Looking back on Bucs’ win over Kansas City

by Gary Shelton on February 9, 2021

in general

Arians will be behind the wheel next year, too./ (Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers via AP)

Tuesday, 4 am.

5 Thoughts

  1. The first thing on my mind today are the fans, who have suffered more for their team than fans of most teams in the league. It's not easy to be a sports fan in Tampa Bay with the history of wacky owners and game plans gone wrong. But this has been a special season. There are only 18 seasons in which two franchises from the same city have won a title, and that doesn't count the Rays (who won the American League title). I'd venture to say there has never been six months like this one. Enjoy.

2. If I owned the Detroit Lions, I'd fire new coach Dan Campbell and, on second thought, hire Todd Bowles. Granted, Bowles deserves better, but who uninvited him to interview?

3. Do we dare to say it yet? Devin White is officially the Bucs' best linebacker. Yes, that includes Lavonte David.

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4. This team had one Pro Bowler? In the last two weeks, it has played teams with seven apiece.

5. That team was about defense; this one is about offense. But there are similarities between the two Bucs world champions. Each team's season started with a bold move (trading for Jon Gruden, signing Tom Brady). Each team beat an "unstoppable" offense in the big game.


(From Bruce Arians' Day-After Press Conference)

(On the season): "This thing started in August and it was all about sacrifice and commitment to each other," he said. "We had to beat the virus before we could beat another team, and I can't say enough about our guys' commitment to each other. This is one of the closest teams I've ever been on…and we couldn't eat together, we couldn't talk to each other. For them to care this much about each other and the bonding experience somehow not happening, I'm still trying to figure out how. Because under the pandemic this was so, so hard of a year for a team to be close and this is one of the closest teams I've ever been on.”

(On whether this team can score even more next season): "I don't think there's any doubt about that. I was pissed because we really had about 40 or 45 [points] out there last night. We left a few out there. This group of guys, there so, so, so special. Hopefully we can keep this band together and have an offseason where we actually know what the hell we're doing and all on the same page. Yeah, I think the sky's the limit for this group.”

(On keeping his team together): "I'm very, very confident. I have all the trust in the world in Jason (Licht, the general manager) and what he will do. These guys, they have a bond. They're will be dollars involved, but I think this group is so, so close that sometimes dollars don't matter. But we're going to do everything we can to get the dollars right, too, because they earned it."

(On the season turnaround): "Ever since Chicago, I think our guys coming back on the plane made a commitment to each other we’re going to stop beating ourselves. What a great great job they have done. If you don't turn the ball over and you don't get penalties, you’re going to be hard to beat. It’s been an easy job coaching ever since."

(On Brady's impact): “I think that this was a very talented football team last year, but we didn’t now how to win. When you bring a winner in and he’s running the ship, it makes a total difference in your locker room, every time we step out of the field. We came from behind two times from 17 points down. The leadership that Tom brings in his attitude is 'Hey, let’s go play -- it’s never over until it’s over and we're going to win this thing, somehow or some way.' It permeated through our whole locker room."


Offense: Hey, let's give one to everyone. Let's give one to Leonard Fournette, and one to Rob Gronkowski, and one to Donovan Smith. But, of course, this was yet another Tom Brady moment. In the end, he gets the ball.

Defense: Again, there were a lot of heroes. But Todd Bowles had a brilliant plan to stuff an offense that had embarrassed his unit earlier. Bowles will get another head coaching job next year, and this game will be at the top of his resume.

Special teams: Ryan Succop was perfect.


Quarterback: Tom Brady has had a lot of games with better numbers. But football isn't about statistics. It's about leadership. No one is better than Brady. Grade: A.

Running back: Remember when the Bucs thought so little of Fournette they de-activated him for a game? Fournette hit the refresh button on his career in the post-season. Grade: A.

Offensive line: Brady had plenty of time, and the backs had plenty of holes. Grade: A-.

Receivers: It wasn't a stellar night by the wideouts, but it didn't have to be. The tight ends were better. Grade: B.

Defensive line: A mortal quarterback would have been sacked eight times, maybe more. The line took advantage of an injured Kasnas City line. Grade: A.

Linebackers: Devin White is a star. He's simply a star. Grade: A.

Secondary: In the end, holding Mahomes and his guys out of the end zone was a stunning feat. Grade: A.

Kicking: No problems. Grade: A.

5 Bucs Who Could Have Gotten MVP votes

1. Devin White

2. Rob Gronkowski

3. Antonio Winfield

4. Leonard Fournette

5. Shaq Barrett

Most Super Bowl Starts

Rank       Player                                                              GS

1.            Tom Brady                                                    10

2.             John Elway                                                    5

3t.           Terry Bradshaw                                              4

3t.           Jim Kelly                                                        4

3t.           Peyton Manning                                             4

3t.           Joe Montana                                                  4

3t.           Roger Staubach                                             4

Super Bowl Passing Yards

1.            Tom Brady                                                    3,039

2.             Kurt Warner                                                    1,156

3.            Joe Montana                                                  1,142

4.            John Elway                                                    1,128

5.            Peyton Manning                                             1,001

Super Bowl Touchdown Leaders

1.            Tom Brady                                                    21

2.             Joe Montana                                                  11

3.            Terry Bradshaw                                              9

4.            Roger Staubach                                             8

5t.           Kurt Warner                                                    6

5t.           Steve Young                                                  6

Odds of Winning Next Year's Super Bowl

  1. Chiefs +600

2. Packers +900

3. Buccaneers +1000

4-6. Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams +1200

5 Cool Tampa Bay Jerseys to Own

12 Tom Brady

77 Victor Hedman

56 Randy Arozarena

21 Brayden Point

13 Mike Evans

5 Questions Going into the Off-season

  1. Now that Antonio Brown has been a good soldier, will he still want to be third banana in this attack with his buddy Brady? Is he affordable?

2. And Leonard Fournette. Do you bring him back?

3. How much would you love to be the agent for Chris Godwin?

4. Let's hope the Bucs don't get hung up on sacks and instead count pressures. If so, Shaq Barrett should be back.

5. Do the Bucs draft an interior defensive lineman if Ndamukong Suh retires?

5 More Cool Tampa Bay Jerseys to Own

45 Devin White

88 Andrei Vasilevskiy

91 Steven Stamkos

87 Rob Gronkowski

39 Kevin Kiermaier

5 Thoughts

  1. When you're naming stars, don't forget about the offensive line. While Mahomes was running for his life, Brady faced just four pressures.

2. Jon Gruden was 39 when he won the Super Bowl. Bruce Arians is 68. It's the ages in between when the Bucs' coaches have gotten into trouble.

3. I'm sorry, but I'm not beside myself over Tom Brady's exchange of words with Tyrann Mathieu. Defensive backs are allowed to yap, and wide receivers, but not quarterbacks? Hey, this isn't chess.

4. Here's one more part of the Brady factor. When's the last time you heard a player grouse about his playing time or his touches? With Brady, that doesn't happen.

5. A final word about Brady. When he texted teammates the night before the game and declared "we will win," it sounds like a page out of Joe Namath's book. Except, of course, Namath was ordinary in his game.

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