Tampa Bay Buccaneers Postseason Path Begins Tonight at Washington
By Scott Smith, Buccaneers.com // January 9, 2021
kickoff set for 8:15 p.m. tonight on NBC
(Buccaneers.com) — The moment is finally here. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched their first postseason spot in 13 years two weeks ago but still had some work to get done in the regular season. Now the Buccaneers are actually in the playoffs, exactly where they planned to be after boldly signing Tom Brady in the offseason and making all the moves necessary to keep a rising defense intact.
The plan worked, but now that the Buccaneers are back in the dance the goal changes and the effort to secure the second Super Bowl championship in franchise history begins. Tampa Bay will have to navigate through a field of very talented NFC opponents to complete that journey, beginning with the Washington Football Team on Saturday night.
And, of course, that journey begins on the road, as the Buccaneers were not able to topple the New Orleans Saints as division champions. They did the next best thing, winning their last four games to secure the conference’s top Wild Card spot and head into the playoffs with a full head of steam. The fifth seed also gave Tampa Bay an opening-round date with a sub-.500 NFC East champion, but the Bucs do not believe that is an ‘easy draw’ in any way, particularly with Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith back in the lineup.
“We don’t see them as a 7-9 team, we see them as a 4-1 team because every time Alex Smith has played, they went 4-1 and had a plus-three turnover margin,” said Head Coach Bruce Arians. “It’s a different team when Alex is playing and we know that. We’re playing that 4-1 team, not that 7-9 team.”
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