DETROIT- It has been 13 years since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have last reached the playoffs and Saturday afternoon, they had their first opportunity to clinch a berth in the 2020 postseason. The Buccaneers made sure to not disappoint, as they received another big day from quarterback Tom Brady and rolled to a 47-7 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
With the win, the Buccaneers secured a spot in the postseason and now currently sit in the No. 5 seed in the NFC Conference playoffs. Tampa Bay clinched a playoff berth and improved to 10-5 on the season and now will finish up the regular season next weekend when they host the Atlanta Falcons, whom they defeated last Sunday 31-27.
The difference this year has to be the overall play at the quarterback position and Brady has played some of his best football late in the season. Brady finished the afternoon going 22-of-27 for 348 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions for the third straight game. In his last three games, Brady has thrown for eight touchdowns and zero picks, a feat that seemed impossible last season. Tampa Bay (10-5) didn’t start slow out of the gates, as they marched right down the field and Brady ended it with a 33-yard connection with tight end Rob Gronkowski to put the Buccaneers up 6-0.
It was about five minutes later that Tampa Bay struck again, with Brady hitting Mike Evans on a 27-yard strike to put the Bucs up 13-0. The rout was on from there with the Lions having to operate without the services of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, who exited the game after the opening series due to an ankle injury. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel would replace Stafford and he didn’t fair too well against a swarming Buccaneers’ defense.
Evans put himself with striking distance of locking up another 1,000-yard season, as he notched 181 yards receiving and added two touchdowns, setting the new single-season mark at 13 touchdowns. Also setting a record was Brady, who now owns the team record for passing touchdowns in a season, surpassing Jameis Winston’s 33 from a year ago. Brady now has 36 touchdown passes versus just 12 interceptions.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.