Arians didn’t want his team to know the score of the San Francisco 49ers-Los Angeles Rams game on Sunday, January 9, which impacted playoff seeding for the Bucs. Tampa Bay played its game at the same time and beat the Carolina Panthers 41-17. The 49ers then rallied to beat the Rams 27-24 in overtime, which gave the Bucs the No. 2 seed for the NFC Playoffs.
“I knew what was going on. We kept it off the scoreboard for a reason, so the players wouldn’t (see it) and I was whispering to Tom every now and then,” Arians told the media. “I really wanted to get him out of the game.”
Brady resting didn’t happen until the fourth quarter when the Bucs pulled away with 24 fourth quarter points. Players, coaches, and fans stayed in the bowl of Raymond James Stadium after the game to watch the 49ers go ahead of the Rams in overtime with a field goal.
“I’m watching it right now,” Brady said to CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson after the game. “Throw it to (George) Kittle … break the tackle. Oh, darn it. It happens.”
At the moment, Brady added that he didn’t want to get caught up in the seeding.
“It’s how you play. Not where you play. At the same time, it’s wherever we’re at — we’re at. We’re going to go out there and play the best we can no matter where we’re at,” Brady said. “First one’s at home. Gotta get by that one first.”
But not before he sent his greetings to his family on air.
“Just want to say hi to my parents at home, my wife is in Costa Rica with my kids, my son Jack’s in New York, and everyone spread out. All my family. Love you guys, and we’ll see you all next week.”
Brady and the Bucs will see the team from the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Eagles — the last NFC team to beat a Brady-led team in the postseason. The Bucs and Eagles will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 16.
“It’s a happy locker room right now,” Arians told reporters.
Brady: ‘I Don’t Care if the Rams Would Have Won’
Brady called it “a great achievement to get the two seed” when talking to the media afterward. However, he indicated that he didn’t worry about what transpired via the stadium jumbotron.
“I don’t care if the Rams would have won. That’s alright,” Brady said. “Whatever happened with other teams, you can’t ever really control those things.”
“We still got the Eagles, and that’s gonna be the biggest game of our season, and if we win — whoever we play, wherever we play, we’re still going and that’s what we wanna do,” Brady said.
Arians Comments on Franchise Record for Wins
Arians didn’t gush about the Bucs’ breaking the franchise record for wins in a regular season with 13.
“Thirteen wins, and it hasn’t been easy,” Arians told the media. “We’ve had a lot of guys down all season.”
The Bucs endured a slew of injuries to the secondary and key skill positions on offense. Arians believes the injury situation will improve in time for the playoffs.
“Hopefully we’ll have almost everybody back defensively next week,” Arians said. “I’m pretty sure Lenny (Fournette) will be able to go.”