Tom Brady has guided the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back to the playoffs for the first time in well over a decade. Brady has accomplished that feat behind an impressive 21st campaign that has put him in the NFL record books in many regards. His strong finish to the 2020 regular season has also secured him a significant payday bonus.
Tom Brady helps Buccaneers secure 11th win
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered Week 17 with a playoff berth already secured, but still plenty on the line.
The Buccaneers’ offense guided them to a comfortable 44-27 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Star quarterback Tom Brady headed the charge with an impressive outing, completing 26-of-41 passes for 399 yards with four touchdowns to an interception with a 117.8 passer rating.
With Mike Evans suffering a knee injury early in the contest, Antonio Brown stepped up with a massive outing with 11 catches on 14 targets for 138 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. Chris Godwin chipped in with five catches for 133 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Ronald Jones provided stability in the running game with 78 yards on 12 attempts and a touchdown. Brady’s huge outing gave him 40 touchdown passes for the 2020 regular season, which put him alongside Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to reach that feat with two different franchises.
The 43-year-old’s performance helped the Buccaneers secure the fifth overall seed, which gives them a first-round matchup against the NFC East division winner. Brady’s huge outing also earned him a big payday bonus.
Tom Brady cashes in on $562,500 bonus payday
When Tom Brady inked his fully guaranteed two-year, $60 million deal with the Buccaneers, it included some performance incentives.
Brady secured one of those lofty bonuses in Week 17 as his impressive outing against the Falcons in the season finale. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, his play all but earned him $562,500 for finishing in the top five in the NFL passing yards. The 43-year-old entered the day ranking fifth in the league (4,234), nearly 200 yards ahead of Aaron Rodgers (4,059), who sat in sixth place.
His 399 passing yards in the win over the Falcons push him to 4,633 yards, which moves ahead of Matt Ryan for fourth on the list. Ryan entered the regular-season finale only 82 yards above Brady, which he finished with 265 passing yards, placing him at 4,581 for the season.
That alone will secure him the lofty bonus that adds to his impressive 21st campaign significantly contributed to the Buccaneers returning to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
With that in the books, Brady and Tampa Bay can finally shift their focus on making a deep playoff run toward the Super Bowl.
Eyeing Super Bowl push
Although the Buccaneers didn’t secure an NFC South division title, they have reached the playoffs.
Since Tom Brady’s arrival, expectations have remained around a possible Super Bowl push. The Buccaneers will have a favorable first-round matchup against either the Washington Football Team or New York Giants.
The only concern heading into the postseason remains on star wide receiver Mike Evans, who suffered a knee injury against the Falcons. Following the game, head coach Bruce Arians voiced that the team will know about the situation after the MRI return results, but did state there is no structural damage.
The Buccaneers have plenty of talent in their passing game to pick up the slack with Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and Scotty Miller.
Their playoff hopes will hinge on Brady’s shoulders in the stacked NFC postseason picture. It’s an opportunity for him to add to his legacy with another Super Bowl push.