You can stop rubbing your eyes. Believe it. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.
The Bucs trounced the Lions on Saturday, 47-7. That clinches Tampa Bay’s first postseason berth since the Jon Gruden days.
The Buccaneers were clicking on all cylinders in this one. So much for those ridiculously slow starts. The Bucs came out swinging, and buried Detroit early and often. The Lions were undermanned – and were missing several coaches due to COVID – but that was an impressive performance by TB nonetheless.
This has been a long time coming for the entire franchise. Mike Evans, Lavonte David and William Gholston, among others, will be getting their first taste of the postseason.
And what about us, the diehard fans? You know, the ones who’ve been on board all along, long before some guy named Brady joined the party. We’ve suffered mightily for more than a decade. The Cleveland Browns have the longest playoff drought in the NFL. The Bucs had the second-longest, until now.
So, what’s next? Well, there’s one more regular-season game to go, against Atlanta at Ray-Jay. If the Bucs win, they would wrap up the #5 seed, and would play the NFC East Champion. If the Bucs end up with the #6 seed, who knows who they’ll play. There’s still a lot to be determined in the NFC, including the #1 seed, who gets a bye.
But fans, our boys are in. This season is already a success, in my opinion. Let’s see if the Bucs can stay hot, and go all the way.
Photo courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers