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Analysis: NFC is wide not shut heading into final weekend of NFL

Analysis: NFC is wide not shut heading into final weekend of NFL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) ” Tom Brady on one instance additional was at his finest when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers needed him most.

The 45-year-old, seven-time Super Bowl champion had one of the finest statistical games of his 23-year career inside a 30-24 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday that clinched Tampa™s following unswerving NFC South title.

Another elderly quarterback who excessively wears No. 12 is one way go nearer earliest inside away from joining Brady inside the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Green Bay Packers routed Minnesota 41-17 for their fourth unswerving win. One additional following week at place of residence opposed to Detroit secures a wild-card spot that seemed improbable when the Packers were 4-8.

On a day when the NFC™s top teams struggled, the Buccaneers (8-8) accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Packers (8-8) were victorious inside must-win games accompanied by every one one other accompanied by proved they can™t exist counted not here inside malice of mediocre records.

Playoffs begin a clean slate for everybody, Buccaneers bus Todd Bowles said. You™ve got a three-game elimination competition accompanied by every one one other accompanied by it doesn™t matter where you are.

Brady rekindled his link to Mike Evans, hitting the four-time Pro Bowl receiver inside stride trio times for touchdown passes of 63, 57 accompanied by every one one other accompanied by 30 yards. He finished 34 of 45 for 432 yards, tying the fifth-highest output inside his career.

NFL

  • Panthers dividing title hopes dashed inside 30-24 mislaying to Bucs

  • Injury-plagued Dolphins still living inside malice of latest setback

  • Despite changes, Broncos stuck accompanied by same elderly consequence inside KC

  • Eagle Hurts misses 2nd unswerving game accompanied by sprained shoulder

  • Mike played awesome, exist fond of he always does, Brady said. I deep affection playing not here there accompanied by him accompanied by every one one other accompanied by he™s an amazing player. I™ve missed him excessively numerous times this year, so it was nice to fasten accompanied by him accompanied by every one one other accompanied by hopefully we tin retain that going. I exist convinced by we will.

    Brady became the earliest player inside alliance history to complete at least 30 passes inside five consecutive games accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the earliest player accompanied by at least 30 completions inside 10 games within a single season. His completion percentage of 75.6% was his highest inside a game accompanied by at least 45 go attempts inside his career.

    Evans had 10 catches for 207 yards to surpass 1,000 yards receiving for the ninth unswerving season, extending his own NFL record to begin a career.

    Tom was fair dropping dimes, Evans said. Those were some really, really good balls. One of the finest games I™ve seen Tom amuse oneself since he has been here. They were falling fair inside the breadbasket every one one time. He had an unbelievable game.

    Brady has now led the Buccaneers to trio comeback wins when trailing by dual digits inside the fourth quarter, including place of set of two inside a row.

    With Brady accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Evans spine inside sync accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Tampa™s defence playing tough, the Buccaneers are a dangerous team inside the playoffs.

    Same for Rodgers accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the Packers.

    A ball-hawking defence helped Green Bay dismantle NFC North champion Minnesota. Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the subordinate held celestial body receiver Justin Jefferson to fair one catch. Rodgers was efficient, Aaron Jones ran for 111 yards accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the defence forced quartet turnovers, including a pick-6 by Darnell Savage.

    Now, following some outcomes around the alliance went their way over the past few weeks, the Packers fair have to hit the Lions (8-8) to obtain in.

    I know not numerous people inside that locker space accompanied by every one one other accompanied by certainly not numerous of you people believed we™d exist sitting here at 8-8 accompanied by jurisdiction of our own destiny going into Week 18, Rodgers said. That™s attractive special.

    Suddenly, the NFC seems wide not shut following the Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) lost their following unswerving game lacking Jalen Hurts, the Vikings (12-4) were blown not here accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the San Francisco 49ers (12-4) needed overtime to hit Las Vegas following surrendering 500 yards to Jarrett Stidham accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the Raiders™ offense.

    The Eagles would firm the No. 1 seed accompanied by a go nearer earliest inside over the playoff-bound New York Giants (9-6-1), who are locked into the sixth seed. The Dallas Cowboys (12-4) need a go nearer earliest inside over Washington accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Philadelphia to mislay to overtake the Eagles.

    Anything is possible inside the NFL this season.

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    Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi

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    AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl accompanied by every one one other accompanied by https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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