Tom Brady has reached his ninth conference championship game in the last 10 years — his first NFC Championship Game.
His Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates are finding out firsthand what makes Brady great and why he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
“We have the best quarterback,” Buccaneers tight end Cam Brate said. “Usually the best quarterback wins the game.”
The Bucs only won seven games last year. With Brady leading the charge this season, they’ve won 13, and are one win away from being the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field.
“I think we’ve all relied on Tom’s experience, and his greatness all year,” Brate said. “Not too many of us have played in post-season games on our team. Going to the Washington game (in the Wild Card round), he let us know what to expect, it’s going to be different.”
“Tom really hasn’t changed,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said. “His preparation is unbelievable every game, whether it’s September or January. When you’ve been there and done it, guys just follow you.”
During the Bucs seven-game winning streak, Brady has been at his best throwing 16 touchdown passes with only one interception.
“He is always super confident the whole game,” Brate said. “Just his attention to detail, his focus. It takes a step up there during the fourth quarter, during those drives that we need to put points on the board to win the game. All year we have relied on Tom. Tom’s leadership, Tom’s presence. I think it’s because we’ve all seen him, watching football growing up for the past 10 years.”
Brady will be going to his NFL record 14th conference championship game when the Bucs meet the Packers at 3:05 p.m. ET Sunday at Lambeau Field.