vying for the Super Bowl has an elite cornerback often capable of shutting down an opponent's top receiver all by himself. The NFC playoff bracket has three of the conference's four Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Green Bay's Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles' Jalen Ramsey and New Orleans' Marshon Lattimore. Staley's scheme has employed Ramsey in multiple roles throughout the season, and his job often changes from play to play. Oddly enough, the remaining playoff team perceived to have the least dominant cornerbacks is defending champion Kansas City, the favorite to make it back to the Super Bowl. “Some of the best cornerbacks happen to play on the best teams, that’s all I can say,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.
Brady throws for 2 TDs, Buccaneers wear down Vikings 26-14
The Bucs (8-5) bolstered their chances of their first postseason berth in 13 years with Sunday's 26-14 victory over Minnesota. Bailey nearly cost the Vikings the previous week, too, missing two extra points and a potential winning kick before nailing a field goal in overtime to beat Jacksonville. This time, Brady shrugged off a scoreless opening quarter with help from Bailey and a trio of costly of penalties on the Vikings' defense. Brady launched two of Tampa Bay’s three first-half scoring drives after missed field goal attempts. A pass interference call on linebacker Todd Davis gave Tampa a chance to tack on the field goal that made it 17-6 at the break.
Daniel Jones active, expected to start for Giants vs. Cards
Daniel Jones is active and is expected to start at quarterback for the New York Giants against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. After missing last week’s game with a hamstring injury, Jones practiced fully for the first time on Friday. Jaguars: QB Jake Luton, CB Luq Barcoo, LB Kamalei Correa, LB Quincy Williams, C Brandon Linder, TE Tyler Davis, DE Reggie Gilbert. Giants: WR Dante Pettis, CB Darnay Holmes (knee), ILB T.J. Brunson, OT Kyle Murphy, OT Jackson Barton, DE R.J. McIntosh. Buccaneers: DL Khalil Davis, CB Jamel Dean, RB Leonard Fournette, QB Ryan Griffin, TE Tanner Hudson, DL Jeremiah Ledbetter.
Brady outplays Rodgers, Buccaneers rout Packers 38-10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)TAMPA, Fla. – So much for Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers. A stingy Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense turned a rare meeting between the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks into a mismatch on Sunday. Safety Mike Edwards ran the other back 38 yards to the Packers 2 to set up another TD. Gronkowski led the Bucs with five receptions for 78 yards — his best game since ending a one-year retirement to join Brady in Tampa Bay. BRADY VS. RODGERSBrady and Rodgers split their two previous head-to-head meetings, with the Packers winning 26-21 in 2014 at Green Bay and New England winning 31-17 at home in 2018, while Brady was playing for the Patriots.
Foles beat Brady again as Bears squeeze by Tampa Bay 20-19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)CHICAGO – Nick Foles beat Tom Brady again, Cairo Santos kicked a 38-yard field with 1:17 left and the Chicago Bears beat Tampa Bay 20-19 on Thursday night after Brady seemingly lost count of downs on his final play. The three-time MVP was seen screaming on the sideline late in the third quarter after an ugly drive for Tampa Bay. Ryan Succop kicked four field goals, including a 25-yarder to give Tampa Bay a 19-17 lead with 4:49 remaining. And Tampa Bay lost for the first time since the opener at New Orleans.
NFL facing unending series of questions, uncertain answers
Perhaps the biggest headlines Brady drew recently came when he defied players' union recommendations to cease informal practices with teammates as a coronavirus precaution. (Chris Urso/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)In seven weeks, the NFL expects to kick off its 101st season with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs hosting Houston. Still set on conducting a somewhat normal training camp, though without any preseason games, and then opening the regular season on time, the NFL pushes onward. We could have a ton of social distance, more than we have with our football team, Chiefs coach Andy Reid says. Perhaps the biggest headlines Brady drew recently came when he defied players' union recommendations to cease informal practices with teammates as a coronavirus precaution.
Brady continues group workouts despite NFLPA recommendation
With NFL training facilities still closed to players because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brady has been leading small voluntary workouts near downtown Tampa for much of the past month. The latest session came just three days after the Bucs confirmed an unspecified number of individuals tested positive for COVID-19 at the team's training center. The same day, NFL Players Association medial director Dr. Thom Mayer, recommended all NFL players refrain from working out in group settings until training camp begins next month. It is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts," Mayer said. The Bucs did not release the number or names of people who tested positive at the teams headquarters.