Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the 2021 NFL season with a 13-4 record and the #2 seed in the NFC. The upgrade from last season by winning the NFC South this year. Getting the #2 seed is crucial as they will have a home wild-card game and winning that guarantees a home divisional game as well. With all that in mind, one can’t help but wonder, can Tom Brady and the Buccaneers be the first team to win repeat super bowls since Brady did it with the Patriots in 2003 and 2004?
The first matchup the Buccaneers will have is hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. On paper, it’s easy to pick the Bucs. The greatest quarterback of all time, playing at one of the highest levels he’s ever been at. Any team going up against them will be nervous. The Eagles however are coming in extremely hot having won 6 of their last 8 and their week 18 blowout loss to the Cowboys was without most starters on both sides of the ball. The Eagles defence comes in ranked #10 in total yards given up and #8 in average yards per play given up.
Their strong suit is mainly rushing defence where they rank 9th in total rush yards allowed and 5th in average rush yards given up per play. While that is formidable, Tampa Bay is likely to not be too concerned with that as their method all season has been high volume passing. Brady finished the season with a total of 719 attempts which is 47 more than 2nd place Justin Herbert. This isn’t an offence that can’t run, they choose not to. And it works. They finished the season first in passing yards, touchdowns and first downs gained by passing plays.
Tom Brady’s age-44 season— Tom Brady Facts (@TB_Facts) January 10, 2022
5,316 yards (7.4 YPA; 313 YPG)
43 TD, 12 INT, 2 rush TD
102.1 passer rating
13-4 record (Bucs: 511 points; 30.1 PPG)
If the Bucs get through Philly it’s likely they’ll face either the Cowboys or Rams. Both teams haven’t been horrible against the pass but they will both find it difficult to slow down Brady’s pass-heavy attack. What this is all building up to is an NFC championship rematch with the Packers in Green Bay once again.
NEW CAREER HIGH FOR TOM BRADY‼️— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 10, 2022
Brady set a personal record for passing yards in a season (5,309+) … AT AGE 44 🐐 pic.twitter.com/kCKvpFxqiH
If this NFC championship rematch happens again, with the seasons both teams have had, signs seem to be pointing to Rodgers and the Packers coming out on top this time. The Packers finished the season with the 9th ranked defence in total yards but more crucially finished 10th in total passing yards allowed and 5th in net passing yards per play. They also intercepted 19 passes. What the Bucs do have going for them is the Packers defence has given up 31 passing touchdowns which is the 3rd most by any team.
Brady will still have a tough time against the Packers defence but where the real struggle comes is stopping the Packers offence. While the Bucs choose to throw more than anyone else, the Packers are much less one-dimensional and will have a healthy David Bakhtiari and Aaron Jones. Not to mention the extra week off as they locked down the #1 seed.
Brady and the Bucs could be the first repeat team in 16 years but it will be quite the task to do it. If they are fortunate with how the playoffs pan out and avoid Lambeau completely, it would be very hard to bet against the GOAT. However, this year is likely to be the year that Rodgers finally claims a second super bowl.