TAMPA- If there had been an argument or debate on who the greatest quarterback of all time is within the National Football League signal callers, a significant stop to that came on Sunday night.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16-5) concluded the 2020 season with a dominant 31-9 victory over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium, it marked the franchise’s second world championship. The last time the Buccaneers won a Super Bowl was back in 2002 when Tampa Bay dominated the then Oakland Raiders (now Las Vegas Raiders) 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.
It looked like a similar scene with the Buccaneers defense stopping the league’s No. 1 offense with strong front seven play. The big difference-maker throughout the season, however, was the play of quarterback Tom Brady. The former New England Patriot signed with Tampa Bay last spring after 20 seasons and six championships and has now brought the City of Tampa its second title.
Nothing can underscore the impact of adding Brady to the Buccaneers after Tampa Bay parted ways with Jameis Winston, who was the team’s starter for five seasons. The 2019 and 2020 seasons ended in much different scenarios. 2019 ended with Tampa Bay no longer in playoff contention and playing for pride. It would end with Winston throwing a pick-six to Atlanta Falcons’ linebacker Dion Jones and thus ending the Buccaneers’ once promising season at 7-9. 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions would be Winston’s final stat line.
Fast forward to the 2020 season and the campaign would end with confetti raining all over Raymond James Stadium, as Brady took three knees out of the victory formation to secure Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV win. The final stat line for Brady was much different than Winston’s, as he would throw for 50 touchdowns and 15 interceptions if you combine the regular season and playoffs.
Many have argued about the fact that Brady might be the greatest quarterback of all time, but it seems like this one may not be so hard to talk about any longer. Brady now has won seven championships as a starting quarterback for two different franchises and it doesn’t look like he’s done anytime soon. He has spoken about playing possibly past the age of 45 and beyond. Could this past weekend’s scene be a sign of the future? Could we be seeing a new dynasty starting up in Tampa Bay? Like with Father Time checking in on Brady, only time will tell.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.