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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers occupy won their first playoff game in 18 years after a 31-23 victory over the Washington Football Team within the NFC Wild Card Spherical on Saturday night.
Making its first postseason look since 2007, Tampa had a certain matchup against a Washington personnel that went 7-9 within the everyday season. The Bucs also closed the year on a excessive stamp with four straight wins and the offense averaging 40.7 factors per game within the closing three weeks.
Washington’s key to success all season has been a defense that ranked fourth in factors allowed per game (20.6). The offense turned into a seek recordsdata from of price, specifically given that Taylor Heinicke made factual his 2d NFL originate as a change of Alex Smith, who turned into dominated lazy on account of a calf hurt.
Even supposing the Football Team’s defense looked love a immoral matchup for Tom Brady, the three-time NFL MVP turned into in a region to steal them apart. He accomplished with 381 yards passing, despite being sacked three instances.
Heinicke had success throwing the ball downfield and creating performs with his legs, racking up 352 total yards.
Indispensable Game Stats
- Tom Brady, TB: 22-of-40, 381 yards, 2 TD
- Leonard Fournette, TB: 19 carries, 93 yards, TD; 4 receptions, 39 yards
- Mike Evans, TB: 6 receptions, 119 yards
- Antonio Brown, TB: 2 receptions, 49 yards, TD
- Taylor Heinicke, WAS: 26-of-44, 306 yards, TD, INT; 6 carries, 46 yards, TD
- Antonio Gibson, WAS: 14 carries, 31 yards
- Cam Sims, WAS: 7 receptions, 104 yards
Bucs Live to inform the story Gruesome Earn vs. Washington
No topic coming into the playoffs because the No. 5 seed, the Buccaneers were playing as properly as any personnel within the NFC over the previous month.
Brady, specifically, is within the course of undoubtedly one of doubtlessly the most up thus a long way streaks of his historical profession. The 43-year-outmoded has thrown for a minimal of 300 yards in four straight games with 12 touchdown passes for the length of that span.
In his first playoff game with Brady, Antonio Brown made an affect with a 36-yard touchdown steal within the first quarter.
Brown has chanced on his mosey in Bruce Arians’ offense down the stretch. The seven-time Reliable Bowler caught four touchdowns over the final three games of the everyday season and had a season-excessive 138 yards in Week 17 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Or no longer it’s miles a correct element that Brown has stepped up, because Chris Godwin had an absolute nightmare game that he’ll desire to forget at as soon as.
Opinion to be one of Godwin’s drops turned into a most likely touchdown steal four performs before Brown purchased into the tip zone within the first quarter.
There are aloof indicators that the Bucs may be weak against better competition. Washington turned into in a region to fling the ball down the sphere against their defense, averaging 5.4 yards per play, however its lack of capacity to originate drives ended in its downfall.
Brady had a different of sizable performs thru the air, however his completion proportion turned into under 50 p.c within the third quarter. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich continues to stress the working game a long way longer than he must aloof.
When the Buccaneers were utilizing midway thru the third quarter searching to expand their 18-10 lead, Ke’Shawn Vaughn lost a fumble that turned into recovered by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic.
If there may be a silver lining, after the fumble, Brady led the offense on three consecutive scoring drives within the fourth quarter that made the variation within the game.
Arians, Leftwich and the leisure of the coaching crew occupy a great deal of adjustments to possess over the subsequent week, however the Bucs proceed to point they’ll lift games in a spread of how. That makes them very unhealthy in an NFC that looks vast originate after the Green Bay Packers.
Disappointing Discontinuance Does no longer Diminish Washington’s Season
Pondering that Washington entered the 2020 season with the longest odds to lift the NFC East and having no longer made the playoffs since 2015, factual attending thus a long way is a big step within the correct route for the franchise.
Washington has the muse of a most likely juggernaut thanks to a dominant defense. That unit ranked third in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and fourth in factors allowed for the length of the everyday season.
The expectation coming into Saturday night turned into that Tampa Bay would blow Washington’s doorways off. It absolutely looked realistic, especially with Washington turning to a quarterback who had one originate in his six-year NFL profession.
A funny element came about alongside the manner: Washington hung round, and even flirted with an upset.
Heinicke no longer handiest looked cosy in his first playoff look however also precipitated the Bucs defense all forms of problems with his arm and legs.
Heinicke threw extra passes thru the first three quarters on Saturday night (26) than he did for the length of your total traditional season (19). The 27-year-outmoded may perhaps moreover no longer cease up being Washington’s starter long-term, however he absolutely looks to be like love an above-realistic backup.
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Taylor Heinicke reached a top tempo of 19.29 MPH on this 8-yard TD scuttle, touring 39.1 yards from snap to the moment he crossed the pylon.
Heinicke is responsible for the two fastest speeds by a ball carrier in tonight’s game (19.29 & 19.25 MPH).
#TBvsWAS | Powered by @awscloud https://t.co/dTT5ClukWf
Washington’s defense has proved all the method thru the 2020 season that it’s succesful of retaining up with any personnel within the league per week. The quarterback relate left the offense in a constant yell of flux.
The offense has capacity, with Terry McLaurin proving to be quarterback-proof after breaking the 1,000-yard barrier in 2020. Antonio Gibson had an overwhelming rookie season with 1,042 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns.
Head coach Ron Rivera and his crew may perhaps occupy to address that region this offseason. If Washington can fetch even realistic production from the quarterback in 2021, the ceiling for this personnel is as excessive as any NFC personnel.
The Bucs’ NFC Divisional Spherical matchup may be sure after the outcomes of Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bears and Fresh Orleans Saints.