CROW WORTHY

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From Brett Duke

Tom Brady in the Conference Championship again

Tom Brady, the GOAT, is still doing the damn thing. He and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers for the NFC Championship Game. This will be Tom Brady’s 14th Conference Championship Game out of his 19 years as a starter. That’s a 73.6% chance of reaching the Conference Championship game if Tom Brady starts at QB.

Try doing anything three out of four times successfully and I bet it’s a challenge. If you won 73.6% of your bets, you’d be a rich person. Hell, it’s hard to win Scrabble against your spouse three out of four times. There are a ton of Tom Brady stats out there, but playing as one of the last four NFL teams 73.6% of the time might be the most impressive. This all being done in a league widely known for its parity. Tom Brady is Al Davis’s slogan come to life – just win baby.

Not perfect, but effective

Did Tom Brady play a perfect game on Sunday? No, but he didn’t have to be perfect. Taking a page out of the Patriots’ 2018 playoff run, the Buccaneers won with defense and the run game. The defense balled out yesterday by intercepting Drew Brees three times, one for a touchdown, and forcing a fumble. Those turnovers set up Tom Brady and the offense to score points on a short field.

A trait that TB12 has brought to Tampa Bay from New England is taking care of the football. Opposite of the Saints’ turnovers was a clean game from Tom and Tampa Bay. There were a few close calls, but TB throws the ball only where his receivers can catch it – low or high and out of bounds. This resulted in a turnover-free game in which Tom didn’t have to do the heavy lifting. He still can though, as shown by his 381 yards and TDs touchdowns versus Washington last week.

Expect more Brady

I’m guessing he’ll have to play more along the lines of his play against Washington when he faces eventual 2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau on Sunday. As good as the Buccaneers defense played yesterday is as good as the Packers offense played vs the #1 ranked defense in the Rams on Saturday. Firing on all cylinders is an understatement. Not sure the Bucs will be able to slow Rodgers, Adams, Jones and that offense down.

But I’m rooting for Tom Brady. A win in the NFC Championship Game would add another cool footnote on his HOF career – first QB to lead his team to a Super Bowl in their own stadium.

No cliff in sight

From Chris Graythen, Getty Images/AFP

Win or lose on Sunday, there are no signs of Tom slowing down and that percentage could rise from 73.6% next year. No reason why the Buccaneers won’t be a favorite for the NFC Championship Game in 2022. That’ll be 15 out of 20 years for Tom in a Conference Championship Game for an even 75%. They are loaded on offense and young but talented on defense. Oh yeah, Gronk just said he’s coming back too. All aboard the pirate ship!