Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said he is not taking anything for granted after the Buccaneers clinched the NFC South title. The Buccaneers routed the Carolina Panthers 32-6 on the road to improve to 11-4 and secure the NFC South title.
"I'm not taking anything for granted," Brady said. "Winning the division is hard to do. And we've earned it. We're 11-4. It's not the greatest record in the world, but it's certainly not the worst either.
So 11-4 -- I'll take it. We lost some tough games. I think we've learned from each of those tough losses." The Buccaneers won the division for the first time since 2007. "We wanted to hang three banners this year," coach Bruce Arians said.
"We don't have one of those division banners up there for a long time. It feels great. This is what we focused on to win our division. Our guys did it today. Can't be more prouder of the group that played today."
Brady knows everyone will have to step up
The Buccaneers have lost starters Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette to injuries. "We lost a lot. We lost a lot," Brady said of the injuries. "And I don't think you just make up for it overnight.
We're gonna have to learn each other. We're gonna have to do some different things for the guys that are in there -- guys are gonna have to keep getting better and making improvements. Hopefully we can get some guys back this week and then get a bit stronger at these positions."
The depleted Buccaneers team stepped up against the Panthers and claimed a routine win. "We had so many guys that stepped up and stepped in. We had a lot of trust in them," Arians said, pointing out Grayson's speed, "ferocious blocking" and ability to step up in big moments as what earned him the opportunity.
"He's gotten so much better. If there was a 'most improved player' in the last two years, he's worked harder than anybody we've had on our practice squad." Wide receiver Antonio Brown had a good game as he had 10 receptions for 101 yards.
"When I watched him practice this week, I knew he was in great shape," Arians said of Brown, who registered his 23rd career game of 10-plus receptions, breaking a tie with Andre Johnson for most in NFL history. "He was healthy this week and told me, 'Whatever you need, I'm there.' "