The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should feel fortunate to escape Washington and advance.
It was a true story of David vs. Goliath and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the role of a villain against the Washington Football Team in the Wild Card Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs. Tom Brady and the Bucs may have been the road team but they were the heavy favorites against a group of pesky underdogs.
In the end, it was Tampa Bay that had to feel fortunate after escaping with a 31-23 victory that gives them their first playoff win since demolishing the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. All told, though, the Buccaneers should feel more fortunate than good about their performance. Given just how much adversity Washington had to face with a quarterback issue and the fact that they had nothing to play for, the Bucs didn’t handle their business in the manner many expected.
The Buccaneers are a team that many pegged to possibly make it to the Super Bowl and, more importantly, win their Wild Card game convincingly. But Tampa Bay clearly forgot about the first part as they let the Football Team try and kick down the door.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won, but their biggest challenges lie ahead.
Tampa Bay will fly back from the nation’s capital knowing that they have won a playoff game and they have the right to enjoy it. However, given the nature of the postseason, it would be wise to study this tape and be prepared for the next game. While they were able to hold Chase Young to a point of eating his words, that alone is not much to hang their hats on.
Furthermore, since they potentially will be on the road again for the rest of the playoffs, there is no time to feel relief and rest on their laurels. Instead, it should be a time of dedicating time in the film room to understand the complexities of the opposition — especially consider how, outside of Green Bay, every other opponent left in the NFC is a team that Tampa has lost to this season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can enjoy a playoff win, as they should. But the road is only going to get tougher. Should they want to make history as the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium, they must step up their level of execution.