TAMPA- You couldn’t have written up a better script than the one the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put together for the 2020 campaign.
In a pandemic season, it was questionable whether Tampa Bay would be able to complete a full season, nonetheless win a world championship. Signing Tom Brady, trading for tight end Rob Gronkowski, signing Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette was all worth it in the end.
When it’s so nice, you make it twice. Two Super Bowl victories- that is- for the Buccaneers. For the second time in franchise history, the Buccaneers were able to hoist the elusive Lombardi Trophy that 32 National Football League teams start out the season chasing.
Tampa Bay (15-5) ran the table despite starting off as a Wild-Card team and won eight straight games en route to winning Super Bowl LV 31-9 over the Kansas City Chiefs in a home game at Raymond James Stadium. With the victory, Brady (21-of-29, 201 yards, 3 touchdowns) won his seventh championship and his first since he left the New England Patriots. Brady, who was named the Super Bowl LV Most Valuable Player award, won six championships with the Patriots.
In what looked to be a titanic matchup between two high flying offenses ended up becoming a somewhat one-sided affair for Tampa Bay. After Kansas City (16-3) started the game off going up 3-0, Tampa Bay scored its first touchdown in the opening quarter on a short throw from Brady to trusty Gronkowski. The Chiefs made what looked to be a huge goal-line stand in the second quarter, but it ended up being for naught.
The Buccaneers scored a 17-yard touchdown on another Brady to Gronkowski pass with 6:05 left and then a dagger with just 10 seconds before halftime. Brady hit Brown on a one-yard throw to give Tampa Bay a commanding 21-9 lead heading into intermission.
The talk of the night was how Kansas City’s backup offensive tackles would handle the Buccaneers’ defensive ends Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul and the answer was not well. Barrett ended the night with two sacks on Patrick Mahomes, who was playing with a turf toe injury that he will have repaired this off-season. The Chiefs had mounted a comeback all postseason long, but it didn’t matter this time around. It would unequivocally be Tampa Bay’s night and well into the morning.
What many will be talking about is how huge the signing of Brady was this off-season to the Buccaneers, as Tampa Bay made the splash of acquiring the former New England signal-caller. Now with Brady winning another Super Bowl title, it’s always about eyeing the next one and that one will be Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, California next year. Wide receiver Mike Evans has already stated he will take less money so Tampa Bay can retain the same team for the 2021 season. Super Bowl LV belonged to Tampa Bay in more ways than one and maybe a repeat could be in the works.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.