After seven long months, the wait is over. In an absolute barn burner of an NFL season opener, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to edge out Dak Prescott’s Dallas Cowboys 31-29.
The 102nd NFL season kicked off with a victory for the defending Super Bowl champions at home in Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay were heavy favourites to win and led for most of the game until Dallas earned a one-point lead with 1:29 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Fortunately for the Bucs, 1:29 was more than enough time to turn the tides. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Giovanni Bernard and Chris Godwin manoeuvred the Bucs down the field to set up a game-winning field goal, scored by Ryan Succop, in the match’s waning seconds. Not bad for a former “Mr Irrelevant.”
For Brady and Gronk, the NFL season opener included their 100th touchdown connection together. After four Super Bowls, the bad boys for life have begun their campaign to become repeat champions: a feat missing from the pair’s already-stacked resume.
The NFL hasn’t seen a repeat Super Bowl champion since Brady’s Patriots in 2003-2004, with just eight instances across the league’s entire history. Three other teams have managed to achieve Super Bowl finals glory in two consecutive years, only to fumble on the second occasion. With the Bucs managing to bring back all 22 of their starters from last year, however, they might just pull it off.
With the first of 18 weeks already underway, the NFL power rankings show Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs at the #1 spot ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Having gained new linemen Kyle Long, Orlando Brown, and Joe Thuney – in addition to the fact Mahomes has been afforded enough time to properly recover from his injury – chances are, we could be seeing a Super Bowl LV rematch down the line.