Eyes On Sacred Ground

May 7th, 2021

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The surviving members of the 1972 Dolphins must be casting a wary eye toward the Buccaneers.

That Miami team was coached by Hall of Famer Don Shula and led by six players enshrined in Canton — Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Nick Buoniconti, Paul Warfield, Larry Little and Jim Langer. Those Dolphins went 14-0 during the regular season and won three playoff games to finish as the only perfect club in the NFL’s 100-year history.

So here come the 2021 Buccaneers and Tom Brady, who is firmly focused on the pursuit of perfection. Brady is already on record as admitting he would give up two of his Super Bowl rings if he could go back in time and help the 2007 Patriots finish off a 19-0 season.

That didn’t happen because the Giants, who were 12 1/2 point underdogs in the Super Bowl, sacked Brady five times en route to a 17-14 victory.

There’s little doubt that those Pats were poised to stake a powerful claim as the best club this league has ever seen. They outscored opponents by an average margin of 19.7 points during the regular season, but Brady fell victim to New York’s relentless pass rush.

Scott Pioli still hasn’t gotten over it.

Pioli was New England’s VP of Player Personnel that season. Nine years later, he was Atlanta’s assistant GM when Brady engineered that miracle comeback from a 28-3 deficit in the Super Bowl as the Pats beat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime.

“Those are two very close to the lowest points in my football life,” Pioli says. “Which one was worse? The loss to the Giants in that Super Bowl. Being 18-1 was definitely tougher because we didn’t just lose the Super Bowl — we lost history. In the Falcons loss to the Patriots, we lost the Super Bowl.”

Realistically, what’s left for Brady to accomplish? You know he’s already locked in, thinking about the opportunity to finish 20-0.

Division First

Bruce Arians serves up a firm comeback to Ira Kaufman.

Yes, there’s a chance. When I mentioned the possibility of a perfect season to Bruce Arians last month, he laughed it off, saying, “Let’s focus on winning our division and getting a damned home game in the NFC playoffs.”

Guess what? Brady isn’t laughing. He’s deadly serious about taking a run at this perfection thing. Plenty of others have tried – and failed.

It’s easy to forget the Steelers opened at 11-0 last season before losing five of the final six games. The 2015 Panthers, led by league MVP Cam Newton, started 14-0 and ended up losing to Denver in the Super Bowl.

In 2011, Green Bay bolted to a 13-0 getaway and finished 15-1 before being bounced by the eventual champion Giants.

The 2009 Colts won their first 14 games and represented the AFC in the Super Bowl, losing to New Orleans. The 2005 Colts and the 1998 Broncos each opened at 13-0. Indy was upset by Pittsburgh in the divisional round and that Denver team ended up winning the Super Bowl in John Elway’s final game.

The 2003 Bucs didn’t exactly distinguish themselves while defending their title. They never quite got over that Monday night debacle against the Colts, who trailed 35-14 with five minutes remaining.

The GM and the head coach were barely on speaking terms and Keyshawn Johnson became a major distraction.

Perfection goal

Brady knows how to run it back. He did it with the 2004 Patriots, and this Buc team has better personnel. In fact, Tampa Bay is loaded. The Bucs are talented and they are deep. Best of all, they have Brady.

The quest for perfection is a lofty goal, but this team could be favored in all 17 games. And if the Bucs can capture the NFC’s No. 1 seed, that’s one less postseason game to endure.

How does 19-0 sound, going into SoFi Stadium against the AFC champs?

Vince Lombardi said the chase for perfection could yield excellence. Sorry, Vince: Brady and excellence have been going steady for two decades.

He’s thinking hard about 20-0.

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34 Responses to “Eyes On Sacred Ground”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How about let’s go 1-0…..then we can talk about 2-0

  2. DoooshLaRue Says:

    How about we go 19-0, make it to the SB and just happen to play and beat the Patriots?

    Pretty sure he’d retire after that!

  3. 813bucboi Says:

    depending on how the schedule lines up and the season shakes out, if we’re healthy and say 12-0, brady will put his foot on the gas….lol…he’ll go for it and he’ll have the entire team behind him….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  4. BA4President Says:

    If we are lucky enough to go undefeated in the first half of the season, I hope the coaching staff continuously reminds the players of the teams below.

    To recap Ira’s article, the following teams didn’t win the Super Bowl, but naturally all thought they had a good shot of reaching the greatness of the ’72 Dolphins

    2020 Steelers 11-0
    2015 Panthers 14-0
    2011 Packers 13-0
    2009 Colts 14-0
    2005 Colts 13-0
    2004 Patriots 18-0

    That’s quite the list for only the past 20 years of football.

  5. WillieG Says:

    A 28 game winning streak culminating in a Super Bowl victory would all but erase from memory the 0-26 start.

    The Bucs do the weird.

    The Bucs will be 20-0.

    That would be weird.

  6. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Enough about undefeated season. Bucs lost last year 38-3 in their crib. During the 1999 season where Bucs had arguably their greatest defense, they lost 45-0 at Oakland. Bucs need to worry about next week and not automatically assume they’re in the next SB.

  7. '79 Defense Says:

    Please stop with this talk. It’s May, not December.

  8. Swampbuc Says:


    One at a time

    Talk of undefeatedness is foolish

  9. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Some of you I swear with your superstition. Scared to be great, scared to talk about it. So limp wristed. “Let’s just go 1-0.” Eyeroll. Thanks for the overused cliche. I’m willing to bet anything that a lot of you (most of you) would rest all starters in week 17 at 16-0. Teams win championships every yr. there’s a difference between being great, and being legendary. If you have an opportunity at doing someone that no one has ever done, then go for it, you pansies

  10. Swampbuc Says:


  11. rrsrq Says:

    If. Rash wins that SB ring with a perfect season, he may not become a Buc unless the rift with a Coach Bill was so bad he needed to prove one more thing, that he was the engine in the Patriots machine

  12. Youngbucs Says:


  13. Youngbucs Says:

    Wow just saw a stat that Evans Godwin brown brate and Miller. All had career best catching percentage with Brady.

  14. TampaTown Says:

    Ira, has Joe’s irrational exuberance started to rub off on you?

  15. DoooshLaRue Says:


    You’re absolutely right. We do weird, always.

    79 D

    Maybe this a May/December relationship with our old man QB and young players!

  16. Bruce Blahak Says:

    28 straight…

  17. Darin Says:

    LOL. Good one Ira. Not even sure why this was written. Trying to get Brady out to the high school early are we? I agree with every other sane buc fan. 1-0 sounds good in May

  18. Winny Testaverde Says:

    The Ol’ Smooch of Death known as an undefeated prediction. The 2020 underdog route sure was a lot of fun…might be tough to beat last years championship.

  19. Jerry Says:

    A lot can go wrong in a game. Injuries. Bad call. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way.

    I think the Bucs would be favored to win most games next year. But it’s likely they drop one here or there.

  20. Medicated Pete Says:

    Nope, too much pressure. Just get the 1st Rd bye

  21. Buc4evr Says:

    Every team is going to be gunning for us, let’s just focus on winning the first game of the season. Lol.

  22. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Ira it is GOOD to see you bring up the ELEPHANT in the room, that many others just dismiss or think is crazy. lol 20-0 is the ELEPHANT in the ROOM for the 2021 Bucs team. So why not talk about it. Winning is why you play. Every move made by an NFL Franchise is supposed to be aimed at WINNING every game you play. Why not talk about the “20-0 ELEPHANT in the ROOM” and going 20-0. Who plays to lose, accept those who want a high draft pick lol, but even then, it is so you can BE a winner. I do not care why it could not happen, I just would love to see the Bucs become an immortal team, like the 72 Dolphins. And as a Buc fan from the 70’s who disliked the Dolphins more than any other team, it would be AWESOME to go 20-0 and then the Bucs begin to pop the BUBBLY every year instead of the Dolphins lol GO BUCS!!!!

  23. Colonel Angus Says:

    Gofortheface30, I’m with you on that. What fans say means jacksh!t on the scoreboard. The Bucs have a real chance of obtaining all time legendary status. That should be this seasons goal. And when the dark ages return, we will have The 2021 Buccaneers to throw in every sh!t talking a-holes face! Fire them damn cannons!

  24. I CARE NOW Says:

    Thanks IRA, you the man, MAN

  25. William Walls Says:

    Let’s be legen-
    wait for it…
    … … …

  26. I CARE NOW Says:

    @Colonel Angus

    We already have something to “throw in every sh!t talking a-holes face!”

    We won the SB at Home with the GOAT. 20-0 would mean no one would ever talk chit again. They would just say yeah Brady this or that.

    But they could never say, you guys are the worst EVER AGAIN!!!

  27. August 1976 Buc Says:

    2nd Place is the first loser lol
    BTW Col Angus, and Gofortheface, Get your tickets now for the 20-0, 2022 World Champion Boat Buccaneer parade.

    Time to go for immortality, 20-0 baby, no sense in screwing around.

    In the words of Herm Edwards “You play to win the game” lol
    GO BUCS!!!!

  28. Buczilla Says:

    The Saints and Bears losses from last year are still vividly burned into my brain. I’ll be damned happy if we don’t revert back to that team at any point this year. I’ll start thinking about going undefeated if we start out at 10-0 or so.

  29. Fred mcneil Says:

    I’m with the boring 1 and 0 crowd. Then 2 and 0.
    Keep Tom clean.

  30. Fred mcneil Says:

    Tom, don’t be afraid to throw it away.

  31. gp Says:

    If ever there was a team built for it…
    Carpe diem!
    Seize the day!
    “Gather ye rose-buds while ye may”

  32. firethecannons Says:

    Bucs need to start with one game at a time, there are so many trap games along the way.

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    If any team out there can go 20-0 it’s this Bucs team.


    Repeat then go for 3 peat.

  34. Buckaroo Says:

    Brady is talking about giving up 9 and 10 if he gets a perfect season.