Take a breath Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans, because this season was one heck of a ride wasn't it?
A team that was largely cast off and set for the doldrums by all the talking heads in the off-season simply won the division, eliminated the defending NFC champs in the playoffs and had a chance to win in the Divisional round with under two minutes left.
Not bad I'd say.
It was a magical ride that real fans knew could be a possibility if everything fell into place. The odds were stacked against the Bucs, but the they pulled through and turned in not only some awesome moments but appeared to lay down a solid foundation for the future.
5 key takeaways from Buccaneers exciting season
Seems like the Bucs have found their quarterback post-Brady
Well, that was easy, wasn't it?
Baker Mayfield is replacing Tom Brady and carrying the Bucs into the future -- just like how we all drew it up. Who is really surprised, though, that Jason Licht needed all of one offseason to find a more than capable replacement?
In a season where he stayed healthy and didn’t miss any games, Baker posted career highs in yards (4.044), passing touchdowns (28), and completion percentage (64.3%).
Beyond just the numbers, this team took on his fiery personality and completely bought in. He was a tremendous leader on the field and in the locker room. The team rallied around Baker as he continued to hear from the naysayers despite his excellence all year. Tampa needs to lock him in now.
Dave Canales needs to come back for another year
There were some questions about whether or not Canales could get the job done as a first-year play caller with a journeyman quarterback. Consider those questions answered.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving once again and Rachaad White had 1,500 scrimmage yards.
This has led to Canales receiving head coaching interviews. As of this writing he is taking a second interview with the Carolina Panthers. For continuity's sake, Tampa should be desperate to keep him and grow this unit together again.