After losing two straight games before their bye week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now on a roll, winning three consecutive games to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2007. In that span, veteran quarterback Tom Brady threw for 934 yards and eight touchdowns with no interception, including his 348-yard and four-touchdown performance in just 30 minutes in their 47-7 win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday. In that game, Brady threw his second career “perfect game” against the Lions, earning a 158.3 rating for his effort. Brady’s performance drew praises from various experts, including former NFL wide receiver and now football analyst Brandon Marshall.

During an appearance on Fox Sports’ First Things First, Marshall declared that Brady and the Buccaneers are peaking at the right time. “The Tampa Bay Bucs can play with anybody, especially with how Tom Brady threw the ball in that first half against the Lions,” Marshall said, per a report by Conor Roche of Boston.com. “The truth is, this team is the real deal,” added the former wideout. Adam Kilgore, NFL columnist for The Washington Post, agreed with Marshall’s sentiment, calling Brady a marvel and “he’s starting to be a scary sight for the NFC. According to Kilgore, the struggles between Brady and head coach Bruce Arians in the regular season have failed to overshadow the veteran quarterback’s excellence on the field. Kilgore also noted that Brady has won at least 10 games in 17 seasons and became the first player in NFL history to make the playoffs for 12 straight years.

Brady, Gronkowski get last laugh over Belichick

Sporting News NFL columnist Vinnie Iyer, for his part, said the Buccaneers’ success this season gave Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski to get the last laugh over Bill Belichick, their former head coach with the New England Patriots. Iyer said the Buccaneers welcomed Brady with open arms by signing him to a two-year deal worth $50 million.

Iyer also believed that Brady and Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to his quarterback in Tampa, needed to get out of New England in order to “have fun playing the game again.” Earlier, Bleacher Report NFL columnist Maurice Moton said that with Brady leading the way, the Buccaneers can create tidal waves in the postseason and make it to Super Bowl LV.

Arians says finale vs Falcons a must-win

With a playoff spot already clinched, many expect the Buccaneers to take it slow in their regular-season finale against the Atlanta Falcons. But that would not be the case for Arians, who declared in Monday’s press conference that the Buccaneers are playing to win. Arians stressed that the Buccaneers need to finish the season with an 11-5 mark to seal the fifth seed in the NFC. By getting the No. 5 seed, the Buccaneers will face the NFC East champion in the Wild Card round, per Luke Easterling of USA Today. Whoever emerges as NFC East champion, the Buccaneers are sure to face a team with a losing record in the Wild Card round.

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