Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Season in Review
The NFL is a landscape that is constantly going through change. It can be said that change is a good thing, and that it should be welcomed with open arms.
But football by its very nature is not forgiving. There’s not a whole lot in the National Football League that sticks around, and that is especially true for players.
But for every rule, there is an exception. In this case, that exception goes by the name of Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.
Tom Brady is perhaps one of the greatest athletes to ever grace any field or court. It’s almost impossible to deny that every Sunday this past season, the NFL witnessed something that we may never see again.
Brady elevated a Buccaneers team to heights it hasn’t seen since Derrick Brooks and Jon Gruden led this team to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII back in 2002.
Back then, this team was a defensive powerhouse, making 2002 MVP Rich Gannon throw 5 interceptions in the Super Bowl, three of them returned for six points. But the days of defense winning championships are now long gone.
The current day Bucs have one of the most explosive offenses in the National Football League, and Brady has put this already talented offense over the top.
For starters, the receiving core the Buccaneers are toting may be the best in the league, and one of the best corps the league has seen in the past ten years. Young stars like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller have balled out all season.
Evans, the team’s leading receiver, has another 1,000 receiving yard year under his belt, along with 13 touchdowns. Godwin, the fourth-year man out of Penn State, leads the team in postseason receiving yards with 223.
The Bucs rushing attack is also nothing to scoff at, as Ronald Jones rushed for 978 yards and seven touchdowns. Between Jones and former Jaguar Leonard Fournette, the Bucs rushing attack has helped keep the pressure off Brady and has allowed the team to control the clock.
The season for the Bucs has not been perfect, however. The team started the season 0-1 after falling to Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans, and lost to the Saints again later in the season at home.
The Bucs were also upset by the Bears and Rams, and suffered a loss to their opponents this weekend: the Kansas City Chiefs. This year also marks a bad milestone for Tom Brady, as he threw a career high 14 interceptions.
Some may see this as a sign of regression for the forty-three year old quarterback. But Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is notorious for his love of airing out the football, which as a result, has made Brady take more risks than he ever had in New England.
On the other side of the same coin, Brady has also thrown for over four thousand yards and forty touchdown passes.
The Tampa Bay defense has been up and down all year. The unit finished sixth best in overall defense and had 48.0 sacks, which is the fourth most in the league.
With older stars like Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh and emerging stars like Antoine Winfield Jr. and Devin White, the defense took a huge step forward in 2020. However, not every game was perfect.
In week 12, the team faced Kansas City at home. Saying that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a good day is a massive understatement.
Mahomes threw for 456 yards and three touchdowns, and Hill had 269 receiving yards alone, catching all three of Mahomes’s touchdown passes.
As the team prepares for the big game this weekend, the week 12 matchup between these two teams is definitely something that the Bucs haven’t forgotten. But as all great teams do, the Bucs will adjust and prepare for the offensive powerhouse that is the Chiefs.
It’s been a long and unforgettable season, and it is safe to assume that even with a Buccaneers loss this weekend, the Brady experiment in Tampa Bay has been a success.
Charles Reinert is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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