The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady didn’t hesitate to show their support.
The defending Super Bowl champions fell one point with just seconds remaining in the kickoff of the NFL season. They were confident that their 44 year-old quarterback would be able to win again Thursday night.
It’s what Brady did, throwing for 379 yards, four touchdowns and a win 31-29 over the Dallas Cowboys.
Bruce Arians stated, “There was no doubt we were going to win this game with him.” “It’s not who’s going make plays.
Ryan Succop won it with his 36-yard field goal with just 2 seconds left. Brady set it up by directing a last minute drive at the exact same field that the Bucs won the Super Bowl in their home stadium seven months earlier.
It was the 49th time that the three-time NFL Super MVP won a game in the fourth-quarter, overtime or final of regular season. This is third on the all time list, behind Drew Brees (53) and Peyton Manning (54) who have both retired.
Brady admitted that “there’s clearly a lot to clean-up” after completing 32 of the 50 passes with two interceptions.
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The Bucs are aiming to be the first team to win consecutive champions after Brady led the 2003-2004 New England Patriots to consecutive titles. They turned the ball over four more times.
“We won,” said the quarterback, but “we know it was far from perfect.”
For Brady, a seven-time champion, it was the 300th regular-season start in a sparkling 22-year career — a record for a quarterback. Drew Brees and Brady, both 44 years old, are the only two players to throw for more than 300 yards in a single game 100 times.
The Bucs (1-0), which have won nine consecutive games, extended their winning streak of nine games to Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown who caught touchdown passes in the first half. The defending champions were up 28-19 after Brady’s second TD pass to Gronkowski. Succop scored after Greg Zuerlein had put the Cowboys ahead on a 48-yarder with 1:44 remaining.
Bruce Arians, Bucs coach, stated that he had learned long ago that losing is not as important as learning from almost losing. “Obviously not happy with the start, but loved the finish. Our guys are winners. They’re going on to win.
Dak Prescott threw 403 yards and three touchdowns for Dallas in his debut game since sustaining a severe ankle injury that ended his 2020 season. Six-year pro Dak Prescott didn’t play in preseason because he injured his right shoulder in training camp. He was also limited in his throwing ability for two weeks prior to the opener.
Mike McCarthy, Cowboys coach said that Dak played well. “I love the way our team played and the preparation going into it. They had to give us tough looks, especially for some of their defensive actions. I thought the guys did a fantastic job of adapting and did a great job at distributing the ball to the perimeter.
Brady has never been beaten by the Cowboys, his record now standing at 6-0 against them. Five victories of Brady’s were won during his historic 20-year stint with the New England Patriots.
With the help of a revamped Dallas defense, Prescott forced a fumble, intercepted a pass from Leonard Fournette to set up a touchdown, and field goal.
Brady paid the Cowboys for the kicking woes that led to Dallas scoring only 16 points in halftime. Zuerlein scored an additional point in the second quarter by crashing off the left upright.
Prescott faced a nine point deficit after seven of the Cowboys eight possessions started or ended in Tampa Bay territory. Dallas, however, pulled within 28-25 on Amari Cooper’s 21-yard scoring reception less than one minute into the third quarter.
Cooper finished the game with 13 catches and 139 yards. He also caught a 5-yard TD in the second quarter. CeeDee lamb had a 22 yard scoring reception for Cowboys. Prescott was out of the final 11 games.
Brady was intercepted twice. The second time was for a desperate pass at the end the first half. Chris Godwin and Ronald Jones also lost fumbles. This prevented the Bucs from winning the game in the final minutes.
Brown had five receptions of 121 yards, including a 43 yard TD just before halftime. Godwin had nine catches and 105 yards. However, he fumbled at Cowboys 1 to stop a possible clinching drive that would have seen Prescott drive Dallas to Zuerlein for the go-ahead goal.
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