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Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers gives Bucs-Packers chance to be best NFC title game ever

It is too early to name this the best NFC championship matchup ever.  

However with future Corridor of Fame quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers assembly within the playoffs for the primary time subsequent weekend, there is a sturdy risk. The magnitude of Sunday’s matchup between the Buccaneers and Packers (3:05 p.m. ET, Fox) means there shall be an overload of hype that can make it virtually inconceivable for the sport to dwell as much as expectations.

BRADY vs. RODGERS: Inside the numbers

What do these quarterbacks must show? That is simply it: There’s at all times one thing to show with regards to the all-time greats on the place.  

Brady and Rodgers are two of 12 quarterbacks who’ve made not less than 5 convention championship appearances because the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. Brady, after all, leads that group with 14 convention championship appearances. Rodgers turned the newest quarterback to perform that feat by main the Packers previous the Rams within the NFC divisional playoffs.  

QBs with most convention championship appearances 

A more in-depth have a look at these 12 quarterbacks with 5 or extra convention championship appearances within the Tremendous Bowl period: 

Tom Brady 14 9 4 .692
Joe Montana 7 4 3 .571
John Elway 6 5 1 .833
Terry Bradshaw 6 4 2 .667
Roger Staubach 6 4 2 .667
Jim Kelly 5 4 1 .800
Peyton Manning 5 4 1 .800
Brett Favre 5 3 2 .600
Ben Roethlisberger 5 3 2 .600
Donovan McNabb 5 1 4 .200
Ken Stabler 5 1 4 .200
Aaron Rodgers 5 1 3 .250

Brady has twice as many appearances as Montana, however he is attempting so as to add one other notch to his legacy in his first NFC championship look.  

Craig Morton led the Cowboys (1970) and Broncos (1977) to the Tremendous Bowl. Montana practically turned the second quarterback to succeed in the Tremendous Bowl in each conferences when he led to the Chiefs to the AFC championship recreation within the 1993 season. The Chiefs misplaced 30-13 to the Payments.  

Manning received Tremendous Bowls with the Colts and Broncos. Brady can change into the primary quarterback to win Tremendous Bowls in every convention. That may even be an emphatic closing argument as to whether Brady might win with out Invoice Belichick in New England.

Rodgers, after all, stands in the best way. Keep in mind, Manning beat Brady three out of 4 instances within the AFC championship recreation.  

Rodgers shall be beginning an NFC championship recreation at Lambeau Discipline for the primary time. It is an opportunity for the two-time (maybe three-time) NFL MVP to succeed in the Tremendous Bowl for the second time — which might match predecessor Brett Favre’s complete — and lead the Packers to a fifth Tremendous Bowl championship.

BENDER: Packers show why road to Super Bowl ‘runs’ through Lambeau

Six quarterbacks on that convention championship listing — Brady, Montana, Elway, Staubach, Bradshaw, Manning — received a number of Tremendous Bowls. That is the group Rodgers has sought to hitch since profitable the 2011 Tremendous Bowl.  

The Packers have been highway underdogs of their final three NFC championship video games, all losses. They’re house favorites this time, however after all, Brady stands in the best way.  

These are all footnotes within the lengthy resumes of two of the best quarterbacks of all time.  

This marks the fourth head-to-head assembly between the 2. Brady is 2-1 in these matchups, together with Tampa Bay’s 38-10 blowout win over Inexperienced Bay final Oct. 18. Rodgers received the one head-to-head assembly at Lambeau Discipline, in 2014.

The anticipated Tremendous Bowl matchup between New England and Inexperienced Bay that season by no means materialized, however the NFC title recreation gives the following smartest thing. Brady and Rodgers mixed for 88 landing passes and 12 interceptions within the 2020 common season, and so they’re on the prime of their video games heading into their greatest head-to-head showdown.

IYER: How Rodgers, Packers made Rams’ defensive stars irrelevant

In fact, Bucs at Packers is extra than simply Brady and Rodgers. Tampa Bay is loaded at receiver and boasts a troublesome protection, however Lambeau Discipline gives one of many greatest home-field benefits within the NFL. Inexperienced Bay is loaded on offense with Aaron Jones, Davante Adams and an offensive line that will should be higher than it was within the first assembly.  

This has the makings of being top-of-the-line convention championship video games of all time. If it is a one-score recreation late, which quarterback would you need with the ball?

If that does occurs, then it may very well be the best NFC championship ever. Given who’s concerned and what’s at stake, we would not be stunned if it lives as much as the hype.

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