The 2022 Buccaneers had something going, until they didn’t. But playing a game in Cleveland that Tampa Bay should have won and losing it is, to quarterback Tom Brady, better than the alternative.
“Look, losing is hard for all of us, but I’d rather lose and play than not play at all,” Brady said on the latest episode of his Let’s Go! podcast, via JoeBucsFan.com.
“I love playing. I love competing. I love trying to be a little bit better every day. I love going out there with a sense of purpose to try to get better. And ultimately, I love trying to play at a championship level for my teammates. . . . And obviously there’s challenges every year. Everybody has unique challenges, you know, on and off the field. You work as hard as you can with the circumstances that are presented before you. We’re just going to keep fighting ’til the end and we’ll be measured by, again, by what happens over the course of a long season.”
Even at 5-6, the Buccaneers remain in first place in the worst division football, the NFC South. Winning the division results in a ticket to a home game in the wild-card round, and the No. 4 seed. (Two years ago, the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl as the No. 5 seed.)
It gets no easier in the coming weeks. The Saints come to town next Monday night. Then, it’s a short-week, long trip to San Francisco. After that, the Bucs host the Bengals.
Even if they lose two or three of those, it may not keep them from ultimately winning the division. And all that matters, if they get there, is where they are as of the wild-card round.