Auburn football was well represented on Sunday night on the biggest stage in professional sports (at least) in the United States of America.
Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean were part of the “gravediggers”, a nickname given to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary, that held Patrick Mahomes to a grand total of zero touchdowns and two interceptions en route to the Kansas City Chiefs–one of this generation’s greatest offensive outfits–scoring just nine points off of a trio of field goals.
In the end, it was Davis, Dean, the entire “gravediggers” group and the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay offense that finished up the 2020 NFL season with their hands raised in victory, hoisting up the Vince Lombardi as the Buccaneers won their first Super Bowl in 18 years, this time at their home field, Raymond James Stadium.
Davis and Dean combined for eight tackles, with each contributing four each (two of Davis’s were assisted). When targeted by Mahomes, Davis gave up just two catches for 14 yards in four attempts.
Overall, the fact that Tyreek Hill was held to a measly seven catches for 70 yards (measly by his standards, of course) is a major victory for the Tigers twosome representing Auburn football for the eventual Super Bowl LV winners.
Obviously, the true story of the 2020 NFL season’s conclusion was Tom Brady’s Super Bowl MVP-winning performance at age 43. Brady was spectacular, throwing for three touchdowns–with a pair to former New England Patriots teammate-turned-Bucs teammate Rob Gronkowski–and completing 21 of his 29 pass attempts.
With the win, Brady now has more championships than every other NFL franchise, and he has now won Super Bowl MVPs in two different uniforms. As great as Joe Montana, Bart Starr, and Terry Bradshaw all were in their heyday, each was synonymous with one franchise (49ers, Packers, Steelers, respectively).
Brady’s legacy is now defined by winning no matter the circumstances. A pandemic, a change of teams, and adjusting to an entirely new offense after spending his entire 18-year career as the primary starter for Bill Belichick couldn’t slow Brady down.
Davis, Dean, and the gravediggers could have, though, had they not held a gunslinger who recorded 38 touchdowns through the air in 2020 to no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Thankfully, they didn’t, and now whenever the pair returns to visit the Plains, they will do so as Super Bowl champions.