Looking Back at the Bucs’ win over Carolina

by Gary Shelton on January 11, 2022

in general

Arians has 24 victories in the last two regular seasons./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m

5 Thoughts.

  1. It probably won't matter in the MVP race, but it should. Tom Brady was excellent despite the loss of his skill position players. Still, he held up this team. But too many voters seem simply tired of him winning.

2. I think every member of the Bucs' secondary should go by "Toast." Toast Murphy-Bunting, Toast Dean, Toast Edwards...you get the picture. It would be the football version of the Ramones.

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3. If the seeds hold, the Bucs would need to beat Philly, Dallas, Green Bay and Tennessee to win the Super Bowl. That's not as tough as the "Washington-New Orleans-Green Bay-Kansas City sweep of a year ago, but the injuries and recent play make it sound tougher.

4. Mike Evans isn't perfect, but he's a thousand-yard machine and a great clubhouse guy. And he almost never strips off his shirt on the sideline and dances into the locker room.

5. Let's see: In recent days, Antonio Brown has turned on his teammates, abused women, struggled with the truth, tried to circumvent a vaccination and, in general, made an eyesore of himself. Is it just me, or is Brown planning to run for the Senate?


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On players who might return from Injured Reserve this week): “Leonard [Fournette] looks great. He’s been working [well], and he should be back. Shaq [Barrett] and ‘JPP’ (Jason Pierre-Paul) should both be back. Lavonte [David] – he will be the one that is the closest [call], but he is starting to move around pretty good, so we’ll wait and see. I’m still waiting to hear about Jamel Dean. That’s the one that has me concerned from this ballgame. Those guys that are on IR and had been out, I expect all of them to be back, maybe Lavonte cannot.”

On how he sees the defense matching up with the Eagles top-ranked run offense): “We haven’t done a good job in the last two weeks because everybody is trying to go wide on us and stay away from those big guys in the middle. We just have to do a better job of setting edges. Anthony Nelson did a heck of a job and played a great ballgame again. Two weeks in a row he got a game ball. Getting those guys back to have that rotation. But we have to [do] a better job of starting the game faster. We defer and we’re giving up points. We have to get that fixed.”

On why QB Tom Brady should be the MVP this season): “I think if he doesn’t get it, it’s a travesty. I mean most completions ever, 5,000-yards, [43] touchdowns, the whole nine-yards. To me, it’s not even a close race.”

(On if this playoff run feels different compared to last season now that being in the playoffs is not new to this team): “Yeah, it’s totally different and they know how to raise the level. I’m anxious to see us on the practice field this week. Last year, we almost practiced too hard because they were so excited. You raise your level of everything – preparation, practice, everything – for the playoffs. I can’t wait to see us Wednesday.”

(On QB Tom Brady leaning on TE Rob Gronkowski this season and how much that has helped this season): “Whenever ‘Gronk’ is in there, he’s a focal point, so it really doesn’t matter what other receivers are out there. It’s how they play. They were giving him the middle of the field in this game and Tom just found him every time. I don’t anticipate that to happen all the time, but they were doing some really good blitzes in the Cover-2, but they weren’t covering him down the middle. If we picked up the blitzes, which we did, we’re going to hurt them.”

Game Balls

Offense: It might have been the greatest half-a-game in the career of Tom Brady. After looking old for almost a half, Brady was on fire, and the Panthers burned.

Defense: Antoine Winfield had a team-leading eight tackles, a sack and recovered a fumble.

Special teams: Bradley Pinion was the best of an average day, averaging 44.3 yards on three punts.


Quarterback: Brady threw for 327 yards and three scores. He did it with no running game, limited receivers and an awful defense. Grade: A-.

Running back: Ke'Shawn Vaughn ran for only 29 yards (a 2.9 average) behind a very good line. Grade: D.

Receivers: Evans was money, and Rob Gronkowski made money, but Brashad Perriman made the catch of the day. Grade: A.

Offensive line: Brady was sacked on the game's first play, but for the most part, Brady had tons of time to throw. Not much in the running game, though. Grade: B-.

Defensive line: Still too many rushing yards allowed, and the team still misses Shaq Barrett. Grade: C.

Linebackers: The search continues for Devin White. Grade: D.

Secondary: Is there anyone who can't get open against the Bucs? Grade: F.

Kicking: A missed field goal and no return game. Grade: D.

Unsung Hero

Breshad Perriman's second-quarter catch was a game-changer.

MVP Tale of the Tape

Brady Rodgers

1 Passing Yards 10

1 Touchdowns 4

1 First Downs 8

9 300-Yard Games 4

5 4th-Quarter Comebacks 2

Most Wins

(Regular Season)

2021 13

2002 12

2020 11

2005 11

1999 11

Best-Ever No. 1 Draft Picks

  1. Derrick Brooks, 1995

2. Lee Roy Selmon, 19776

3. Warren Sapp, 1995

4. Mike Evans, 2014

5. Paul Gruber, 1988

Coaches' Winning Percentage

  1. Bruce Arians .727

2. Tony Dungy .563

3. Jon Gruden .509

4. Dirk Koetter .396

5. Sam Wyche .359

Most Consecutive 1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons

1.              Jerry Rice (Hall of Fame)                                      11

2.              Tim Brown (Hall of Fame)                                      9

3t.             Mike Evans                                                          8

3t.             Cris Carter (Hall of Fame)                                      8

3t.             Marvin Harrison (Hall of Fame)                              8

3t.             Torry Holt                                                             8

Most Single-Season Passing Yards, NFL History

Rank         Player (Team, Season)                                      Yards

1.              Peyton Manning (DEN, 2013)                             5,477

2.              Drew Brees (NO, 2011)                                      5,476

3.              Tom Brady (TB, 2021)                                      5,316

4.              Tom Brady (NE, 2011)                                       5,235

5.              Drew Brees (NO, 2016)                                      5,208

Bucs' Highest Single-Season Passer Rating

1.              Tom Brady (2020)                                              102.2

2.              Tom Brady (2021)                                             102.1

3.              Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018)                                      100.4

4.              Brian Griese (2004)                                             97.5

5.              Josh Freeman (2010)                                          95.9

3 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions

1.              Tom Brady (TB)                                                  66

2.              Aaron Rodgers (GB)                                            62

3.              Drew Brees (Retired)                                            56

4.              Peyton Manning (Retired)                                     51

5.              Brett Favre (Retired)                                            36

Jason Licht's Shopping List

(Priorities of signing potential free agents)

1, Chris Godwin

2 Ryan Jensen

3. Carlton Davis

4. Leonard Fournette

5. Jerome Whitehead

Mock Drafts

Pro Football Focus 28. Roger McCreary DB, Auburn

CBS 30. Daxon Hall DB, Michigan

Bleacher Report 30, Logan Hall DL, Houston

Sporting News 30. Trent McDuffie DB, Penn State

Walter Football 28. Travon Walker DL, Georgia

5 Memorable Games vs. Eagles

12-19-2003 -- Except for a Super Bowl win -- and to some, even including hem -- this ranks as the Bucs' finest hour. Ronde Barber's game-clinching interception sealed a 27-10 win to send Tampa Bay to its first Super Bowl at the site where two straight post-seasons had ended.

12-12-2001 -- It was one of the costliest games in the history of he Bucs. Tampa Bay lost 31-9, and afterward, Tony Dungy was fired. Warrick Dunn would leave. And Veterans' Stadium continued to be a house of nightmares.

12-29-1979 --The Bucs won their first-ever playoff appearance, 24-17, over the Eagles. Ricky Bell ran for 142 years and two touchdowns.

12-30-2000 -- Of all the teams that lost the Super Bowl, this might have been the best one. If the Bucs had kicked a makable field goal against Green Bay, the team would have had the week off. But they missed, and they weren't focused enough to win on the road, losing 21-3.

9-8-2003 -- It was perhaps that last dance with greatness for the Bucs, who won the Super Bowl the season before. They went into Philly for the 2003 opener and dominated in a 17-0 victory.

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