TAMPA, Fla. – You would think with too bad football teams, Arizona hosting Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, wouldn’t be considered a huge game. Don’t tell that to Bucs, cornerback Carlton Davis.
“This game is huge,” Davis said. “We’ve got to win out to get into the playoffs. Luckily we’re still in first place in our division, and we still control our own destiny.”
Believe it or not, the Bucs could lose this game and win their final two against Carolina and Atlanta and still get in. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady says the team can’t think like that.
“I think the point is, we’re 15, 16 weeks into the season, including the bye, and the whole season comes down to three really important games,” Brady said. “This is the first of three, and we’re going to battle our ass off to try and make it happen.”
Tampa Bay has lost three of their last four, while Arizona has lost four in a row and 6 of their last 7. The Cardinals are down to their third-string quarterback Trace McSorley, who will be getting his first NFL start Sunday against the Bucs.
In the news: Adding To Tom Brady’s Misery, An FTX Investor Sues Him For Losing His Life Savings
“Whether it was Kyler (Murray) or Colt (McCoy) or whether it’s (Trace) McSorley, they kind of run their system,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said. “All three can run the football, Kyler may be faster than everybody because he has elite speed. They throw it just the same, so we’ve got to prepare for everything.”
The last two opponents, the Bengals, and 49ers, have scored 34 and 35 points against the Bucs. Bowles still thinks his team is playing hard; they just have to play smarter.
“You coach football,” Bowles said. “They make mistakes, coaches make mistakes. If we play together and stay together, we’ll be fine. We coach football, we correct the mistakes, and we move on.”
At 6-8, it’s the most losses Brady has ever had in his NFL career in one season.
“You don’t go 17-0, that’s not the way it goes,” Brady said. You could quit, you could take the easy way out, you could find a way to not play in games. I’m sure a lot of players can do that, but I don’t think there’s a lot of reward in that.”
Brady hasn’t made a decision on whether or not he’ll play next season in Tampa Bay or elsewhere. Brady’s focus, as is the case with his teammates, is to get win number seven on Christmas night in the Arizona desert.
It looks like the Bucs will have right tackle Tristan Wirfs back for this game after missing three games with an ankle injury. Wirfs is the lone Bucs Pro Bowl representative.