In an NFL season where nothing was normal, it almost feels weird that the 2020 campaign ended in the most normal way possible: with Tom Brady winning another Super Bowl. However, Brady's seventh title was a lot different than his previous six -- and that's not just because he was with a different team.
When he played in New England, Brady and the Patriots regularly steamrolled their way to the playoffs. In all six Super Bowl-winning seasons, the Patriots entered the postseason as a division winner. However, with Tampa Bay, not only did the Buccaneers get a wild-card spot, but at different points during the season, it didn't even look like Tampa Bay was going to make the playoffs.
Not only were the Buccaneers 7-5 at one point, but they also had the worst regular-season loss of any Super Bowl champion in NFL history. The Super Bowl has been played a total of 55 times and there have only been five occasions where the team that eventually won the Super Bowl had a loss of 30 points or more during the regular season.
Here's a look at that list:
1. 2020 Buccaneers (11-5): Lost 38-3 to Saints (35-point loss) 2. 1994 49ers (13-3): Lost 40-8 to Eagles (32-point loss) T-3. 1976 Raiders (14-1): Lost 48-17 to Patriots (31-point loss) T-3. 2003 Patriots (14-2): Lost 31-0 to Bills (31-point loss) 5. 2012 Ravens (10-6): Lost 43-13 to Texans (30-point loss)
The most surprising thing about this list might be the fact that Tom Brady is on it twice. In 2003, Brady and the Patriots loss their regular-season opener 31-0 to the Bills. The loss clearly ignited Brady, because not only did he go 14-1 the rest of the way, but he also got revenge on the Bills when he beat them 31-0 in Week 17.
One other surprise on this list is the San Francisco 49ers. Back in 1994, the 49ers led the NFL in scoring with 31.6 points per game, which was a ridiculously high number when you consider that no other team even averaged 26 points per game. In Week 5, the 49ers got blown out 40-8 in a game where they were favored by nine.
The Raiders' loss was also somewhat shocking and that's because the blowout was their ONLY LOSS of the year. Back in 1976, the Raiders finished the regular season 14-1, but they didn't go undefeated, because they stumbled against the Patriots in a 48-17 Week 4 loss where they turned the ball over four times. The Raiders and Patriots would meet up again in the playoffs, but this time, Oakland would come away with a 24-21 win.
Interestingly enough, three of the teams on the biggest blowout list would get revenge after their worst loss by beating the team later in the season. For the Buccaneers, their 38-3 loss to the Saints came in Week 9, which gave New Orleans a season-sweep of the series. When the two teams met again in the playoffs, the Saints were favored by 2.5 points, but it was the Buccaneers who would advance after a 30-20 win where Drew Brees threw three interceptions.
With their win over the Chiefs, the Buccaneers also became just the fifth team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl after going below .500 the previous season, joining the 1981 49ers, the 1999 Rams, the 2001 Patriots, and the 2017 Eagles. The Buccaneers were also just the sixth wild-card team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl.