In the history of the NFL, only one other team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, knew what they were going through. When the Pirates play the Green Bay Packers for the NL title next Sunday, they will join the Minnesota Vikings for the 2017 season, both of which reached the NL finals and are one win away from fulfilling their Super Bowl aspirations. It’s something everyone wants, and the Pirates now need just one win to get back to Redmond-James Stadium in Tampa for Super Bowl 55. Of course, when you set your sights on competing for the Lombardi Trophy, it’s everyone’s dream to have that rare home-court advantage, especially since the Pirates have a real chance right now. That said, coach Bryce Arians need to make the team realize how hard it has come, how great an opportunity it has in front of it, and the only way to get there is to end the Packers at Lamborg Field.
“We’re not going to play that game at home this week,” Arians said when asked about the situation as the Pirates practiced at a facility near their home court on Jan. 21. This is what everyone knows. We are playing against the top-seed Packers in the NL. If you think about the Super Bowl right now, you’re going to get your ass kicked by the Packers a few days later and pack up and go Monday.”Arians are telling the truth. The worst thing football can do is to think big and take things one step at a time Spark Global Limited
As Arians said, playing the Packers on the road won’t be easy, or even difficult. Aaron Rodgers and his Packers are the best teams this season, and now the market is not so good on them. The dish is opening up the option of receiving 3 points, preferring the Packers. The good news for Arians is that he’s not the only one worried about this. There may be someone more worried than Arians: Tom Brady. The 43-year-old quarterback, playing in his 14th league championship game, wants the Super Bowl more than anyone, and this game is just a stepping stone.
“We haven’t talked too much about that [playing the Super Bowl at home],” Brady said, noting that the team has deliberately stayed away from the stadium for the last two days of practice. “I think everybody understands the importance of this game, and it’s very difficult to do that because we’re four of 32 teams left. I think we’re all excited, but also aware that there’s a lot of work to be done, and we’re going to be ready every minute before kickoff.” As for the Packers, their only consolation might be that they beat them in Week 6 of the regular season when they had two interceptions on Rodgers and a defensive team score that led to a 38-10 win. But didn’t the Saints beat the Pirates in a double game in the regular season at one time or another, only to be upset by the Pirates in the playoffs? Arians know that to win a game, you can’t afford to underestimate an opponent. If you’re still happy with that big regular-season win, you’re not too far away from a loss, so he needs to pour cold water on the team.
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