After years of mediocrity, years of losing seasons, heartbreaking and blowout losses alike, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed to Super Bowl LV. In doing so, they’ll be the first team in NFL History to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. The odds of the Bucs playing host for the game again are highly unlikely to happen in this lifetime. 54 straight years it didn’t happen, what would make anyone think the same team would do it twice?
The win at Green Bay on Sunday just made the 2020 season that much more special for Bucs fans. It was the Bucs seventh straight victory, a franchise record. The last three have all come on the road in the postseason. A tough task the likes of which the NFL has rarely seen. despite 3 interceptions in the second half for Tom Brady, the Bucs overcame it. Green Bay walked away with only 6 points off the 3 Tampa turnovers. The defense came up big time and time again when it needed to. Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett combined for 5 sacks, while Sean Murphy-Bunting became one of only three other players in NFL History to go 3 consecutive playoff games with an interception. Devin White was also Johnny on the spot recovering an Aaron Jones fumble and returned it deep into Green Bay territory. It was White’s 3rd takeaway in the last two weeks, this one eventually giving the Bucs a 28-10 lead. White also finished the game with 15 total tackles, a Buccaneers playoff record. Maybe now the Pro Bowl voters will have a clue as to why Devin White should have been a first team All-Pro. I’m sure he will be in the future.
Mike Evans got the Bucs offense off to a hot start with 2 big catches on the first drive, which included a 15 yard Touchdown catch over the outstretched arms of Packers corner Kevin King. Tied 7-7 after one, the Bucs offense strung together three of the greatest plays in franchise history. Plays that ultimately won the Bucs the game, plays that will be remembered for decades why the Bucs reached Super Bowl LV. On a 3rd and 9 early in the 2nd Quarter. One play after a brutal drop that hit Chris Godwin right in between the numbers, he redeemed himself with an immaculate 52 yard juggling grab. On play later “Playoff Lenny,” Leonard Fournette, got the Bucs into the end zone with a dazzling 20 yard spin cycle Touchdown run. Later in the quarter, shortly following the Sean Murphy-Bunting interception, the Bucs face a 4th and 3 from the Green Bay 45. Originally, the Bucs had sent out the punt team. After a quick timeout Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arian’s “No Risk It, No Biscuit” mentality came to pay off like never before. Not only did the Bucs pick up a quick first down after a 6 yard throw to Leonard Fournette, the following play Tom Brady hit Scotty “Scooter” Miller on a beautiful 39 yard Touchdown pass with just one second remaining in the half. Those are the decisions and the plays that win you Championship games, those are the plays that go down as legendary. It gave the Bucs a 21-10 lead at half, the Bucs never relinquished the lead.
One thing is for sure, the win at the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau field will go down as one of the greatest victories in Tampa Bay Buccaneers History. 2020 has been one hell of a ride for this team but it’s not quite finished. The Bucs are headed home Tampa, they’re headed home to win it.