Buccaneers cement status as a legitimate team


Brace yourselves, it could be a nice season in the making for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into the final five games.

We haven’t been able to type that since 2010, and they didn’t appear poised for a playoff spot since 2007. Buccaneers fans: The wait is over. This is a juggernaut in the making and the team seriously means business now.

The Week 1 win in Atlanta over the NFC South-leading Falcons was fun — don’t get us wrong. The Week 11 win over the Kansas City Chiefs was fun. But how about this win against the Seattle Seahawks, one of the NFL’s premier teams?

Yeah, the Buccaneers are going to be a fun team to watch the rest of the year. Yes, they were inconsistent for much of the season. We can’t forget that 1-3 start. But the Buccaneers have gone 5-2 since, beating two of the NFL’s best teams during that span.

Jameis Winston didn’t have his best game. He did complete just 21 passes for 220 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But Mike Evans had a huge day against Richard Sherman, catching eight passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

To have your receiver dominate against the NFL’s top cornerback is something special. The Seahawks have a legitimate MVP candidate in Russell Wilson, but he was held to 17 completions for 151 yards and two interceptions. Seattle’s offense only managed one field goal.

The ground game also won in the trenches, picking up 118 yards on 35 carries.

These last two weeks, it’s been a team effort. The Buccaneers came out and played great football on both offense and defense. That’s why they’re closing in on the Falcons in the NFC South race.


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