With the new NFL season upon us, fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be slowly coming back down to earth after their sensational Super Bowl triumph back in February. It was a night to remember for everyone associated with the franchise, as legendary quarter-back Tom Brady inspired his side to a convincing 31-9 win over defending champions Kansas City Chiefs.
Amid the build-up to the new campaign, there has been much speculation as to whether or not the Bucs can replicate their success last season. The Super Bowl triumph was the result of pure momentum — they simply couldn’t stop winning in the postseason play-offs. It’ll take a mammoth performance to defend their crown, but for now, let’s look back at how they upset the NFL betting odds to win the Super Bowl last term.
Whilst 11 wins and five defeats represented a decent regular-season record, the Bucs were pipped to the NFC South title by the New Orleans Saints, who won a game more. Whilst they had some good victories, there was nothing really to suggest that Tampa Bay could go all the way and win the Super Bowl, especially given they entered the play-offs in the wild card round.
But in the shape of Tom Brady, they had a quarter-back who knows what it takes to win. And with the now 44-year-old’s immense experience, there was always a chance that things could click for the Buccaneers.
Their first play-off opponents were the Washington Football Team, who had qualified with an inferior record of seven wins and nine losses. It was a game that Tampa Bay were expected to win, but in the play-offs, there can be no room for complacency. Indeed, the game was incredibly close heading into the fourth quarter, with the Bucs leading by two points, but Brady and co. pulled clear in the end to secure a 31-23 win.
From there, the Buccaneers were matched up against the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round. The Saints were one of the most-fancied teams in the postseason having enjoyed a fine regular season campaign, but the momentum gained from beating Washington seemed to give Tampa Bay that extra bit of belief. With the scores level at 20-20 heading into the fourth quarter, the Bucs pushed on and scored 10 unanswered points to win 30-20 and book their spot in the NFC Championship Game.
Awaiting the Buccaneers in the NFC final was the Green Bay Packers, another team highly fancied in the NFL betting tips to go all the way and win the Super Bowl. But it felt as though it was written in the stars for Tampa Bay to make it to the Super Bowl, and they produced a stunning display to narrowly overcome the Packers by 31 points to 26. Brady was in superb form, throwing three touchdowns and showing the kind of form that had earned him six prior Super Bowl rings.
Out of nowhere, the Buccaneers had made it to the Super Bowl, harnessing the experience and talent of Brady, and the surging momentum of previous victories, to make it all the way to the showpiece occasion.
As defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs were most people’s favourites to reign supreme in the Super Bowl, despite the game taking place at the Buccaneers home venue, the Raymond James Stadium. With a limited but boisterous crowd in attendance, it became clear that the Chiefs and their star quarter-back Patrick Mahomes were nervous, and with the fans vociferously backing the Buccaneers, Brady and his teammates soon took control.
In the end, it was something of a procession, with Tampa Bay running out 31-9 winners. It was a seventh Super Bowl triumph for Brady, and after scoring at least 30 points in all of their play-off games, you couldn’t say that the Bucs didn’t deserve their victory. Can they repeat the trick in 2022? We’ll just have to wait and see!