Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA;   Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy on his boat during the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers boat parade to celebrate their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady’s memory of Lombardi Trophy toss a bit wobbly

Nov 8, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Members of the Washington Football Team cheerleaders dance in the stands against the New York Giants at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the most memorable pass of Tom Brady’s career is one the 43-year-old quarterback claims he doesn’t remember.

During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ celebration of the Super Bowl win, Brady launched the Lombardi Trophy from his boat in the direction of a nearby vessel, where backup tight end Cameron Brate successfully spared Brady the shame of sinking the NFL’s coveted championship hardware.

In an appearance on the “Late Late Show” with James Corden on Tuesday night, Brady said his 8-year-old daughter was the voice of reason in the moment. She chided Brady in real-time for throwing the trophy, but Brady said he doesn’t remember much else. The presence of adult beverages was not hidden by the celebrating champions.

“First of all, I was not thinking at that moment. It was not a thought,” Brady said. “It was, ‘This seems really fun to do.’ Not to mention, when you get your hands on one of those trophies, there’s a lot of really sharp edges on the bottom. I found out later, had that been an incomplete pass, that would have went down like 80 feet. I’m so happy that (tight end) Cam (Brate) caught it.”

Corden showed a video of Brady being spotted by backup quarterback Ryan Griffin returning to land. The talk show host asked Brady if he had sea legs or tequila imbalance at the time.

“A little of both,” Brady laughed. “It was definitely a moment of celebration. I’m happy I’m on land at that point. Absolutely.”

Brady said he rushed away quickly when his wife, Gisele, asked him during the postgame embrace what he had left to prove.

He’s signed for the 2021 season and said during the buildup to the Super Bowl last month that he “definitely” is considering playing until he’s 45. Brady told Corden ending a season, let alone a career, is akin to stopping a treadmill moving full speed.

“I always describe football season is like a treadmill, and it’s going fast you know,” Brady said. “And every week you know you work basically seven days a week for six straight months — and then all of a sudden you’re on this treadmill that’s going fast and then, boom, you hit the stop button.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady offers a fist bump after a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs QB Tom Brady to undergo minor knee surgery

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will undergo minor knee surgery, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians termed the upcoming procedure as a “clean up,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Brady was seen wearing a brace or sleeve on his left knee during the team’s Super Bowl victory parade on Wednesday.

Brady was never listed on Tampa Bay’s injury report during the postseason and it isn’t immediately known when he injured the knee.

According to ESPN, Brady has been planning to have the procedure for months.

The 43-year-old Brady earned his seventh Super Bowl ring last Sunday when Tampa Bay clobbered the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. He threw three touchdowns while winning Super Bowl MVP honors for the fifth time.

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA;   Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate during the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers boat parade to celebrate their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs celebrate Super Bowl win with rowdy boat parade

Pandemic or not, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated their Super Bowl LV championship in style on Wednesday.

With thousands of fans lining the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians enjoyed the moment with a beer in one hand and a microphone in the other.

“We have the best coaching staff in the NFL. And we damn sure have the best players in the NFL,” the 68-year-old Arians said. “We’re going to keep the band together.”

The band leader is, of course, quarterback Tom Brady, who followed up his Super Bowl MVP-winning performance in a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday by completing another pass three days later. Brady tossed the Lombardi Trophy from his boat to another, with tight end Cameron Brate making the catch.

“That was the best catch of my life,” Brate said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Unbelievable. That was the best catch of my life. If I had dropped that? I think I would’ve had to retire.”

Retirement doesn’t appear to be on the table for Arians and tight end Rob Gronkowski this time around. Gronkowski, in fact, celebrated on Wednesday with his shirt off and beads around his neck.

On the heels of his record fifth Super Bowl MVP award, the 43-year-old Brady appeared to be a bit tipsy after making it safely back to land. Third-string quarterback Ryan Griffin was seen helping him off the boat.

Brady had a little fun on social media at his own expense.

The Buccaneers can afford to have a little fun after recording their second Super Bowl title in franchise history, even if they could not celebrate in unbridled fashion. Tampa Bay’s mayor Jane Castor had implored attendees on foot to respect social distancing guidelines and asked fans to don masks, rules which appeared to be followed by some, not all.

Of the many private boats and vessels also floating nearby, they were asked to remain at least 50 feet from all boats carrying players and members of the organization.

–Field Level Media

Feb 6, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of the Super Bowl LV logo projected on the Sykes tower in downtown Tampa prior to the game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

NHL, NBA stars offer predictions on Super Bowl LV

Several high-profile NHL and NBA players and coaches weighed in with their predictions on which team will win Super Bowl LV.

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar captain Sidney Crosby expects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs.

Why?

“That’s a tough one. It’s hard to bet against Tom Brady for the amount of times he’s been there,” Crosby said in a survey conducted among NHL players and coaches.

Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie acknowledged Brady’s decorated career but feels that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will repeat as Super Bowl champions.

“It’s hard to go against Tom, obviously, but I’m going to go with K.C.,” Oshie said. “I just like the way they play. Their offense is fun to watch. Either way, I hope it comes down to the last play.”

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw offered a different take on why Brady will win.

“Tom Brady (will win) because he’s got the refs on his side,” Shaw said.

Shifting from the ice to the hardwood, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr revealed why he believes the Chiefs will come out on top.

“A good friend of mine sent me a text last week and it just said very simply, ‘Mahomes, (Travis) Kelce and (Tyreek) Hill equals (Kevin Durant), Klay (Thompson) and Steph (Curry),’” Kerr said on ESPN Radio.

“I thought, ‘That’s a pretty good analogy.’ Those guys are so explosive, and they’re incredible to watch.”

And then there’s LeBron James, who walked a fine line with his prediction considering he has friends on both teams.

“I just want to see a great game,” the Los Angeles Lakers star said.

–Field Level Media

Feb 1, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady speak during Opening Night for the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.  Mandatory Credit: NFL via USA TODAY Sports

QB battle for ages takes center stage at Super Bowl LV

Just two years ago, Tom Brady sought out Patrick Mahomes after the AFC Championship Game to console the youngster and provide encouragement.

Mahomes hasn’t lost a playoff game since that conversation, and he will look to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to their second straight title when they face Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV on Sunday in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.

The Buccaneers will be the first team in Super Bowl history to play in their home stadium, while the Chiefs are looking to become the first repeat Super Bowl champs since Brady’s New England Patriots were the victors after the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Kansas City defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in last season’s Super Bowl for the franchise’s second-ever title. That victory came just more than 12 months after Brady entered the Chiefs’ locker room in search of Mahomes.

“It was important because it showed I was doing things the right way,” Mahomes said while reflecting on the conversation. “As a young quarterback in this league, you show up early and you try to put in the time and put in the work. …

“Him saying that he respected what I was doing and how I was playing on the field and the type of person I was, it kind of put a stamp on me that I needed to go in and even be better in order to get to the Super Bowl.”

Now Mahomes stands in the way of Brady’s hunt for his seventh Super Bowl ring. Sunday will mark Brady’s record 10th appearance in the big game.

Brady won six Super Bowl crowns with the Patriots but departed after last season as a free agent and signed with the Buccaneers.

The 43-year-old enjoyed a big season as he passed for 4,633 yards and set a franchise record with 40 touchdown passes in the regular season. And his motivation level is high as he looks to help Tampa Bay win its second Super Bowl title.

“My life has taken certainly a lot of different directions,” Brady said. “I’m obviously older now. I’ve got a family. A lot of incredible blessings in my life. Fast-forward 21 years, sitting in Tampa and trying to win a Super Bowl in our own home stadium would be pretty sweet.”

Mahomes, 25, passed for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns this season. His top yardage total was the 462 he piled up in Kansas City’s 27-24 road win over the Buccaneers in Week 12.

Brady passed for 345 yards and attempted to lead his team back from a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit in that contest.

Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill had a game for the ages with career bests of 269 receiving yards on 13 catches. He also matched his high of three touchdown receptions.

Hill had an astounding 203 yards in the first quarter as Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis struggled to cover him.

Davis expects to fare much better in the high-stakes rematch.

“I’m going to bring the same mentality,” Davis said. “I’m always going to be myself. It didn’t work out the first game as far as what we did and our game plan, but we’ve corrected it and we’ve got a great game plan going in. But I’m going in with the same mentality and that’s to dominate.”

Davis, who had four regular-season interceptions this year, is one of the better players on a defensive unit that features linebackers Devin White (140 tackles, nine sacks) and Lavonte David (117 stops), elite pass rushers Jason Pierre-Paul (9.5 sacks) and Shaquil Barrett (eight sacks) and long-time run stuffer Ndamukong Suh (10.5 tackles for loss).

Brady also has talent to work with on offense, especially wide receivers Mike Evans (1,006 receiving yards) and Chris Godwin (840) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (623).

Pierre-Paul (knee) missed practice Wednesday while David (hamstring), safeties Jordan Whitehead (shoulder/knee) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) and receiver Antonio Brown (knee) were limited.

Kansas City running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle/hip) and Le’Veon Bell (knee) were limited as were receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (foot). Linebacker Willie Gay (ankle) sat out.

The Chiefs will be without left tackle Eric Fisher (Achilles) after he sustained a serious injury during the AFC title game against the Buffalo Bills. Mike Remmers will move from guard to start in place of Fisher.

Among other Kansas City standouts are Travis Kelce — who set a record for tight ends with 1,416 yards in the regular season — safety Tyrann Mathieu (six interceptions) and defensive end Chris Jones (7.5 sacks).

Meanwhile, Chiefs coach Andy Reid (age 62) is looking to become the oldest coach to win back-to-back Super Bowls while the 68-year-old Bruce Arians is looking to become the oldest to win a Super Bowl. New England’s Bill Belichick (66, two years ago) set that mark.

“I’m still part of the ‘Geritol Crew’ and we are a little bit older, and there is experience that comes with that and I guess they say wisdom with age,” Reid said this week. “By chance, a few of the older guys have gotten to this point. I attribute that to good players and then a little bit of experience there.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) warms up before the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady: Bucs must find Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu before every play

Familiarity with the Kansas City Chiefs’ top defensive playmaker might be an asset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can utilize on Sunday.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians pushed with two hands for the Arizona Cardinals to draft Tyrann Mathieu out of LSU in 2013. The diminutive cornerback was flagged by multiple teams because of off-field issues that included positive drug tests.

Mathieu made his mark on the Chiefs’ win at Tampa in Week 12 this season with an interception and five tackles.

“I saw him pregame warmups last time we played him. My favorite draft choice of all time,” Arians said Wednesday. “I just love him. His passion for football. I am so proud of the man that he has become. He’s a great football player, but he’s a better man.”

Mathieu was released by the Cardinals in 2017 when Arians retired, spent one year with the Houston Texans and then signed with the Chiefs. He smiled when asked about the reunion with Arians this weekend.

“Me and coach BA, we’ve had a great relationship,” Mathieu said. “Ever since my time in Arizona, and even beyond that, he’s always been somebody (whose) opinions and what he says meant a lot to me. You’ve got to remember, he was one of the first people in the National Football League that really believed in me and my abilities, and really allowed me to really flourish at a young age in this league. And he’s still been a guy that I keep in touch with to this day.”

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady identified Mathieu as the player he must find and interpret his intentions prior to every snap in Super Bowl LV.

“Half of it is me being in awe of really just the art, it’s almost like poetry in motion,” Mathieu said. “The other half is me as a defender, like ‘How do I stop this? How do I prepare for this?’”

In past triumphs over Brady, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has used back-end defenders to blitz on occasion but primarily used his back four to cover and front four to rush.

Brady, who threw three interceptions in the NFC Championship game, will be wary of Mathieu.

“I really love him as a player,” Brady said. “I think he’s got great ball-hawking ability. He seems like he’s always coming up with the biggest plays in the biggest moments.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 24, 2021, Green Bay, WI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) exalts during the presentation off the George Halas Trophy after  their NFC Championship game Sunday, January 24, 2021 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers 31-26. Mandatory credit: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

Two-decade QB Tom Brady already thinking about next Super Bowl

If Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is planning to ride off into the sunset Sunday night with a seventh Super Bowl ring, he continues to do a great job throwing media off the scent.

Brady said earlier this week he will “definitely consider” living up to previous statements that he would play until age 45. On Wednesday, he shed further light on his plans for the offseason.

To hear Brady tell it, don’t look for him to be doing the backstroke in postgame celebratory confetti unless he’s convinced it’ll benefit his arm strength.

“I’m going to train a lot better this year,” Brady said. “Physically I’ll be better next year. As soon as this game ends, we’re on to next year.”

Brady, 43, has 5,493 passing yards this season — including three playoff games — and 40 touchdowns. He led the Buccaneers to their first playoff appearance since 2007.

He starts his 10th Super Bowl on Sunday, but there are no indications he would retire on top this weekend. Win or lose, Brady is talking like a quarterback who has plans to be in focused meetings with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich this spring.

“It’s a physical sport. Just the perspective I have on that is you never know when that moment is,” Brady said. “Just because it’s a contact sport. There’s a lot of training that goes into it. And it has to be 100 percent commitment from myself to keep doing it.”

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, out of retirement and coaching in his first Super Bowl, said Brady’s focus and drive aren’t indicative of a player nearing the end of the line. Larry Foote, linebackers coach in Tampa and Brady’s former teammate at Michigan, said there’s not a lot of difference in second-decade Brady and Teenage Tom.

“Looking back, we’d get on (Wolverines head coach) Lloyd Carr like, ‘Man, why you ain’t just let Tom throw the ball left and right?’ Because we were a run-first team at Michigan. And you see him in the pros and you go spread and he just does his thing. He don’t lose. He was always the leader. We always knew we were in every game when he was under center. Nothing’s changed. He was humble then, and he’s still humble now. He’s just the ultimate competitor. That hasn’t changed.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians (L) and quarterback Tom Brady (12) talk prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady, Bruce Arians defying age in Super Bowl run

Bruce Arians and Tom Brady are comfortable being classified as old men this week as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempt to win the second Super Bowl in franchise history.

Arians would become the oldest head coach to win the Lombardi Trophy (68) and Brady (43 years, 188 days old on Super Bowl Sunday) the oldest quarterback to claim the championship.

“It’s not time to look in the rearview mirror yet,” Arians said Monday via Zoom. “We’re still looking ahead. We’ll look back this spring. Hopefully we’ll have a Lombardi Trophy on the way to look at and smile.”

Arians and the Buccaneers are at home for Super Bowl LV, the capper on a season the franchise began plotting the day after the 2019 regular season ended.

“I don’t think I could have ever prepared us for the pandemic,” Arians said. “The accountability of staying healthy, protecting each other. This team is really close at a time when it’s not easy to be close. It reminds be of the Super Bowl XL Steelers.”

Arians said Brady’s intelligence — not his age — has stood out since their contract agreement in March.

“If you don’t have it, you can’t be a great quarterback,” Arians said of Brady’s intelligence. “He’s an intense worker. Unbelievable preparation.”

Brady playing at his age is unique in its own right. But playing on this stage is unprecedented. He said Monday his daily approach, and making only decisions that benefit his career, has been essential to his own vitality.

He’s 18 years, 45 days older than Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as of Sunday, and Brady believes quarterbacks might be able to prolong their career by following his lead.

“Anything is possible. Not many people have played at my age,” Brady said Monday. “I’m hoping that I can give some of that wisdom to some of the younger players who want to do the same type of thing. We’re always supposed to be better as we grow and evolve. It wasn’t about 40 touchdowns it was about, ‘Did I do the best I could do?’ That’s where my motivation comes from.”

“It’s part of my daily life. It’s pretty well documented the approach I’ve taken over a period of time. How I work out, how I recover is very important to me.”

Arians said he’s been “very, very lucky” as a coach to have Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer and Brady as pupils. He joked his philosophy is “only take jobs with good quarterbacks.”

After nine Super Bowl appearances and six wins with the New England Patriots, Brady repeated his refrain that playing in the Super Bowl is the goal to start every season.

“Six days to go, one game left. I’m excited to see what we can come up with for Sunday,” Brady said.

Brady shook off hints that he might be done with the NFL this week. When asked if he would consider playing beyond age 45, Brady smiled.

“Yeah, definiltely,” he said, adding he told his dad he would “play until I suck.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) and defensive end Myles Garrett (95) celebrate after the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Divisional round primer: Browns take aim at another upset

The Cleveland Browns get to celebrate their first postseason win in 26 years but their reward isn’t as fun as wakeboarding on Lake Erie.

The sixth-seeded Browns receive a date next Sunday (3:05 p.m. ET) against the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs.

The host Chiefs are also known as the defending Super Bowl champions and are heavy favorites to end Cleveland’s season in the AFC divisional round matchup.

But Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t willing to listen to the refrain, not after his team led the entire way in Sunday’s 48-37 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round.

“Nobody here is satisfied yet,” Mayfield said. “There’s a new standard and we’re going to try to keep it that way.”

The powerful Chiefs are well-rested after receiving a bye and quarterback Patrick Mahomes likely took note that Cleveland allowed Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger to complete 47 passes (in 68 attempts) for 501 yards.

Following is a quick glance at next week’s other three playoff games:

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills
The second-seeded Bills halted their own playoff issues on Saturday when they edged the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 for their first postseason triumph since the 1995 season. Buffalo will host the fifth-seeded Ravens on Saturday (8:15 p.m. ET).

Quarterback Josh Allen has provided Buffalo with a toughness quality at quarterback and top target Stefon Diggs has been superb all season. The Ravens counter with Lamar Jackson, who passed for 179 yards and rushed for 136 in Sunday’s 20-13 slaying of the fourth-seeded Tennessee Titans.

Baltimore is more accustomed to postseason play than the Bills and will certainly hope its defense can rattle Allen. The Ravens impressively held Titans’ 2,000-yard back Derrick Henry to 40 yards on 18 carries.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Tom Brady and Drew Brees will square off for the third time this season when the fifth-seeded Buccaneers visit the second-seeded Saints on Sunday (6:40 p.m. ET). New Orleans and Brees won the first two matchups by a combined 72-26.

The Saints held Chicago out of the end zone until the final play of Sunday’s 21-9 victory in the NFC wild-card round and will look to frustrate Brady. The 43-year-old Brady threw just two touchdowns against New Orleans this season while being picked off five times and sacked on six occasions.

Brees tossed six touchdown passes without an interception against the Buccaneers. And it surely doesn’t hurt to have do-everything running back Alvin Kamara on your team.

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
NFL MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers and the top-seeded Green Bay Packers are coming off a bye as they prepare to host the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday (4:35 p.m. ET).

The sixth-seeded Rams already won one game in which few gave them a chance as they recorded a 30-20 road win over the Seattle Seahawks. Jared Goff (fractured right thumb) was forced into action when backup quarterback John Wolford suffered a neck injury and he is going to need to be able to throw the ball better (he was 9 of 19 vs. Seattle) for the Rams to keep up with the Packers.

Rodgers and star wideout Davante Adams (tied Sterling Sharpe’s franchise record of 18 touchdown catches) have been terrorizing defenses all season. Green Bay figures to keep its foot on the pedal early and often as it knows the Rams aren’t equipped for a shootout.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) scores a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of a NFL game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers rally from 17 down to stymie Falcons

Tom Brady threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown with 6:19 remaining and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 31-27 on Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.

Brady completed 31 of 45 passes for a season-high 390 yards and tossed two touchdowns, with most of the production coming in the second half. The winning points came on Brown’s first touchdown since joining the team last month.

Matt Ryan threw for three touchdowns, but the Falcons failed to put a dent in the Buccaneers’ bid for a playoff spot. Instead, it was another lead that Atlanta (4-10) didn’t protect.

Ryan finished 34 of 49 for 356 yards in the first of two meetings scheduled across the final three weeks of the regular season. Atlanta ended its home slate with a 2-6 record.

The Buccaneers (9-5), who improved to 5-2 on the road, scored on their first five second-half possessions before punting, giving Atlanta the ball at the Falcons’ 12-yard line with 2:40 remaining. Four plays later, the Falcons were stopped on downs after picking up only 7 yards.

Tampa Bay wiped out a 17-0 halftime deficit in less than 19 minutes, tying the game at 24 on Ryan Succop’s 27-yard field goal with 11:15 remaining.

Younghoe Koo’s 52-yarder put the Falcons back on top. Barely more than two minutes later, the Buccaneers held their first lead as Brown broke free from the Atlanta secondary.

The Buccaneers rallied within 24-21 on the strength of Leonard Fournette’s two 1-yard touchdown runs and Chris Godwin’s 4-yard touchdown reception from Brady in the third quarter. Amid those touchdowns, the Falcons struck on Ryan’s 7-yard pass to Hayden Hurst.

The Falcons scored on the game’s first possession on Ryan’s 5-yard pass to Russell Gage. Atlanta doubled its lead on Ryan’s 12-yard pass play to Calvin Ridley in the second quarter, completing a 10-play drive that covered 65 yards.

Koo’s 32-yard field goal with 15 seconds to play in the opening half capped a 13-play, 75-yard possession.

In the first half, Brady was 10-for-16 passing for 70 yards and sacked twice. The Buccaneers had 60 yards of total offense by the break compared to Atlanta’s 261.

–Field Level Media