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Brady and Buccaneers Marching Up the Super Bowl Odds Boards

That one-point season opener loss that Tom Brady took against Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans had many nay-sayers’ pipes running hot.

But the Tom and the Bucs took it to the next three teams they played. They smashed the Carolina Panthers at home in Tampa Bay, then headed over to play in the thin air of Mile High. In Denver, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put up their second double-digit win in a row, dismantling Fangio’s Broncos, 28-10. In Week 4, they had a close call as rookie QB, Justin Herbert rallied for the Los Angeles Chargers. However, Tom Terrific did what Tom does. He threw for roughly 350 yards and dropped 5 TDs on the Chargers, setting new NFL TD records in the process and winning by seven.

After just a one-point road loss to a tough NOLA team, then three straight victories, the Bucs started climbing their way up the Super Bowl 55 odds boards. Wouldn’t it be crazy if they ended up playing in the Super Bowl the very same year that Raymond James Stadium hosts the event?

No team has ever played the Super Bowl in their stadium (Called Super Bowl Curse). Back in 1980, the Los Angeles Rams played in Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The San Francisco 49ers played Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium instead of Candlestick Park.

Is it a Curse?

Some call it a curse. Quite often, the Super Bowl host doesn’t even make the playoffs. But there are also handfuls of season-ending injuries and fluke losses that blow the season of the hosting team.

  • Tony Romo busted his clavicle ending season hopes for the Cowboys in 2010-2011
  • Peyton Manning missed the season due to his neck injury when the Lucas Oil Stadium was to host.
  • Sean Peyton got suspended for Bountygate when the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome was to host in 2012.
  • In 2014, the Cardinals lost both Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton right before the playoffs when the University of Phoenix Stadium was set to host.
  • In 2016, The Niners fired Jim Harbaugh over front office disputes and the team went 5-11.
  • The Vikings almost made it to a home Super Bowl game, but they got SMASHED by the Eagles as favorites, losing a remorseful 38-7.
  • In 2018, the Falcons lost a handful of impact players and were out of contention by Week 15.
  • Hard Rock Stadium in Miami was to host in 2019-2020, and the Dolphins decided to do a fire-sell and then tank for Tua … only to see Tua blow out his hip and fall from the No. 1 draft prospect spot. So, they tanked and tanked … but didn’t have to.

Could 2020 be the year the curse is broken?

Even with a second loss, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still the sixth best team according to ESPN’s FPI. After all, their two losses are both just by one point and on the road. The loss to the Bears in Week 5 came with a solid field goal by Cairo Santos with just a hair over a minute to go.

If we look at the strength of schedule, the Bucs were originally listed as tied for the 16th toughest in the league. Now that the season has begun in earnest, Team Rankings has the Buccaneers at No. 15. So, they don’t have a cakewalk second half of the season ahead of them. Week 6 has the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers heading down to Tampa Bay, then they face the Raiders in Las Vegas before getting a relative bye against the Giants in New York. Then it’s right back to business with the following weeks showing the Saints, Panthers, Rams, Chiefs, then Vikings, before closing out the season soft with the Detroit Lions and two games against the Atlanta Falcons.

I do think the Buccaneers will make the playoffs. I am not sure if they’ll qualify for that round-one bye, but as long as they stay ahead of the Saints, they are in. Heck, even if the Saints march past, they still have a solid chance of clinching a Wild Card spot.

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