Continuing our look at the best-of-the-best for the 2020-21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we take to the field today and identify five nomination worthy games from the regular season.
The argument could be made the four best games for the Bucs came in January and February. So we’ll keep this contained to the regular season, again leaning on differing motivations hoping to give each reader of Bucs Nation motivation for picking whichever game they see as the standout contest of the year.
Here are your nominees!
WEEK 5 vs CHICAGO BEARS
Ah, yes. The game which gave berth to the infamous gif and image of Tom Brady holding up four fingers. Fortunately, it’s since been turned into a rallying cry of sorts, and those who mocked it are now having it used against them as Bucs Nation continues to celebrate Super Bowl success.
Still, it’s hard not to look at this game as a growing pain which may have in fact sparked the growth we saw help the Buccaneers avoid the judgement of a flag-happy officiating crew in the last game of the year.
With the loss of Vita Vea and the ridiculous amount and nature of penalties in this game, the fact the Bucs actually had a chance to win it at the end is amazing. The lessons they took away - as pointed out by head coach Bruce Arians - and getting Vea back for the last two games, turned out to be invaluable.
Almost worth it in the end.
WEEK 6 vs GREEN BAY PACKERS
Nothing washes the taste of a nasty loss away like an even nastier win. After committing eleven penalties against the Chicago Bears, the Buccaneers committed just six the following week.
That, on top of a masterful defensive performance helping Tampa Bay come back from an early 10-0 deficit gave the Bucs perhaps their best win of the year from an emotional standpoint.
But was it the game of the year in retrospect?
WEEK 12 vs KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Like the Chicago Bears before, this is kind of a results justifies the means sort of candidate.
The Kansas City Chiefs jumped all over the Buccaneers defense early, and Tom Brady’s group didn’t do a whole lot to balance the fight out a bit. At least, early on, that was the case.
This game has been billed as the tale of two halves, but really its the tale of one quarter, and then the other three.
In three quarters of this game, the Buccaneers out scored the Chiefs 24-10 from the beginning of the second quarter, on. Some said it was because the Chiefs took their foot off the pedal. In the second quarter?
No. The Buccaneers settled down and came up with some key adjustments resulting in just a three point loss to the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Fast-forward to Super Bowl LV, and the Buccaneers have now outscored the Chiefs 55-19 over the past seven quarters of play. Quite significant, and it all came from the butt-kicking they suffered in the first fifteen minutes of exposure to Patrick Mahomes II and his group of weapons.
WEEK 15 vs ATLANTA FALCONS
Coming out of the bye week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers we saw in the playoffs started to take shape. We saw a more committed effort to balanced offensive strategies in wins against the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons in Week 15.
This game though, for many people, represents a turning point. Again, the Buccaneers fell behind 17-0, but this time it was to a Falcons team who wasn’t destined for the postseason.
It became now or never time, so to speak. Either the Buccaneers were going to become a team which could impose its will through smart plays and efficient execution, or they weren’t.
The result? A 31-10 two quarters of play for the Bucs, and a big win which showed the players, coaches, and all watching once and for all, this team was never truly out of a game.
WEEK 16 vs DETROIT LIONS
The clincher. A 47-7 win clinched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first trip to the NFL Playoffs since 2007, and they did it in impressive fashion.
We had seen this team fall behind early only to come back and pull out the win. In this game, Tampa Bay jumped all over the host team, to the tune of a 34-0 first half lead.
In this game, Brady also set the franchise record for touchdown passes in a single-season. A record he would go on to expand in this game and the final regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons.
It may not have been the most competitive contest of the year, but the symbolism it carries is significant, and therefor it makes the list.
Which game was THE Game of the Year in the 2020 Regular Season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
This poll is closed
Week 5 vs Chicago Bears
Week 6 vs Green Bay Packers
Week 12 vs Kansas City Chiefs
Week 15 vs Atlanta Falcons
Week 16 vs Detroit Lions