I am in a state of shock, but this is real life. The Buccaneers are going to the Super Bowl. The game was changed on a huge swing at the end of the 1st half. Sean Murphy-Bunting, who has been a revelation in the playoffs with an interception in each game picked off Aaron Rodgers with 28 seconds left in the half. After a couple short plays to get them on the edge of Field Goal range, Bruce Arians had a critical decision. Punt from the Green Bay 45 yard line with 13 seconds left or go for it on 4th & 3. After initially sending out the punt team, he called a timeout and thought it over.
Pros - hopefully get close to FG range with 1 timeout left
Cons - turn it over and Green Bay would have 6-8 seconds left.
Arians put his nuts on the table and went for it - complete for 6 yards and a 1st down. Unfortunately, Playoff Lenny was unable to get out of bounds, so when everyone was thinking the Bucs would go for a quick play to the sidelines to get into better FG range, the Bucs went for the jugular. Deep ball to Scotty Miller for a touchdown.
After a big turnover to start the half and a touchdown, the Bucs led 28-10, but there was still a ton of time left. Green Bay chipped away at the lead and got very close, but every time they needed a stop, the defense stepped up.
The Bucs defense stopped the Packers on three downs from the 8 yard line and with 2:09 to go, Packers HC Matt LaFleur opted to not to be aggressive and went for a Field Goal to cut the lead to 5 instead of going for a potential touchdown. That decision proved to be the wrong one as the Bucs offense was able to run out the clock and punched their ticket to the Super Bowl. As a Bucs fan since 1997, it's surreal. I saw so many good times early, but it's been a tough last 18 years. I've seen a total of zero playoff wins until a few weeks ago in Washington. And now we're headed to the Super Bowl. A game which I'm sure you've heard will be IN Tampa. We are the first team to ever host a Super Bowl that we will participate in.
This is all so surreal, thank you to everyone for the support and hopefully we can finish the job in two weeks. Go Bucs!