Sunday will mark the Green Bay Packers‘ first conference championship game held at Lambeau Field since the 2007 season.
It also marks the first home conference championship game under the leadership of Aaron Rodgers.
Let’s take a look at some game notes.
Game note #1: Green Bay is much improved since Week 6
Green Bay allowed 21 pressures versus Tampa Bay in Week 6. That’s by far the most they’ve allowed in a single game all season. (The next closest was the Colts with 12). On average Green Bay has allowed just six pressures per game.
The Packers and Bucs are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in points per game, the Packers with 31.8, the Buccaneers with 30.7. They’re also ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in overall score differential.
Tampa Bay’s defense has forced the most total turnovers (31) in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Packers’ offense has the least turnovers (11) in the NFL. This game will come down to which team makes the least mistakes on both sides of the ball.
In Week 6, the Packers only converted on 41 percent of third downs. That’s their lowest conversion rate in a single game all season. Since then, Green Bay leads the NFL in third-down conversion percentage at 50.5 percent. Something has to give in this game.
Game note #2: Postseason history
This will be just the second time Green Bay and Tampa Bay have played in the postseason. The only other meeting took place in the 1997 Divisional round, with the Packers winning, 21-7, at Lambeau Field.
Sunday will also mark the ninth time Green Bay has played in the NFC title contest since the 1970 merger. It will be the third time that Lambeau Field will host the NFC Championship. It also marks the first time since 1996-’97 that Green Bay has appeared in consecutive NFC Championship Games.
This will mark the first time both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have met in the postseason. Both have fared quite well in cold weather games, with Rodgers posting a 23-7 overall record, and Tom Brady posting a 31-7 overall record. These were games played in temperatures below 32 degrees.
Speaking of records, WR Davante Adams needs just one reception to lead the Packers in all-time playoff receptions. He already leads them in all-time playoff yards. QB Aaron Rodgers also needs just three touchdowns to overtake Brett Favre and become second all-time in franchise playoff touchdowns.
Game note #3: Both teams are looking to keep winning streaks alive
Both Tampa Bay (six games), and Green Bay (seven games), are looking to keep their respective winning streaks alive. Green Bay is 5-0 at home when forcing at least one interception. Tom Brady, meanwhile, is 0-4 in games where he’s thrown multiple interceptions. Green Bay holds the edge in the series 33-22-1, having won three of the last four games dating back to 2011.
This game is looking to be an absolute classic. Both teams are primed, hungry, and ready for war. Will it be Tom Brady reaching the Super Bowl for a record 10th time in his career as well as his team becoming the first to host a Super Bowl in their home stadium?
Or will it be Aaron Rodgers leading his team back to the big dance for the first time in 10 seasons? I for one cannot wait to find out.