With quarterback Tom Brady on board, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl title this season. The Buccaneers, especially during their early years, have never been serious contenders. In fact, the team was the laughingstock of the league right out of the gate. When did the Buccaneers come into the NFL?
Expectations are high for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
According to Vegas Insider, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are favored to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. After 20 seasons as quarterback for the New England Patriots, six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady joined the Bucs. The Buccaneers have since gone all-in, trading for Rob Gronkowski and then signing troubled free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown last week.
Despite all the preseason hype, the Buccaneers got off to a slow start this season. Brady and the Buccaneers dropped the highly anticipated season opener to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Brady was intercepted twice in the game. After the game, Tampa head coach Bruce Arians called out Brady for making a poor decision on one of the throws.
Tampa then won three straight and then fell to 3-2 with a Thursday night loss to the Chicago Bears. In Week 6, the Buccaneers scored 38 unanswered points in a 38-10 victory over the then-unbeaten Green Bay Packers. In Week 7, the Bucs improved to 5-2 after putting up 45 points in a win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finally a threat
In 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. The Bucs, under head coach Jon Gruden, went 12-4 that season and brought home the franchise’s first and only Super Bowl title. Since then, it’s been a struggle in Tampa.
In the 17 years since their championship, the Buccaneers have had just two seasons with double-digit victories. They have had only five winning seasons since 2002. Since Gruden left after the 2008 season, the Buccaneers have been through five different head coaches.
Bruce Arians is in his second year as head coach of the Buccaneers. He finished last season with a 7-9 record. He replaced Dirk Koetter, who went 5-11 in both 2017 and 2018. This season, the Buccaneers have loaded up and it’s all or nothing in Tampa.
How long have the Buccaneers been around?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the NFL in 1976 as one of two expansion teams. They came into the league with the Seattle Seahawks and were woeful from the beginning. The Buccaneers lured head coach John McKay from USC to run the show.
McKay went 127-40-8 at USC and struggled mightily to earn his first victory in the NFL. McKay and the Buccaneers went winless in their first season, going 0-14. The following season, the Buccaneers lost the first 12 games and then earned their first victory in franchise history by defeating the New Orleans Saints.
McKay went 44-88-1 in nine seasons with the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers had their first winning season in 1979 when they went 10-6 and lost in the NFC title game. Luckily, McKay had a sense of humor during his tenure with the Bucs. After one game during the team’s 26-game losing streak, he was asked what he thought about his team’s execution. He quipped, “I’m in favor of it.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.