On Sunday afternoon, only one of the two remaining teams in the NFC will advance to Super Bowl LV: the Green Bay Packers, or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A cold and potentially snowy Lambeau Field will play host to this final showdown, a rematch of a much sunnier affair in October, and that is where either Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady will be crowned king of the conference. It’s where we’ll learn which of these explosive contenders gets to represent the NFC in a hunt for the Lombardi Trophy.
Still undecided on who to root for? Here are five reasons you ought to consider making the Packers your team on Sunday:
1. Aaron Rodgers’ legacy
Some people might scoff at the idea of advocating for a quarterback who’s already been heralded as the best in the NFL for long stretches of his career — a guy whose nine Pro Bowls, two MVP awards and countless NFL records already make him a future candidate for Canton. But it’s not like picking the other team in this NFC Championship will align you with the “underdog” QB. (More on that in a bit.) Regardless of your feelings (envy?) about Rodgers, he’s put in more than enough work to deserve a second ring. Heck, anyone who thrived for so long under Mike McCarthy probably does (no offense, Mike). Seriously, though, just one peek at Rodgers’ career numbers should remind you he’s one of the best to ever do it. He’s a standard-bearer. Another Super Bowl would be fitting.
2. Haven’t we seen Tom Brady enough?
Look, nothing against Brady, who probably deserves even more credit than he’s getting for guiding the Bucs this far and making his ninth conference championship in 10 years (wow, that really is nuts). But unlike Rodgers, Brady’s Super Bowl reputation is already golden. The guy’s got six rings! Seeing him rep a Tampa Bay uniform on Super Sunday would be something, but if history is any indication, he’ll be back in this spot again … and again … and probably again. Rodgers, on the other hand, has not reached the Super Bowl since beating the Steelers on the big stage way back in 2010. Let’s choose freshness here.
3. Green Bay’s offense is more exciting
Don’t misread this as saying the Packers have more firepower. It’s easy to look at Tampa Bay’s lineup and leap for joy at the prospect of Brady unleashing deep ball after deep ball to guys like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. But the reality is, while Brady has flashed the big-play ability down the stretch, Green Bay has easily been more consistently dangerous. For all the big names the Bucs trot out offensively, just look at how they fared against the Saints: Brady finished with 199 passing yards, mostly due to dink-and-dunk work, while Brown, Evans and Godwin combined for just six catches and 47 yards. Granted, the Bucs leaned on short fields from takeaways, but if you’re looking for true big-play dominance, the Pack are the safer bet.
4. Matt LaFleur deserves more respect
This could probably be No. 1 or No. 2 on the list, to be honest. How quickly we forget that the Packers’ current coach — the man chosen to succeed Mike McCarthy — was almost universally panned upon his hiring. LaFleur was a relatively anonymous candidate. He hadn’t stayed in one place for more than two seasons in the six years leading up to Green Bay. He told Sean McVay to fire him during his lone season as Rams offensive coordinator. The Titans passed over him for Mike Vrabel, then got him to accept a job under Vrabel. And yet, as Green Bay’s chief of staff, he’s only overseen a 28-7 record, including two straight NFC title-game bids, in his first two years on the job. This guy demands more respect. A trip to the Super Bowl would catapult him into bigger conversations.
5. Greater potential for an explosive Super Bowl
Again, Brady’s Bucs have the tools to play a high-scoring game, but in big games this year, they’ve often relied on their defense — or shrunk to a more conservative offensive approach — to secure the victory. Imagine, in contrast, watching a Super Bowl where Rodgers goes toe to toe with Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen. That, ladies and gentlemen, is guaranteed fireworks. As a bonus, should Kansas City top Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game, we’d be getting a rematch of the first-ever Super Bowl. The stories would write themselves!
Courtesy of Cody Benjamin at CBSSports.com