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How the Bucs got here

Super Bowl LV is merely days away, which means the 2020 season will have successfully been completed with possibly one of the biggest storylines in football since Peyton Manning took the "Mile High forehead" to the Mile High City. For the first time in 18 years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have returned to the big game while Kansas City is returning for the second-year in a row. What's bigger than the Bucs being the first team in NFL history to host a Super Bowl and play as the home team in that very Super Bowl? Well simple, the Bucs are doing all that, in Tom Brady's first season under center.


Now before some get in their feelings, let's talk about how the "Brady Effect" has helped propel this young team to this very position.


Decreased turnovers have increased the chances to win

Call it what you want but "check your stat sheets" because the Bucs have proven that when you don't have costly mistakes that lead to turnovers, it increases your chances of remaining in and/or winning the game, which the Bucs have done a great job at doing.


Also with Brady commanding the offense, other aspects of the offense improved this season such as the running game along with improvements on the offensive line. It seemed like as the season progressed, the offense truly reached their potential all the way from the offensive line, back, and receivers. Let me reiterate this point, this isn't saying it's all because of Brady because the offense has been tremendous, the point is that Brady has brought in a winning culture to an offense that was already "statistically great" the previous years.


Growth by the defense has shown on the field

To say the Bucs making it to this stage by their offense would simply be a lie. After spending most of last season having luck fall on the opposite side, the Bucs defense has shown tremendous growth in the second-year under Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles.


After the young secondary struggled much of last season while showing glimpses of their potential, they definitely took the leap in the right direction this season. In 2019, the Bucs secondary seemed to be their Achilles of the defense ranking in the bottom of the league in passing yards (30th-4,322) and passing touchdowns (25th-30 TDs), they're definitely turning the corner in 2020 ranking 21st against the pass and 7th in passing touchdowns.


Now speaking of defense, the area the Bucs didn't need to improve on but still found themselves as the #1 rush defense in the league, even after losing Vita Vea midway through the season. Players such as Rakeem Roches-Nunez aka "Nacho" and Jeremiah Ledbetter stepped into that roll beautifully. With a defensive line officially at full-strength, it'll definitely be a different look come Sunday for Mahomes and the Chiefs. (Note: Brady only has 3 actual wins in 2020, other wins have been attributed to defense and special teams play)


Improved special teams played key role

A critical part to a team's success is more than just solid play by offense and defense but an effective special teams play including great play by kicker Ryan Succop.


Comparing from last season with Matt Gay and the Bucs losing close games that were decided by a field goal or less, while Gay was responsible for hitting 77% of his field goals and 87% of his extra points, while Succop is well over 90% on field goals and 91% on his extra point attempts. The notion that the Bucs could have easily been playoff contenders rather than 7-9 is starting to come more and more true each day.

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