TAMPA, Fla — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving on to the Divisional Round of this year's playoffs after defeating Washington, 31-23. It marked the team's first postseason victory since 2002.
After putting an end to a 13-year playoff drought, two games stand between the Bucs and a ticket to Super Bowl LV in their hometown.
But it won't be an easy road and will require a more buttoned-up performance than what fans saw during the Wild Card round.
So, with the possibility of a historic moment on the horizon, let's take a look back at the Bucs 45-season history.
How did the Buccaneers get their start?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came to life in 1974 when the team was awarded the NFL's 27th franchise. It was not until two years later, in 1976, that the Bucs saw their first kickoff under coach John McKay.
Though, the team did not get off to a strong start by losing a league-record 26 consecutive games, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The organization says it was Dec. 1977 when the team finally marked its first win against New Orleans.
Tampa Bay is said to have "stunned the football world" in 1979 when it marked its first winning season, clinched the NFC Central title and came within one game of the Super Bowl.
It would be more than two decades later before the Bucs won their first Super Bowl. The team took home the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XXXVII against Oakland.
The team has been chasing its second championship ever since
The Buccaneers have since made 11 trips to the postseason, but the team went through a bit of a dry spell--their 2007 postseason performance left fans disappointed after falling 24-14 to the New York Giants in the Wild Card round.
Thirteen years later, the Buccaneers made their long-awaited playoff return with six-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady driving the offense.
But things could be looking up for Tampa Bay as 2020 was a record-breaking year for the team. They went 11-5 for the first time since 2005 in addition to being only the fourth time in the team's 45 seasons that they won over 11 games.
Don't forget, Tom Brady set a new record for touchdown passes as a Buccaneer, wide receiver Mike Evans broke his own team record when he scored his 13th touchdown reception of the season, and the Bucs put up the most first-half points in franchise history against the Lions with 34.
Will this be the Buccaneers' comeback year? We'll just have to watch to find out.
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