Why Stephen A. Smith Believes Bucs Benefit Most From Playoff Expansion


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t qualified for the NFL playoffs since the 2007 season.

The addition of Tom Brady should help this drought come to an end, as should a radical new NFL change.

League owners on Tuesday voted to expand the postseason field, which now will include 14 teams, as opposed to 12. The news surely must have come as music to the ears of teams in particularly tough divisions, as the change now diminishes the need to win a division title.

Stephen A. Smith believes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fall into this category, as he doesn’t see the New Orleans Saints relinquishing the NFC South crown in the upcoming campaign.

“The team that comes to my mind is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Smith said Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take” when asked which team most benefits from the expansion. “Why? Because Tom Brady is there. Why? Because Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate and those boys with Bruce Arians are still there. Also, you have to remember, even with Tom Brady, the No. 1 thing we were willing to say is that the NFC South is still the New Orleans’ Saints to lose. … Clearly they’re going to be the favorites in the NFC South. So many times we looked at teams in the NFC South and we said, ‘If they don’t win the division, the wild usually is not going to come out of there.’

“…This benefits Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because what it says is your chances increase even if you don’t win the NFC South. You can still make the postseason. That’s what this is about and I would say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to my mind.”

While reaching the postseason is an accomplishment no matter how you get there, we can’t imagine Brady is hoping to just sneak into playing football in January. The six-time Super Bowl champion likely will arrive to Tampa Bay with much greater ambitions in mind.

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Thumbnail photo via Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports Images

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