Ever since quarterback Tom Brady came to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team became a juggernaut unlike anything else seen in franchise history. When the team typically thrives, it’s generally the opportunistic and stifling defense that served as the backbone. It’s not as much this year with all eyes on Brady as he continues to build on his unmatched career stats in this historic year. With all the GOAT talk, not enough people are talking about how far above and beyond the defense is playing.
Buccaneers’ Tom “Not So Terrific” Brady in NFC Title Game
The 2020 squad may not share the dominance of the 2002 team that dominated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, but they’re coming up huge in a way that matters. While Brady was riding a hot streak, he was bound to come down to earth with tougher competition and it showed during the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers. Aside from the game’s first drive and the surprise bomb to end the first half, Brady wasn’t as dominant in between. He took as much advantage as he could with opportunities given to him by the defense and that’s what the greats do.
No one can overlook Brady’s own shortcomings with his three interceptions against the Packers. The greater sports world and to an extent, the New Orleans Saints and the Packers probably overlooked the fierce aggressive defense from Todd Bowles. Granted for the bulk of the season, his blitz scheme was feast or famine, but when it comes to the 2020 postseason, the experience and hunger within the unit are showing. As much as people can point to the inexperience of the Buccaneers’ youth on defense, they shouldn’t overlook their raw energy and the veteran leadership driving them. Two of the said veterans are Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett, who won Super Bowls with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, respectively.
How Defense is Key in Super Bowl LV for the Buccaneers
JPP, specifically, was part of that the two Giants’ teams that defeated Brady’s Patriots in 2007 and 2011. The 2007 Giants’ DC is the current one of the Kansas City Chiefs in Steve Spagnuolo. Don’t get me wrong, Brady will still need to put out the kind of performance he has in the past weeks. The Bucs defense will be the one to make or break Super Bowl LV trying to limit Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs just enough.
As with the 2002 team, the defense still wins championships. Just ask Brady and Marshawn Lynch.