The Tampa Bay Buccaneers debuted in the 2021-2022 regular season the same way they ended 2020-2021: winning. But it wasn’t that easy. In an epic match, the defending champion had an inspired Tom Brady, and a field goal at the end, to beat the Dallas Cowboys 31-29 and start the year off on the right foot.
Tom Brady — Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
In the second round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday (19), at 5:05 pm, at home. A little later, at 5:25 pm, Dallas visits young Justin Herbert’s Los Angeles Chargers in California.
On the side of the owners of the house, the name could not be different: Tom Brady. The 44-year-old quarterback went for 379 yards and 4 TDs. True, he had two interceptions, but neither was his fault. Antonio Brown also shone with 121 yards and 1 TD.
Tom Brady and Antonio Brown — Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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On the Dallas Cowboys side, the big star of the match was quarterback Dak Prescott. Returning from a serious ankle injury, the shirt 4 had 403 yards passed and 3 TDs. Another standout was Amari Cooper, Dak’s main target who shone with 139 yards and 2 TDs.
The first blow came from the defending champion. After starting the match with a three and out, Brady took the field and put on his show. Pushing Antonio Brown, the 44-year-old quarterback drove a fast 94-yard drive to open up Chris Godwin’s touchdown.
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The answer was immediate. Just as he had in his first campaign, Dak Prescott used his body of receivers well, making his way across the field until he found CeeDee Lamb for the wide receiver’s sensational 22-yard TD.
The Bucs responded with the historic Tom Brady connection to Rob Gronkowski. After a drive that has already started on the attacking field, the Florida team scored another 7 points with shirt 12 finding shirt 87 in the endzone.
Dallas took the lead on the scoreboard knowing how to take advantage of two turnovers from Tampa. First a fumble, which became an Amari Cooper touchdown. Then an intercept by Trevon Diggs, which turned a field goal by Greg Zuerlein, putting the Cowboys 16 x 14.
But we are talking about the greatest of all times. In the next campaign, Tom Brady found Antonio Brown for an incredible 47-yard touchdown, putting the champions back in front.
Turns and decision at the end
Tampa started the second stage showing signs that he won’t go easy on his rivals. Again, Tom Brady’s partnership with Rob Gronkowski yielded a touchdown, putting the difference in two possessions.
But Dak Prescott is resilient. After two good drives from No. 4, the quarterback found Amari Cooper in the end zone to replace the gap by two points in an excellent opening game.
Amari Cooper gets Dak Prescott’s touchdown pass — Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
After blocking Dallas’s attack, the Bucs had a chance to kill the game, but, at the edge of the end zone, WR Chris Godwin suffered a fumble recovered by the Cowboys, giving the chance to come back. Which came, with 1:24 left, Greg Zuerlein landed a 57-yard shot to give the Texas team the lead.
But nobody stops the Brady-Gronk connection. In a drive of less than two minutes, the quarterback fired the TE twice, then the WR Chris Godwin to secure field position for Ryan Succop to hit the winning field goal: 31-29 Tampa.