- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Detroit Lions 47-7 on Sunday to book their first playoff appearance since 2007.
- Tom Brady threw for 348 yards with four touchdowns in the first half to give the Bucs a 34-0 lead after two quarters.
- The Bucks can finish 5th in the NFC if they beat the Falcons next week and if the Rams lose one of their remaining two games.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Tom Brady during the offseason to get them to the playoffs. On Sunday, Brady helped the Bucs punch a ticket to the postseason for the first time in over a decade. And he did it in spectacular fashion.
FINAL: The @Buccaneers score 7 TDs in Week 16! #GoBucs #TBvsDET pic.twitter.com/IXhGn9zyXo
— NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2020
Having won six Super Bowl titles, Tom Brady has been in some of the biggest games in the history of the NFL. He’s put up too many sensational performances but on Sunday, Brady had the biggest first half of his legendary career, at the age of 43.
Biggest First Half of Career
[email protected] at the half:
Perfect 158.3 passer rating#GoBucs
?: #TBvsDET on @NFLNetwork
?: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/gD1d3IPg1x pic.twitter.com/pF34XA8S24
— NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2020
With Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes on the line, the oldest current player in the NFL completed 22 of 27 passes for 348 yards with four touchdowns. That was easily the biggest first half performance of his legendary career, and is topped only by his 367yard second half against the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 as his best half ever. It’s also the first time since 2014 where Brady’s thrown at least four touchdowns in the first half of a regular season game.
Brady found Rob Gronkowski on a fade route for a 33-yard touchdown on Tampa Bay’s opening possession. The TD was Brady’s first score on the team’s opening drive since Week 4 of the season and it was his 33rd TD of the year, tyring Jameis Winston’s franchise mark set last year. That was just the beginning.
He then hit Mike Evans for a 27-yard connection on a go-route. Chris Godwin’s diving catch produced the third touchdown while Antonio Brown’s 12-yard catch gave the Buccaneers a 34-0 lead at the half. Brady now has 36 touchdowns on the season, a new franchise mark for Tampa Bay with still one game left to play. He now has at least 35 touchdowns in five different seasons, tying Aaron Rodgers for the most in NFL history.
Bucs Going To The Playoffs
Tom Brady is heading back to the playoffs — not unusual for him, but very much so for his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who routed the Detroit Lions.
By @LarryLage: https://t.co/W36nlA2iLl
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) December 26, 2020
Tampa Bay entered the 2020 season with the longest current playoff drought among NFC teams. Sunday’s 47-7 win over the Lions punched their ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2007. The Bucs are the 7th team to book a playoff ticket after the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Buffalo Bills in the AFC.
But while making the playoffs was something new to the Bucs, it was not unusual for Brady who will be making an NFL-record 12th consecutive playoff appearance. Prior to joining the Bucs this season, Brady led the New England Patriots to 11 consecutive division titles and six Super Bowl wins. With Brady gone, the Pats not only didn’t win their division this season but they also missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Talk about the Brady effect.
Now that they have made the playoffs, Tampa Bay hopes to get to 11 wins and move up the ladder. Should the Los Angeles Rams lose to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday or the Cardinals next weekend, the Bucs could move to 5th in the NFC if they take care of business against the Atlanta Falcons in their last assignment of the season. If they beat Atlanta and Los Angeles loses one of those games, Tampa Bay will face the NFC East winner in the playoffs. Right now, the Washington Football Team leads that division. If the WFT ends up as the 4th seed, Tampa Bay will have a chance to go deeper in the postseason.