The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Los Angeles Rams Sunday in the divisional round of the NFLPlayoffs. Playoff football is a perfect example of the “any given Sunday” cliche. And it’s making Buccaneers fans say “Why not us…..again”. Here’s why the Bucs will continue their playoff dominance.
No Receivers, No Problem
It’s funny how football goes, before the season the narrative was “Brady has the best weapons in the league”. Now, in the playoffs, that narrative has turned into “do the Bucs have enough firepower to keep up with opposing offenses?” Things change.
Tom Brady has been through this before, in 2007 he finished 7th in total passing yards. For Brady that seems like a down season, but not when you take into account the “weapons” or lack thereof. Brady’s leading receiver that year was Reche Caldwell, who had 760 yards, Reche Caldwell?!? Skeptics will say Brady still had Ben Watson and Troy Brown. Yes Watson was a solid target, but Brown was a shell of himself and retired the following year.
Brady did this again in Super Bowl 52. His best target, Julian Edelman was out of this game, and on the first drive, Brandin Cooks was concussed. With his top two receiving options out, Brady engineered one of the best games of his career with 505 yards with 3 touchdowns. Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan combined for nearly 20 targets and racked up a combined 280 yards. Amendola is a solid receiving target, but not one who can lead your team in a shootout. Chris Hogan immediately became obsolete when he left the Patriots.
Defense Wins Championships
The Buccaneers and elite playoff defense go hand and hand. In the 2002 season, the defense was suffocating and it led to a dominating playoff which captured the franchise’s first Super Bowl win. In 2021, much was the same with the defense, now known as the “gravediggers”. They would go on and terrorize the league’s best quarterbacks on their way to another dominant Super Bowl victory. Why should we expect the same from this defense? It’s simple, this defense hasn’t played together yet. For the first time all season, all 11 starters will be active and in the lineup. This leaves no weakness in the Buccaneers defense against a turnover-prone quarterback and a banged-up offensive line.
It’s No Secret
It’s no secret that this Buccaneers team plays miles better at home than they do on the road. Against the Eagles, Raymond James was rocking in a way I’d never seen before. Years of mediocrity and no playoff appearances have this fan base louder than ever. With the cannons firing and fans going nuts, it will be hard for the Rams to operate like they do at home.
Fire The Cannons
With the Crowd going crazy and Brady throwing touchdowns to guys who didn’t look like they would’ve touched the field at all this year, there is no reason why the Buccaneers can’t win this game. No matter what happens we have the GOAT and that will always be the biggest advantage in any game.