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Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set for another Super Bowl run in 2021? | NFL News



Can Tom Brady lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back to the Super Bowl in 2021?

It’s the start of a new NFL season. Thursday night, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, with things looking very different to when we were last there for Super Bowl LV seven months ago.

Firstly, and most notably following the Covid-affected 2020 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin their title defence in front of a full house of fans when they kick off against the Dallas Cowboys.

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Covid is still here and, despite some teams’ best efforts to get their playing staff fully vaccinated, it will still no doubt be a factor in 2021. But, after a year of football being played in front of vast, empty stadiums and cardboard cut-outs of The Rock and Queen Elizabeth II, fans being back is a beautiful thing.

Also, this year, the numbers have changed; running backs, receivers, linebackers and defensive backs are now all allowed to wear any number between 1 and 49.

You’ll have DeSean Jackson wearing No 1, with fellow wideout Robert Woods No 2, while safety Jordan Fuller sports No 4 and cornerback Jalen Ramsey No 5. And that’s just for the Rams, let alone the confusion that will reign when added to the other 31 teams.

You have Matthew Stafford now the quarterback in Los Angeles too, following a blockbuster offseason trade from Detroit. Dak Prescott is back from injury for Dallas, as is Joe Burrow for Cincinnati and Christian McCaffrey for Carolina, where he will team up with former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. Carson Wentz, meanwhile, has made the switch from Philadelphia to Indianapolis.

Tom Pelissero reports the New England Patriots have released Cam Newton and have named rookie quarterback Mac Jones their Week One starter

Tom Pelissero reports the New England Patriots have released Cam Newton and have named rookie quarterback Mac Jones their Week One starter

Tom Pelissero reports the New England Patriots have released Cam Newton and have named rookie quarterback Mac Jones their Week One starter

The Drew Brees-less Saints enter the ‘eating-a-W’ era of Jameis Winston in New Orleans; Ryan Fitzpatrick has another new team, upping sticks to Washington this season. Julio Jones is now a Titan, A.J. Green and J.J. Watt are now Cardinals and Cam Newton doesn’t even have a team, axed by the Patriots.

But, the more things change, the more they stay the same. And Tom Brady is, once again, a Super Bowl champion!

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is adamant the Chiefs need to improve after their crushing Super Bowl defeat at the hands of Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is adamant the Chiefs need to improve after their crushing Super Bowl defeat at the hands of Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is adamant the Chiefs need to improve after their crushing Super Bowl defeat at the hands of Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady won his seventh ring in 2020, his first season in Tampa Bay, as the Bucs bullied the Kansas City Chiefs to triumph 31-9 in Super Bowl LV. And he’s back again in 2021, now at the grand old age of 44, and with Tampa returning all 22 of their Super Bowl starters.

While the Chiefs’ win over the San Francisco 49ers in the title game the year before appeared to herald the dawn of a new era, the creation of a new dynasty, Brady proved – yet again – that this is still his league.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2020 Tale of the Tape

Offense Defense
Total 7th 6th
Passing 2nd 21st
Rushing 28th 1st
Scoring 3rd 8th

Leading the Bucs to an 11-5 record in his first season in Florida, Brady threw for 4,633 yards – the fifth-highest mark of his storied NFL career – as well as tossing 40 touchdowns, second only to the 50 thrown in his league-MVP-winning 2007 season.

Brady now needs just 1,155 pass yards to surpass Drew Brees (80,358) for the most in NFL history, and could potentially achieve the feat on his return to Foxborough as the Patriots host the Bucs in Week Four. Now wouldn’t that be something?!

Brady would need to average approximately 290 yards per game for that to happen; his 2020 season average, 289.5 per game.

Yet, as much as Brady would celebrate such an achievement and would, no doubt, love to do it in a stadium he called home for 20 years, in front of his adoring fans and a certain former stone-faced coach of his on the sidelines, it’s still all about one thing for him: winning.

This season, as with every season for Brady, has to end with confetti falling in early February for it to be deemed a success.

And he has given himself the best possible chance of doing that yet again this season, with this Buccaneers squad just as stacked as they were a season ago.

Tampa Bay's Shaq Barrett believes the Buccaneers can go on to have the best defense in the history of the NFL

Tampa Bay’s Shaq Barrett believes the Buccaneers can go on to have the best defense in the history of the NFL

Tampa Bay’s Shaq Barrett believes the Buccaneers can go on to have the best defense in the history of the NFL

Of their 22 returning starters, Tampa applied the franchise tag to wide receiver Chris Godwin, they rewarded edge-rusher Shaq Barrett with a new four-year, $72m deal, ensured Devin White kept his partner-in-crime at linebacker by signing Lavonte David up to a new, two-year, $25 million extension.

They have also retained Rob Gronkowski – the second-highest-paid tight end for the 2021 season – as well as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, running back Leonard Fournette and receiver Antonio Brown, among others.

“All offseason, the one thing we heard about the Bucs is they’re bringing back all 22 starters,” said Good Morning Football‘s Peter Schrager this week. “Can the Bucs answer this hype?

Good Morning Football's panel make their predictions on who they think will win the league's Most Valuable Player award for the 2021 season

Good Morning Football’s panel make their predictions on who they think will win the league’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2021 season

Good Morning Football’s panel make their predictions on who they think will win the league’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2021 season

“Last year it was this incredible uphill climb to start the season. They were dealing with a Covid-riddled offseason, where no one was in person and he [Brady] had to learn a whole new offense.

“They lost to the Saints, to the Rams, to the Bears. But then it clicked mid-season.

“Imagine that same team without that uphill climb, where it’s all smooth sailing? They’ve got everybody coming back. I think Brady is coming in dialled in and this Buccaneers team is ready to go.

“They should win this game [against the Cowboys] by 30. They should win every game by 30 – they’re that good.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 schedule

Thursday September 9 vs Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, September 19 vs Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, September 26 @ Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, October 3 @ New England Patriots
Sunday, October 10 vs Miami Dolphins
Thursday, October 14 @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, October 24 vs Chicago Bears
Sunday, October 31 @ New Orleans Saints
BYE WEEK
Sunday, November 14 @ Washington
Monday, November 22 vs New York Giants
Sunday, November 28 @ Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, December 5 @ Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, December 12 vs Buffalo Bills
Sunday, December 19 vs New Orleans Saints
Sunday, December 26 @ Carolina Panthers
Sunday, January 2 @ New York Jets
Sunday, January 9 vs Carolina Panthers

Not that Brady will be getting complacent. And he has already called on those returning team-mates of his to follow his lead.

“I think that’s what you’ve got to guard against [complacency,” Brady told the Tampa Bay Times this week. “You can’t think that it’s just going to go the way it went last year, so we already know what to expect and let’s just play with the same level of effort.”

Brady knows what it is like to repeat, and how difficult it is, with his 2003-04 Patriots squad the last team to do so. This year the NFL will be ready for Brady’s Bucs.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, in particular, will be out for revenge, while the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and even the Cleveland Browns can all consider themselves contenders from a stacked AFC.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has stated his frustration at not winning another Super Bowl with the Seahawks in recent years

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has stated his frustration at not winning another Super Bowl with the Seahawks in recent years

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has stated his frustration at not winning another Super Bowl with the Seahawks in recent years

And while the NFC arguably doesn’t run quite as deep, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are both back in situ, in Green Bay and Seattle respectively, while the Rams and a rejuvenated 49ers squad should be in the mix with the Buccaneers, who get the first test of their title credentials against a talent-rich Cowboys roster on Thursday night.

But, before the action on the field gets underway, this new-look 2021 NFL season will start in very familiar fashion, the sight of Brady watching on as yet another championship banner is unveiled.

For the latest news, features and interviews, stay across skysports.com/nfl and on follow us on Twitter @SkySportsNFL.





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