Updated with more information at 10:10 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2021.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Tom Brady has a new team in a new town, but the end result is the same: He's going to another Super Bowl.
This time, though, that means going home.
The man with six NFL titles will become the first quarterback to play a Super Bowl on his team's home field after leading the fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-26 win against the top-seeded Green Bay Packers in Sunday afternoon's NFC championship game.
Brady was helped by a defense that sacked Aaron Rodgers five times, as well as a curious fourth-and-goal call by the Packers when the home team had the ball late.
"It's great to get another road win and now we've got a home game, and who'd ever thought, a home Super Bowl for us. But we did it," said the 43-year-old Brady, who spent his first 20 NFL seasons with the New England Patriots — and made nine trips to the Super Bowl — before signing with Tampa Bay last March.
"I thought the defense was spectacular," Brady added. "They've done that all year."
The Bucs (14-5) will face the Kansas City Chiefs (16-2) at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7 in Tampa, Florida. The Chiefs, who won last year's Super Bowl in suburban Miami, are headed back to the Sunshine State for their repeat bid after beating the Buffalo Bills 38-24 in the AFC title game Sunday.
The 6:30 p.m. game will be televised by CBS, and the Chiefs opened Sunday as 3 1/2-point favorites with an over-under of 57 1/2 by the Westgate Superbook and the Station Casinos chain.
In 54 previous Super Bowls, no team has ever played on its own turf. Now Brady will be part of another NFL record.
"We're coming home," said Bucs coach Bruce Arians, who began his coaching career in 1975 in the college ranks at Texas Tech and will make his first trip to the Super Bowl as a head coach. "We're coming home to win."
Brady was 20-of-36 passing for 286 yards and three touchdowns against the Packers (14-4), but he also threw three interceptions as Tampa Bay squandered most of an 18-point lead. Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for five sacks to help the Bucs hang on for their franchise-record eighth consecutive road victory, including three in the playoffs.
It's quite a step up for a franchise that had one winning record in the past nine seasons and has been to the Super Bowl just once previously since debuting in 1976, winning the title to cap the 2002 season. It's almost habitual for Brady, who continues to add bullet points to the argument in favor of him as the greatest of all time.
"Tom is the GOAT," said Bucs receiver Scotty Miller, who caught a 39-yard touchdown pass with a second left until halftime. "Last year, we ended 7-9. This year, we're going to the Super Bowl. He's the biggest reason."
The Bucs snapped Green Bay's seven-game winning streak. The visitors were aided by a strange decision from Packers coach Matt LaFleur with just more than two minutes remaining and the Bucs ahead 31-23.
After three straight incompletions had the Packers facing fourth-and-goal at the 8, the Packers elected to kick a field goal to get within five.
"Anytime it doesn't work out you always regret it, right?" LaFleur said. "It was just circumstance of having three shots and coming away with no yards. And knowing that you not only need the touchdown but you'd need the 2-point (conversion). The way I was looking at it is we essentially had four timeouts with the two-minute warning, we knew we needed to get a stop."
Tampa Bay then ran out the clock on the Packers.
"I understand the thinking — above two minutes with all of our timeouts — but it wasn't my decision," Rodgers said.
The Packers lost in the NFC championship game for the fourth time in seven seasons. Green Bay hasn't reached the Super Bowl since its 2010 championship season.
Rodgers was 33-of-48 passing for 346 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, but he fell to 1-4 in conference championship games as a starting quarterback. The Packers had the NFL's best red-zone offense this season, but they twice settled for field goals after having first-and-goal Sunday.
"I'm just pretty gutted," Rodgers said. "It's a long season. You put so much into it to get to this point. We had our chances."
Tampa Bay took command in the middle portion of the game.
After Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted a Rodgers pass and Tampa Bay converted on fourth-and-4, the Bucs were at Green Bay's 39 with eight seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Bucs passed up a long field-goal attempt, and Brady found Miller down the left sideline for a 39-yard touchdown catch with just one tick left on the clock.
"We didn't come here to not take chances to win the game," Arians said. "Love the play we had. Got a great matchup and got a TD. That was huge."
The Packers got the ball to start the second half, and Aaron Jones caught a short third-down pass, but the running back took a huge hit from Jordan Whitehead that knocked the ball loose. Devin White recovered and ran 21 yards to the Green Bay 8.
One play later, Brady found a wide-open Cameron Brate to extend Tampa Bay's lead to 28-10.
The Packers rallied as Brady threw interceptions on three straight drives for just the second time in his NFL career. Green Bay cut the lead to 28-23 late in the third quarter on Rodgers' touchdown passes to Robert Tonyan and Davante Adams.
Twice in the fourth quarter, the Packers got the ball with a chance to take the lead after Jaire Alexander picked off Brady passes deep in Green Bay territory. Both times, the Packers went three-and-out against Tampa Bay's fierce defense.
"I felt like we had plenty of opportunities to take advantage of and get the job done," LaFleur said. "We didn't do it, and that falls on me and that's a tough pill to swallow when you're responsible for everybody in this organization to make sure that you're on your A game, and I don't feel like I was ... I'm just pretty disappointed that let a lot of people down."
It's been quite a ride for the Bucs and Brady, who after joining brought former Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement to join him. With limited practice time with his new teammates because of coronavirus protocols, though, the Bucs didn't get rolling until after their open date in the regular season.
Now look where they are.
"It's been a great journey this far," Brady said.
And it's taking them right back home.