Buccaneers: Preview for most important game since 2003

Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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There has only been one more important game for the Buccaneers in franchise history.

The Super Bowl versus the Oakland Raiders is the only game that has been more important for the Buccaneers than the one today. That Buccaneer team could be the best in franchise history regardless of how this season finishes, but this team is still on a mission to prove they belong in the conversation.

The Buccaneers have been a laughing stock for over a decade. Horrible draft picks, failures in free agency, and punchline after punchline have marred the Buccaneers ever since the brief glimmer of success subsided in the early 2000s, and the team has been clawing to regain that glory ever since then.

Tampa Bay has tried everything to return to relevance. None of it has worked until now.

Maybe it was the Tom Brady factor that served as a glue to galvanize the roster to fight towards the common goal of playoff opportunities. Or perhaps it is the long-standing veterans on the team like Lavonte David, Mike Evans, William Gholston, and Ali Marpet who all had terrific seasons when it mattered the most. Regardless, the Bucs are where they wanted to be, and now they have to perform.

The Buccaneers are very familiar with their next playoff opponent. The bad blood between division rivals runs deep, and most games between the Bucs and Saints get chippy quick. The playoffs will only add to the excitement.