Leading 14-10 with eight seconds remaining in the first half of Sunday’s NFC championship game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to be aggressive. Instead of trying to get in better position for a field goal, Tom Brady unloaded a 39-yard strike to Scotty Miller to give Tampa Bay a 21-10 halftime lead.
The Buccaneers would need every part of that 11-point advantage to survive Green Bay’s second-half surge and hold on for a 31-26 victory. It is the franchise’s first trip to the Super Bowl since defeating the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME, SCOOTER?! 😱
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 24, 2021
“It was just a special moment,” Miller said after the game. “I don’t even know if I could have dreamed of it as a kid. It was just so crazy. Just so fortunate to be able to make that play.”
Before talking about the biggest play of his career, though, the second-year pro made sure to give thanks to God.
“First and foremost, all glory to God, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Miller said at the beginning of his press conference. “Wouldn’t be here without Him.”
The 23-year-old, who was a sixth-round pick just like his quarterback, caught two passes and was targeted three times in the game. He has played in all 19 of the Buccaneers’ games this season, catching a total of 37 passes for 581 yards and four touchdowns.
Perhaps no Tampa Bay wideout has benefited more from the arrival of Brady – who has made a living throwing to quick slot receivers – than Miller. His receptions and receiving yardage totals more than doubled from his rookie year in 2019.
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Known for his speed, Miller totaled 2,867 yards on 215 receptions with 25 touchdowns in college at Bowling Green. His size — he’s now listed at 5-foot-9, 174 lbs. — made some teams wary, but the Bucs liked what they saw in Miller, who recorded a 4.30 40-yard dash at his pro day.
Miller and his teammates now get two weeks to prepare for Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl-champion Chiefs, who advanced out of the AFC with an impressive 38-24 victory over the Bills. The good news for the Buccaneers is that they will be in familiar surroundings.
After winning three straight playoff games on the road, the Buccaneers get to finish their season at home. Tampa Bay is the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in its home stadium, which will be filled with 22,000 fans on Feb. 7.
Just one step away from a championship, Miller ended his postgame press conference by emphasizing that the job is not done quite yet.
“Just to have this opportunity to go home, play the Super Bowl in our home stadium too, is going to be amazing,” he said. “And we’re not done yet. We’ve got a lot of work to do in these next two weeks to get ready. And we’ve got to finish the job.”
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