Game On…with Rob Kriete! – SEPTEMBER 7
Have you ever gone out for an event with little or no expectations that it would be a good time, but then have the time of your life? Perhaps it’s the right group of friends on a perfect day, and hijinks ensue? Well, that is precisely how the 2020 NFL season felt for Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans. The Bucs were sitting at 7-5 going into their late-season bye week, and their inconsistent play up until then left fans with low expectations to even be a playoff contender let alone a force. At that point, Tampa Bay had just lost to the same team they would beat to win Super Bowl LV at Raymond James, the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-24 and it really wasn’t that close.
Fresh off the much-needed bye, Tom Brady helped transform the Bucs offense, winning eight straight, including the big game. After that, Tampa Bay had the perfect day for a boat parade, and hijinks that involved throwing the Lombardi Trophy between boats ensued.
But, sometimes, after a great day, we try and recreate the day. So, maybe we get the same group of friends together on another perfect day. Jason Licht, the General Manager of the Bucs, and Bruce Arians are doing precisely that. They have brought the whole gang back from Super Bowl LV to make a run at Super Bowl LVI. The 2021 Buccaneer team will be the first NFL team to bring their whole starting team back from a Super Bowl since the 1979-1980 Pittsburgh Steelers. And, that team won both of those Super Bowls, as well, by the way.
So, can this 2021 Tampa Bay Bucs team do the same? If Tom Brady can play 17 games (or close to it) this season, I would argue that they have a legitimate shot. The knuckleheads of ItsSportsMagazine discussed their perspectives last weekend here. Healthy NFL teams are usually successful NFL teams. The 2021 Bucs will need to remain healthy and hungry to repeat. Hall-of-Fame bound Brady has a knack for keeping his teams hungry, mainly by connecting with each teammate. Additionally, Brady will seemingly do whatever it takes to win, whether that means making deep passes, focusing on the ground game, or West-Coast-offense style short passes. So, clearly, the Bucs will rely on Tom Brady’s health to be a Super Bowl contender in 2021.
Sometimes trying to recreate a near perfect day falls flat. It was lightning in a bottle. Yet, sometimes the formula for the time of your life is just being written!
What do you say, fans? Will Tampa Bay repeat as Super Bowl Champs in 2021?
Be safe, everyone.