‘Bucs’ Brady: ‘It’s not really who is favored or not favored’

The 2023 NFL playoffs could be Tom Brady’s last ride, and of course, he wants to go out on top, but according to Vegas, the Buccaneers’ season will end Monday night in Tampa Bay against the Cowboys(12-5) in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

The Buccaneers(8-9) are home underdogs(Cowboys 2.5 point favorites), but according to Brady, none of that matters.

“It’s not really who is favored or not favored; it’s who plays the best,” Brady said Friday. “I’ve never really paid attention to those things. I just try to go play the best I can.”

During the 2020 Super Bowl run, the Buccaneers wore white jerseys, pewter pants, and helmets. In addition, Tampa Bay defeated the Cowboys 19-3 in the season-opener, but Brady knows that the jerseys and the previous matchups don’t matter. 

“Yeah, they’ve got a great team,” he said. “I’ve played them quite a bit over the years, and I have a lot of respect for the organization, their history, a lot of great players. But all of its about three hours on Sunday – Monday night – and everything’s going to come down to what we do those three hours. Nothing in the past, nothing about the color jerseys we’re wearing. It’s who’s playing, what we’re doing, how we’re executing, how we’re executing under pressure. That’s what it’s going to come down to.”

For the Buccaneers, it’s win or go home, and Brady, who won seven Super Bowls titles and has the most playoff wins in NFL history, knows this all so well.

“Yeah, I feel there’s a lot urgency naturally this week,” Brady said. “Everyone knows what we’re playing for – you’re playing for a chance to move on. There’s no, ‘Oh, we were close,’ or, ‘It was almost there. Two more plays.’ Look at two seasons ago – we ended up winning it all [and] there was a lot of really close plays. Last year, it comes down to plays at the end of the game that they made, and we didn’t. You’re going to have make the plays at the end. It’s tough because there’s good teams, and there’s little margin of error. All these teams are well-coached, they’ve got good offenses, good defenses, they’ve got a lot of good playmakers. These are the best teams that are playing right now, and you’ve got to play [well] if you want to advance.”

Before losing to the Falcons in a meaningless game in their regular-season finale, Tampa Bay had won two straight, and in the NFL, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s not the best team that always wins, but it’s the teams that are playing the best, which Brady discussed on Friday.

“It’s not the best team that wins; it’s the team that plays the best [that] wins,” he said. “I was part of a team that won every game until the Super Bowl, and we didn’t play the best that day, and we lost, and you don’t end up reaching your goal. I’ve been on the other end of it where I was a big underdog, my first year starting against the Rams, and we played better than they did that day. But that’s all that matters. That’s what single elimination is all about. You’ve got to be at your best in that moment.”

By record and on paper, the Cowboys are the better team, but as we’ve seen throughout his 23-year career, Brady can still make things happen but at age 45, and with the talent on the Buccaneers, that might be a tall order.

Leave a Reply