Even though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have clinched their playoff berth, quarterback Tom Brady explained why he will be playing in Week 18.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have nothing to play for in Week 18. Last week, they were able to win the NFC South title for the second year in a row after defeating the Carolina Panthers 30-24 after overcoming a 21-10 deficit. With that, they are locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC and will host a Wild Card Round game against either the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles.
With this, there’s not much to play for in Week 18 for the Buccaneers. It could be used as a way for the team to rest up their starters for their first-round playoff matchup. Quarterback Tom Brady explained on his podcast why he wants to play in Tampa Bay’s regular-season finale against the Atlanta Falcons.
The quote comes from Greg Auman of FOX Sports.
Tom Brady explains why he wants to play in Week 18 vs. Falcons
“I think when you say it’s meaningless, I understand the context, but I don’t think anything’s meaningless,” said Brady. “And everything’s in preparation for what’s ahead. I think that you could look at, okay, it’s not gonna matter per standing, but it matters because you’re a professional. It matters because it’s a performance. It matters because it’s your job. It matters because it’s football season and we’re paid to be football players and, you know, it’s all these decisions. I’m not the head coach, so I don’t make those decisions, and I’ll obviously, whatever he wants to do I support it, but, you know, I love going out there and playing. I love trying to get better. We’re 8-8. We don’t have all our problems solved. I mean, I look at it like, man, we gotta use every opportunity, every day of practice to get better.”
That sentiment was shared by head coach Todd Bowles earlier in the week, who said that he plans on playing Brady and the starters.
“We can get better at a lot of things, so right now, we plan on playing him,” said Bowles, h/t ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “We’ll see how the week goes going forward, but we can get better at a lot of things that we need to work on, and we don’t need our foot off the gas.”
The Buccaneers have been far from the form they were in the previous two seasons. They’ve dealt with injuries across the offensive line and wide receivers room, but they were able to pick up some much-needed wins. Look no further than the team’s last-minute wins over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9 and the New Orleans Saints in Week 13. Then, obviously, the much-needed comeback to clinch the division.
Brady has played in all 16 of Tampa Bay’s games entering Week 18, where he recorded 4,610 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while completing 66.6 percent of his passes. Brady leads the league with 477 completions and 716 pass attempts.
So there you have it, Buccaneers fans. Expect the starters to play in Week 18 ahead of their Wild Card round matchup.