Bruce Arians on Buccaneers Clinching Playoff Spot: 'It's Just the Beginning'

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIIDecember 26, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians talks to a coach during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)
Lon Horwedel/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed to the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons, and now that they've made it, head coach Bruce Arians is looking to what comes next.

"It's just the beginning," Arians said, via Greg Auman of The Athletic. "Our goal when we started out, especially this year, was just to get in the dance." 

After upending the Detroit Lions 47-7 on Saturday, the Buccaneers improved to 10-5, their best record since going 10-6 in 2010. 

Credit for Saturday's victory—and much of the Buccaneers' success this season—is due to their new quarterback, Tom Brady, who will play in the postseason for the 12th year in a row. Meanwhile, his team of 20 years, the New England Patriots, had their playoff hopes dashed last week and will play just 16 games for the first time since 2008.

The 43-year-old set a franchise record in the first quarter Saturday when he threw his 34th touchdown pass of the season, and he was pulled at halftime after he collected 348 yards and four touchdowns on 22-of-27 passing. He surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the fourth straight season and the ninth time in 10 years, bringing his season total to 4,296 yards and 36 scores.

Wide receiver Mike Evans led Tampa Bay with 181 yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches, breaking his own record in the process when he grabbed his 13th score of the season. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Antonio Brown also found the end zone in the first half. 

"It means the world," Arians said, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "This is why you coach. You want to have a chance to win a championship. What a great group of guys to coach...we've gotten smarter and more disciplined and it's starting to show." 

Brady, however, wasn't as interested in celebrating the trip to the postseason, telling reporters that he was focused on the team's final game of the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons next week, and that there was "room for improvement.


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