NFL

Super Bowl LV: Buccaneers' defense stepped up again – Brady

By Sports Desk February 08, 2021

Tom Brady hailed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense for stepping up after another dominant display in their Super Bowl LV victory.

Brady won a record-extending seventh Super Bowl title as the Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 on Sunday.

The Buccaneers became the first team to win three games against former Super Bowl MVPs in the same postseason after overcoming Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs).

Mahomes was intercepted twice and sacked three times and Brady said the Buccaneers' defense delivered again.

"They stepped up to the challenge. You go up against a guy like Pat, incredible player, Aaron, MVP, two weeks ago they played incredible and then Drew they played great," Brady told a news conference.

"They stepped up, they rose to the occasion and we needed it because playing extremely talented offenses but just so happy we all came to play."

While Mahomes completed 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards, Brady was 21 of 29 for 201 yards and three touchdowns and was named Super Bowl MVP.

The Buccaneers quarterback was full of praise for his team's belief after Tampa Bay won a first Super Bowl since the 2002 season.

"I think everybody believed we could win. I think all year we believed in ourselves," Brady said.

"Our coaches believed in us, we believed in ourselves and again we were going up against a great team and just happy we got the job done."

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    Last Thursday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said Tom Brady was taking some planned time off and was scheduled to re-join the team after their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.  

    A week later, Bowles admitted he didn't know exactly when the future Hall of Fame quarterback would return. 

    "We'll see. We'll talk about it next week," Bowles said, via The Athletic. "I'm not concerned about it right now. We're trying to practice against Tennessee and play a game. I said sometime after Tennessee. There's no definitive date for me. We'll keep in touch and find out."

    That update seemed to contrast what Bowles said a week ago, when he revealed Brady left training camp to "deal with some personal things" and implied everything was worked out. 

    "This is something we talked about before training camp started," Bowles said last Thursday. "We allotted this time because [Brady] wanted to get in and get chemistry with the guys and go through two weeks of training camp."

    Brady was not slated to play in Tampa Bay's first preseason game against Miami last weekend or the Titans matchup, so the absence isn't entirely shocking for a 45-year-old quarterback who has had plenty of practice reps over a pro career that began in 2000. 

    However, Bowles' uncertainty as to when his first-choice QB will return is somewhat curious. 

    Brady famously retired briefly this past offseason before announcing in mid-March that he would return for a third season with Tampa Bay and 23rd in the NFL after leading the league with a career-high 5,316 passing yards in 2021, while also ranking first in passing touchdowns with 43.  

    He led the Buccaneers to a 13-4 regular-season record and NFC South crown last year, but their season ended with a 27-20 loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs. 

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    Liverpool finished one point behind champions Manchester City last season, but they have started the 2022-23 campaign with draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace.

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    "This week we showed a lot of good spirit and fight in training, and we've got to bring that to the game on Monday."

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