The NFL playoffs Wild Card Weekend closes tonight when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into this game having lost four of their last seven games. The Buccaneers are a rare division winner with a losing record on the season. At age 45 Tom Brady has finally started showing signs of serious decline this season. Brady posted the lowest QBR of his illustrious career, as well as the lowest yards per passing attempt and the lowest TD percentage of his career. Statistically Brady was more or less an NFL average quarterback this season. With Brady in decline the Buccaneers offense fell off a cliff. The Buccaneers scored more than 23 points just twice all season. and the Buccaneers ranked just 25th in the NFL in points scored. Such a mediocre offense led directly to a team with a losing record, and a team that beat just two winning teams all year. Brady just isn’t the great quarterback we’ve grown accustomed to anymore, and this just isn’t a very good Buccaneers team.
The Dallas Cowboys come into this game winners of six of their last eight games. In contrast to the impotent Buccaneers offense, the Cowboys offense has been an absolute juggernaut in the second half of the season. Prior to a terrible season ending 26 - 6 loss to the Washington Commanders, the Cowboys had scored 27 or more points in nine straight games. In three of those nine games the Cowboys put up 40+ points. With the Buccaneers having all kinds of trouble scoring points and the Cowboys scoring almost at will, this game looks like a difficult challenge for Brady and the Buccaneers.
Much has been made coming into this game of the fact that Tom Brady has never lost to the Cowboys, with a perfect 7-0 record against them. We probably should throw that nugget out the window. This is not the same Tom Brady, and these are not the same Cowboys. The Buccaneers might pull this off at home, but it won’t be easy, and it surely is far from inevitable.
It’s the Buccaneers and the Cowboys to close out the Wild Card Round on Monday night. Use this thread to comment on the game.