With a 9-5 record, many don’t consider the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a legit Super Bowl contender despite having six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady as a quarterback. Based on the latest Super Bowl odds posted by Stephen Campbell of Oddsshark.com, the Buccaneers are just sixth in terms of odds in winning Super Bowl 55.

The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs still lead the pack to go back-to-back at +170, followed by the Green Bay Packers (+550), New Orleans Saints (+800), Buffalo Bills (+900), Seattle Seahawks (+1200), and the Buccaneers (+1300).

According to Campbell, the Buccaneers started the season at +1200.

Brady thrives on criticism

But for a former wide receiver and current NFL analyst Nate Burleson, during an episode of Good Morning Football on NFL Network, insisted that Brady thrives on criticism. “Let me be very clear. I think we understand this as well. How many times has Brady walked his way into the playoffs, and all of a sudden, the criticism and the doubt kicked in? This is a familiar setting for Tom Brady,” said Burleson, per transcription of the audio of the show’s discussion posted on YouTube.

“Every single year, it was something. Whether it was his age, his coaching staff, coaches leaving, a guy being hurt, superstar being down.

It didn’t matter. Brady loves this,” he added. Burleson referred to Brady’s previous wins in Super Bowl LI and LIII, where his ability to lead the New England Patriots to succeed at his age was questioned. Burleson believes that if critics continue to criticize and doubt Brady, the veteran quarterback is going to use this as fuel.

“And don’t be surprised if we're all watching the Super Bowl in Tampa and Mr. Tom Brady, or shall I say, Tampa Brady,” he added.

Bucs finding rhythm at the right time

Burleson added that if the Buccaneers continue to work on their running game, the passing game will also get going for Brady. “They are finding their rhythm at the right time.

If they can hand the ball off and run it consistently, and then take those shots down the field on the sideline, down the middle, they’ll be good to go,” said Burleson. “All of a sudden, this team is starting to look like what Tom Brady wanted it to look like. Run game that opens up the pass game,” he added. In their come-from-behind 31-27 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Brady threw for 390 yards and two touchdowns.

Bucs can clinch a playoff berth

The Buccaneers need a win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday to clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2007. The Buccaneers entered the week as a 7.5-point favorite, while the majority of experts all expect Tampa Bay to emerge as a winner over the Lions. Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com sees the Buccaneers as an 11-point win over the Lions, while ESPN experts unanimously picked Tampa Bay to win.