Bucs Journey to the Superbowl


Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Kaprian Abril, Reporter

This year has been very eventful and fulfilling for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After being successful in the regular season, they are now advancing into the playoffs. The last time the Bucs made it to the playoffs was all the way back in 2003, during the 2002/03 season. That same season was when the Bucs won their first and only Super Bowl ever. The Bucs won the Super Bowl in a dominant way, beating the Las Vegas Raiders 48-21. Since then, the Bucs have not been able to make it into the playoffs; until this year. It has been an exciting time for all Bucs fans, as they now have a shot at winning another Super Bowl.

The Bucs have made a serious improvement from last season to get where they are now. Last year the Bucs held a record of seven wins and nine losses. In contrast, this year the Bucs have held an impressive and drastically improved record of eleven wins and five losses in the regular season. This season also saw the addition of some highly remarkable players, most notably, Tom Brady. On March 20th, 2020, the Bucs officially signed the six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback onto the team. Moreover, the Bucs also signed Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to play again with his former teammate, Tom Brady. Gronkowski, the tight end, has won a total of three super bowls, all while playing alongside Tom Brady. Another unexpected deal was when the Bucs gained wide receiver, Antonio Brown, to play for the team.

The Bucs play in the NFC division, which includes top teams such as the Packers, the Saints, and the Rams. The Bucs were able to clinch the Wild Card ranking after finishing the regular season, while also placing second in the NFC South, finishing after the Saints. This essentially means that the Bucs secured themselves a position in the playoffs, although they did not have even close to an easy schedule in the playoffs. They started off by playing the Washington Football Team, who finished first in the NFC East. The Bucs were able to defeat them 31-23 in the Wild Card Round. The Bucs then went on to the New Orleans Saints, an extremely strong opponent led by Drew Brees. The Bucs got the better of them, despite getting beat by the Saints in both weeks one and week nine of the regular season. The Bucs won this game 30-20, thanks to the team’s strong efforts. This result led to the Bucs moving on to the NFC Championship, where they would face the Green Bay Packers.

The Bucs worked extremely hard to get to this position, taking on the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday afternoon. The game went as follows:

In the first quarter, the Bucs started off strong and fast. They received the kickoff and quickly scored with 10:59 on the clock. The Packers did not start off nearly as successful as the Bucs, with Aaron Rodgers getting sacked twice and scoring no points. The first quarter closed with the Bucs up 7-0.

The Packers then started the second quarter very quickly, with a scoring drive within 43 seconds. Moreover, with 13:08 on the clock, Chris Godwin made a stunning 53-yard catch from Brady, advancing the Bucs down the field tremendously. The first down following that impressive run, the Bucs scored, growing their lead on the Packers. The Packers snapped back, making several successful, long-running drives. The Packers were not able to score a touchdown though, as they were stopped by the Bucs defense from 1st and goal to 4th and goal. The Packers ended up completing a field goal, gaining 3 points instead of a possible 7. With 28 seconds left in the quarter, the Bucs picked off a pass from Rodgers, turning possession over to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With 8 seconds left, Tom Brady lobbed the ball down the field to connect with Scotty Miller for a massive play, scoring a touchdown off a 39-yard throw. Tampa Bay closed out the half with 21 points and the Packers trailing by 11.

The 3rd quarter started off with the Packers receiving the ball, which soon led to a perfect start-off for the Bucs. With 13:58 on the clock, the Bucs defense knocked the ball off Jones and recovered it, leading to Buc’s possession and 1st and goal. First play after the takeaway with 13:54 on the clock, the Bucs scored another touchdown, furthering their lead over Green Bay. The Packers were not ready to give up though and responded with another touchdown with 9:28 left in the quarter, looking for a comeback. Things started to look up for the Packers, when with 7:54 on the clock they picked off a pass from Brady, taking possession. Green Bay scored again with 24 seconds left in the quarter, closing the lead to a 5-point game after missing the 2-point conversion. The third quarter ended with the Bucs up 28-23, but the Packers were close behind and had momentum going into the 4th quarter.

Early into the quarter with 12:20 minutes left, the Packers picked off another throw after the ball slipped through Mike Evan’s fingertips. On third down after the interception, the Bucs were able to sack Aaron Rodgers, stopping the momentum they had going. At 9:15 in the quarter, Brady threw the ball up and the Packers caught another interception, after being pressured by the Packers defense. Tampa Bay Buccaneers were quick to react, however, and sack Rodgers on the first down after the interception. Furthermore, the Bucs defense forced a punt return, not allowing the Packers’ offense to make any plays after catching the interception. With 4:46 left on the clock, the Bucs completed a 46-yard field goal, growing their lead by a small margin. The Bucs then held the Packers to 4th and goal again, leading to only a Packers field goal. As the seconds ticked past on the clock, the Bucs came out with the win! With a final score of 31-26, the Bucs defeated the Packers.

After an exciting game against the Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have come out victorious and are now the NFC Champions. This is amazing for Bucs fans, and well deserved for the team. This will now be the first time in NFL history that a team will play a Super Bowl at their home stadium. Not only this but if the Bucs win the Super Bowl, it will be the first time in NFL history that a team wins a Super Bowl at their home stadium. The Bucs have worked extremely hard to get here and have made so many improvements from previous years. Now it’s onto the Super Bowl for the Bucs!