Looking back at the Bucs’ victory over the Packers

by Gary Shelton on January 26, 2021

in general

Arians and the Bucs have won seven straight./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

  1. My goodness, for a receiver whose team lost while he was shut out, Michael Thomas suddenly has a lot to say. Cheese with that whine, Mikey?

2. There for a while, I has afraid Tom Brady had chosen halftime of Sunday's game to finally realize his age.

3. Welcome back, Shaq Barrett.

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4. The Tampa Bay Bucs have seen their share of bad coaches. This time, they saw one on the Green Bay sideline.

5. Beating New Orleans, Green Bay and possibly Kansas City would put the Bucs up there with the great Super Bowl achievements.


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On the return to Tampa): “It was really good. By the time I got home it was too late [to celebrate] but it was just awesome. It was weird [because] we take two planes now, so we didn’t have the whole team on the same plane. The guys on our plane had a good time and the crowd was outstanding. It was unbelievable when we pulled up and saw the mayor and everybody out there. It was a great feeling to see them so excited.”

(On Leonard Fournette): "It’s very, very hard when you’re a superstar and you’re the focal point of the offense and you come to a [different] team and you’re basically a role player for a while. It’s a very hard role to accept. I just told him, ‘This team is special and you’re a huge part of it. Embrace your role – you never know when your role is going to change.’ Then, ‘Ro’ (Ronald Jones II) got hurt. He got COVID and then he got hurt. I’m really, really proud of Leonard and the way he’s handled it.”

(On the previous game against Kansas City): “That game was one where I think we were down 17 [points] and then we came storming back. Just couldn’t get the ball back. It should be a really good game. They’re a hell of a football team and they’re super well coached by Andy [Reid] and his whole crew – ‘Spags’ (Steve Spagnuolo) and everybody. [They have] great players, so it should be fun.”

(On underrated plays in Sunday's game): “I think Sean [Murphy-Bunting’s] interception was huge – it was really big. I think our offensive line and tight ends – they don’t get enough recognition [for] how [well] they’re playing these last few weeks and the protection has been outstanding. We missed one blitz pickup that led to an interception. That was probably the only bad play. It was a five-star game, and the five-star players should show up.”

(On the advantage of playing at home for the Super Bowl): “I think the big advantage is we stay in our own beds, sleep here and just do our normal routine. Nothing is out of the ordinary until we hit the media sessions next week. Just to be able to stay in your routine, sleep in your bed and all that stuff – I think it’s a huge advantage.”


Offense: Chris Godwin hasn't had his hands in the post-season, but he was big Sunday with five catches for 102 yards, including an acrobatic catch to set up a touchdown.

Defense: Shaq Barrett has spent much of 2020 hearing about 2019, but he was huge against the Packers with three sacks.

Kicking: Jaydon Mickens had 152 return yards, including a 43-yard kickoff return.


Quarterback: Brady was wobbly in the second half with three picks, tied for his most of the season. He did have a good first half, however. Grade: C.

Running back: Fournette had drops early, but his 20-yard touchdown run was a piece of art. Grade: B.

Wide receiver: Too many drops, but Godwin helped bail the team out. Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson helped. Grade: B.

Offensvie line: It was hard to run the ball (a 3.2 average), but Brady was sacked just once. Grade: B.

Defensive line: Barnett and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for five sacks. Welcome back, Vita Vea. Grade: A.

Secondary: Aaron Rodgers was good much of the time, but the secondary stood up in the fourth quarter. Grade: B+.

5 Areas of Concern

  1. Secondary. It's been better during the playoffs, but it's had too many days of chasing receivers, including the first meeting against Kansas City. With both safeties hurting, it's a concern.

2. Offensive line: The Bucs are going to need to protect Tom Brady, and they have to run enough to keep the Chiefs honest.

3. Pass rush: You'd like to think that with Vea back, and with both Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul coming off big games, that the Bucs could hurry Patrick Mahomes. But he's a hard guy to rush, and he can take advantage of the blitz.

4. The running game. It's been a while since the Bucs went off on an opponent. It's going to be hard to do against the Chiefs.

5. Turnovers. It can be a killer in big games.

Bucs Coaches -- Total Wins

(Regular Season plus Playoffs)

Coach Seasons Victories Playoff wins

Jon Gruden 7 57 3

Tony Dungy 6 54 2

John McKay 9 44 1

Sam Wyche 4 23 0

Bruce Arians 2 18 3

5 Biggest Wins -- Bucs

  1. Super Bowl over Raiders - 2003 (2002 season)

2. Conference Championship over Eagles -- 2003 (2002 season)

3. Conference Championship over Packers - 2021 (2020 season)

4. Divisional Championship over Saints - 2021 (2020 season)

5. Divisional Championship over Eagles - 1979

Bucs' Post-Season TD Passes

1.            Tom Brady                                                    7

2.             Brad Johnson                                                5

3.            Doug Williams                                                2

4t.           Trent Dilfer                                                    1

4t.           Jeff Garcia                                                     1

4t.           Shaun King                                                    1

Most Post-Season Touchdown Passes -- NFL

1.             Tom Brady                                                    81

2.            Joe Montana                                                  45

3.            Brett Favre                                                     44

4.            Aaron Rodgers                                               45

5.            Peyton Manning                                             40

Another Team, Another Super Bowl

QB Second Team Previous Season Wins 1st Year Super Bowl?

Craig Morton, Denver (1977) 9 Yes (loss)

Peyton Manning, Denver (2012). 8 No

Kurt Warner, Cardinals (2008) 8 Yes (loss)

Tom Brady, Bucs (2020) 7 Yes (pending)

Super Bowl Repeat Winners

1966-67 Green Bay Packers (Super Bowls 1 & 2)

1972-73. Miami Dolphins (Super Bowls 7 & 8)

1974-75  Pittsburgh Steeles (Super Bowls 9 & 10)

1978-79 Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowls 13 & 14)

1988-89  San Francisco 49ers. (Super Bowls 23 & 24)

1992-93  Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowls 27 & 28)

1997-1998 Denver Broncos (Super Bowls 32 & 33)

2003-04 New England Patriots (Super Bowls 38 & 39)

5 More Thoughts

  1. For all the praise of Tom Brady and the Bucs' defense, this one will forever be known as "LaFlub." You're welcome, Matt.

2. Even if they win, I'm not sure this Bucs' team is better than the 2002 team with a Hall of Fame defense. But that team didn't have a post-season run like this one. Think of it this way: Drew Brees is going to the Hall of Fame. Aaron Rodgers is going to the Hall of Fame. Patrick Mahomes is going to the Hall of Fame. The old Bucs played good quarterbacks in the post-season, but none of them were Hall of Famers.

3. If you want to think of unsung heroes, think of those players who have stepped in for injured stars this year: Kevin Minter for Devin White, Steve McClendon for Vita Vea, Scotty Miller for Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette for Ronald Jones. Thank the Glazers for that. In the Culverhouse era, starters barely made any money, and the backups were walking the streets.

4. This week's Invisible Man award? He wasn't shut out like Michael Thomas a week ago, but Za'Darius Smith had four tackles and no sacks after a 12 1/2 sack season.

5. I miss Hank Stram and the bad wig he rode in on.

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