Tom Brady was brought to Tampa Bay to do one thing: win.
So far, so good.
After a 30-20 victory over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night, the Buccaneers are now going to the NFC championship to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
This is a franchise that went 7-9 in 2019 and missed the playoffs for the twelfth straight season. The same one that had 10 wins only once since 2005. And guess what? Brady changed all of that in a single season.
Tampa Bay went 11-5 in the regular season, and have now won two playoff games. This NFC Championship Game will be conference title game No. 14 for Brady, a number that is just silly at this point.
Did Brady’s performance against the Saints look like prime Tom Brady? Statistically, no. He finished with less than 200 yards passing, and his two touchdowns came after the Bucs’ defense forced turnovers and put the offense in prime scoring position.
Still, the six-time Super Bowl champ started to heat up over the course of the game, and he did enough to be a difference-maker for his team. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for Brees, who has now likely played his last game of professional football.
The ultimate goal for Tampa Bay is to win a Super Bowl. With Brady’s experience, that expectation isn’t ridiculous. The former No. 199 overall pick has certainly held up his end of the Super Bowl bargain.
His 4,600-plus yards, 40-plus passing touchdowns and the 11 regular season wins were a great start. Now, it’s time to see if he can get some hardware outside of New England. It will be tough against the Packers, but the Bucs couldn’t be in better position or under better leadership.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.