The Buccaneers won their first playoff game since Super Bowl XXXVII on Saturday night, but the postgame reaction wasn’t totally celebratory.
Head coach Bruce Arians said the defense was “terrible” until the final minutes and quarterback Tom Brady found things were lacking on his side of the ball as well. Brady credited wide receiver Mike Evans for playing through an injury and running back Leonard Fournette for stepping into a bigger role when Ronald Jones got hurt in warmups, but said the team has to do more than they did in the 31-23 win over Washington.
“They both played great, and we needed them to play great,” Brady said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “They made a bunch of big plays when we needed them to. It was a tough, hard-nosed game. They had a lot of fight. We had opportunities to pull away and just didn’t do it. We didn’t score enough points in the red area. There’s certainly a lot to improve on. We’ll figure out who we’re playing tomorrow and go from there.”
If the Saints beat the Bears, the Bucs will have to go to New Orleans to face a team that beat them twice in the regular season. A Bears win would mean the Bucs get to host the Rams next weekend.