The Bucs advance to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs after taking down Washington 31-23 on the road last Saturday night. This was Tampa Bay’s first playoff victory since 2002 so the franchise and local fans couldn’t be more excited about this year’s team.
The Buccaneers had a strong showing against the Washington Football Team in the Wild Card round. Washington put up a fight, but Tampa Bay prevailed in the second half to advance in the NFL Playoffs. The media was claiming that this year was a Super Bowl or bust season for the Buccaneers.
This reputation faded in the second half of the season, but nobody should be counting out the Buccaneers just yet. In fact, I believe the Buccaneers are the most dangerous team remaining in the NFL Playoffs.
You may not agree with this belief, but here are my reasons why Tampa Bay is poised for a deep playoff run that could end with Tom Brady hoisting his seventh Lombardi Trophy.
Bucs Advance: Confidence
The Buccaneers are now on a five-game win streak following their victory over the Washington Football Team. Tampa Bay got hot at the best time of the year to go on a run. The team’s Wild Card win was their first playoff victory since 2002.
If you can think back to the 2002 squad, you’ll remember that the Lombardi Trophy made its way back to Tampa Bay when Jon Gruden was leading the Buccaneers.
I know these statistics don’t mean much on a surface level. The 2002 Buccaneers don’t resemble the 2020 team in any capacity. However, I guarantee that this landmark Wild Card win will give the Tampa Bay locker room a feeling that this is their year to take it all.
In the game of football, confidence is a very dangerous thing to have on your side. Confidence gives teams a swagger that raises the talent level of any organization. Currently, the Buccaneers have a high level of confidence and this should scare the rest of the league.
Bucs Advance: Team Football
In the past five games, the Buccaneers are defining complementary football. The defense is giving up under 20 points per game in this stretch. Over the course of the entire regular season, the Buccaneers had a top 10 defense in numerous statistical categories.
The Buccaneers defense has been dominant all year long. The unit gave up 22.6 points per game this year and they’ve continued to get stronger in the final third of the regular season. Linebacker, Devin White, is leading the charge on defense for the Buccaneers. White has made 140 total tackles this season.
Up front, Ndamukong Suh has been an impenetrable force on the line of scrimmage. Suh has accumulated 10.5 tackles for loss this year. The Buccaneers have one of the best defenses in the NFC. This unit resembles the 2002 team in my mind where Warren Sapp was leading the way.
The Buccaneers have been rolling on offense over the course of their five-game win streak. The unit has racked up 35.8 points per game in this stretch. The offensive line has been clicking and this is evident when you look at the team’s rushing numbers.
Against Washington, Leonard Fournette had the hot hand averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Additionally, Tom Brady has been able to find multiple weapons through the air which should scare opposing defensive coordinators.
It doesn’t matter who the Buccaneers are facing. If they play their best football, opponents will have trouble stopping Tampa Bay.
Bucs Advance: Tom Brady
Tom Brady is 43 years old, but he’s still performing at a very high level. 25-year-old quarterbacks in the NFL wish they were playing as good as Brady is at this point in his career. Tom Brady has won six Super Bowls and put together some amazing playoff performances over the course of his career.
Having the GOAT on your side during playoff time is priceless. Brady is 31-11 in the playoffs. #12 has thrown for over 11,500 yards and 75 touchdowns in the postseason.
Brady has played in nine Super Bowls and has six rings to his name. The veteran knows how to win, and that knowledge is being translated to everyone of his teammates in the Tampa Bay locker room.
If any quarterback can lead the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl this season, it’s Tom Brady. Brady is still on top of his game in his 21st NFL season which should excite every Tampa Bay football fan. The Buccaneers are dangerous, and this will be evident next week in the Divisional Round.
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