Addressing Buccaneers fans, Arians shouted: “We’re coming home, and we’re coming home to win.”
Tampa Bay, which has won three successive postseason games on the road this month, took an 11-point halftime lead on two Brady touchdown passes. The Packers, the top seed in the conference, stormed back, trimming the deficit to 5 points late in the third quarter. But Brady, who will be making his 10th Super Bowl appearance, led fifth-seeded Tampa Bay to a pivotal fourth-quarter field goal, and the Packers failed to score a touchdown on a crucial, late possession despite a first-and-goal at the Buccaneers’ 8-yard line.
The Buccaneers will play the winner of Sunday night’s A.F.C. championship game, between the Buffalo Bills and the host Kansas City Chiefs, in the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Brady, 43, will become just the fourth quarterback to lead two franchises to the Super Bowl. It was also done by Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning and Craig Morton.
For Rodgers, who won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2010 season, Sunday’s loss was his fourth in a conference championship game.
With both teams depleted by injuries — the Packers were without running back Aaron Jones and Tampa Bay was missing both starting safeties — Green Bay charged back from an 18-point deficit with two third-quarter touchdown passes by Rodgers, who completed 33 of 48 passes for 346 yards. The Packers, assisted by a penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit near the goal line, cut the Tampa Bay lead to 5 points after a 2-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Davante Adams. Green Bay attempted 2-point conversion was unsuccessful, and it trailed Tampa Bay, 28-23.
The Packers’ rally was greatly assisted by three interceptions thrown in the second half by Brady, who completed 20 of 36 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. But only one of those interceptions led to a Packers touchdown. More significant was Green Bay’s last possession, when Rodgers led his team to the Tampa Bay 8-yard line with the chance to tie the game with a touchdown and a successful 2-point conversion. Rodgers instead threw three successive incompletions — the last two directed at Adams — and Green Bay settled for a field goal rather than trying for the end zone again on fourth down with slightly more than two minutes remaining.