Just four weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found themselves sitting at 3-5 and seemingly out of playoff contention.
The Bucs narrowly avoided what would have been a disastrous fourth consecutive loss in Week 9, when Tom Brady rallied his squad to a last-second victory over the Los Angeles Rams. One week later, Tampa Bay defeated the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks in Munich, Germany to get back to the .500 mark.
Entering the club’s Week 12 game against the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay is sitting atop the NFC South with a 5-5 record, half a game up on the 5-6 Atlanta Falcons.
Tampa Bay hasn’t clinched anything yet, but if they go on to win the division and/or if they enjoy a deep playoff run? Perhaps we’ll look back on this incredible speech from head coach Todd Bowles as the turning point of the season.
On their official Twitter account, the Buccaneers posted a video of Bowles giving his team a motivational and passionate speech prior to their two-game winning streak. The 59-year-old stresses “accountability”.
In the speech, Bowles asks his players “How hungry are you?” adding that he’s “hungry every day,” and that he’s “had to earn everything…still earning it.”
You can watch the full speech below.
The Buccaneers jumped off to a 2-0 start with statement road wins against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. They proceeded to drop five of their next six games, with two of those losses coming against a pair of the league’s worst teams in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers.
A Week 8 road loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football dropped Tampa Bay to 3-5 on the year, marking Tom Brady’s first three-game losing streak since his 2002 season with the New England Patriots.
But with much-needed wins over the Rams and Seahawks, the Buccaneers are back to controlling their own NFC South destiny. They’ll try to get back above .500 for the first time since Week 5 when they visit the Browns, who have lost two games in a row as well six of their last seven.