The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t have the type of history that the older and more successful teams in the National Football League do, but they have put together a number of quality seasons. The Buccaneers came into the league for the 1976 season as an expansion franchise along with the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams were not very successful right from the start, but Tampa Bay was extremely unsuccessful going 0-14 during their first season in the league and 2-12 in 1977. Despite this poor start, not uncommon among expansion teams throughout history, the Buccaneers would turn it around and prove to have some successful seasons as well.
The best season ever in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history was easily the 2002 NFL season. That season, behind new head coach Jon Gruden, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put up their best regular season record ever (12-4), then went on to defeat the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs, before finally beating the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl. After twenty-seven years in the league, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally had their league championship.
The 1999 season would see the Buccaneers put up an 11-5 record, at the time the best in team history, and they would advance all the way to the conference championship game before losing to the St. Louis Rams one game shy of a trip to the Super Bowl. This would be the best performance during the time that Tony Dungy coached the team. This would also be the last season with Trent Dilfer as the starting quarterback.
The 10-6 record that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put up in 1979 was not only the best in team history up to that point, but after records of 0-14, 2-12, and 5-11 in their first three seasons in the league, that 10-6 mark seemed unbelieveable. To the surprise of most football fans even more, the Buccaneers advanced past the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the playoffs that season only to miss the Super Bowl by one game, losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the conference championship game by a score of 9-0.
The 2005 season would see the Buccaneers go 11-5 in a year that most expected the team to finish at about .500. Regular season success was all that the team would know that year as they would lose in the wild card round of the playoffs to the Washington Redskins by the score of 17-10.
Tony Dungy, in his second season as head coach of the team, would help the team go 10-6 in 1997. This was the Buccaneers first winning season since the strike-shortened year of 1981. This was also their first visit to the playoffs since that year too, a gap of fifteen years. They would make a good showing too, beating the Detroit Lions in the wild card round before losing to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
For many years the Buccaneers were known largely for going their entire first season in the league without winning a game, they were also known for experiencing a lot of futility during different times in their history. There is much more to the team than that though. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not known as the winningest franchise in pro football history, and they are not known for winning a great amount of championships either. The team has won a Super Bowl though, which many organizations cannot say, and their accomplishment of coming one game away from making it to the Super Bowl in only their fourth year in the league is something both the team and the fans can be proud of. Most teams in the NFL, no matter what they are known for, have a decent amount of high points that they have reached as an organization during their history, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no different.