Nov 27, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards (32) defends during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Chubb’s TD run lifts Browns over Bucs in OT

Nick Chubb ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in overtime to give the Cleveland Browns a 23-17 victory Sunday against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The winning run was set up by a 46-yard pass from Jacoby Brissett to Amari Cooper that moved the ball to Tampa Bay’s 3-yard line. Defender Carlton Davis III fell down on the play before Cooper made the reception.

Brissett passed for 210 yards, one TD and one interception in what was likely his final start before Deshaun Watson returns from his suspension.

Cleveland tied it at 17-17 with 32 seconds left in regulation on Brissett’s 12-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku on fourth-and-10 and Cade York’s extra point.

After the teams exchanged punts on the first three possessions of OT, the Browns (4-7) began their winning drive on their own 29 with 2:45 left.

Chubb rushed for 116 yards on 26 carries as the Browns snapped a two-game losing streak. Cooper caught seven passes for 94 yards.

Tom Brady passed for 246 yards and two scores for the Bucs (5-6). Chris Godwin had 12 catches for 110 yards and a TD.

The Buccaneers had taken a 17-10 lead with 7:41 left in the third quarter on Brady’s 5-yard TD pass to Ko Kieft.

Tampa Bay used up only 25 seconds on a possession that resulted in a punt from its own 10-yard line with 2:10 left in regulation. The Browns began their game-tying drive at Tampa Bay’s 46.

The Buccaneers had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Anthony Schwartz took a pitch from Kareem Hunt and ran 31 yards on the reverse to give Cleveland a 7-0 lead at 10:45 of the first quarter.

Brady connected with Godwin on a 10-yard TD pass to level the score with 5:11 left in the first quarter.

York’s 51-yard field goal gave Cleveland a 10-7 edge with 2:22 remaining in the first quarter.

Tampa Bay tied it up again on Ryan Succop’s 42-yard field with 39 seconds left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard (25) holds off Philadelphia Eagles free safety Marcus Epps (22) in the third quarter in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs backs: Giovani Bernard in, Leonard Fournette out

The Buccaneers activated Giovani Bernard on Saturday and ruled fellow running back Leonard Fournette out for Sunday’s game at Cleveland.

Tampa Bay designated Bernard to return to practice on Monday. He had been on injured reserve since Sept. 21 after sustaining an ankle injury in Week 2.

Bernard, who turned 31 on Tuesday, had one kickoff return for 14 yards through the first two games this season. He played 11 snaps, all on special teams.

He has rushed for 3,755 yards and 22 touchdowns and caught 365 passes for 2,990 yards and 14 scores in 129 NFL games (30 starts) with the Cincinnati Bengals (2013-20) and Tampa Bay.

Rookie running back Rachaad White will make his second straight start when the Buccaneers (5-5) visit the Browns (3-7), with Fournette missing his first game of the season.

Fournette sustained a hip pointer in the second half of the Nov. 13 victory against the Seattle Seahawks in Munich, Germany, but did not make enough progress during Tampa Bay’s bye week to get on the field this weekend.

Fournette, 27, has rushed for 462 yards and three scores in 10 games this season, his third campaign with the Bucs and sixth in the NFL.

White, 23, carried 22 times for a season-high 105 yards against the Seahawks. He has 357 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown in 10 games.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Munich, Germany; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich in the first half against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL International Series game at Allianz Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Now atop division, Buccaneers look for more success vs. Browns

Coming off their bye week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will return to action — and the United States — when they visit the struggling Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon.

The Buccaneers (5-5) sit atop the NFC South after defeating Seattle 21-16 in Munich on Nov. 13.

Quarterback Tom Brady said Tampa Bay faces “a big, big stretch ahead” as the prepares to face Cleveland.

“This time of year, some teams get worse and stop believing, lose hope,” Brady said Wednesday. “And other teams do the opposite.”

The Browns (3-7), who lost to Buffalo last week in a game moved to Detroit due to severe snow in upstate New York, are trying to avoid losing hope after dropping two straight and six of seven. They trail first-place Baltimore by four games in the AFC North.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is expected to make his final start for Cleveland before Deshaun Watson becomes eligible for the Dec. 4 game at Houston.

Watson returned to practice last week for the first time during his 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He faced sexual misconduct allegations stemming from massage therapy sessions but has since reach confidential settlements with a number of the women who filed civil lawsuits against him.

Brissett said he remained focused on this week’s game against Tampa Bay and former New England Patriots teammate Brady.

“I haven’t really thought about the future yet, and honestly don’t want to right now because of how much this week means to me,” Brissett said.

With rain in the forecast for Sunday’s game, Cleveland’s ability to run could be key. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have helped the Browns average 150.9 rushing yards, fifth best in the league.

Tampa Bay’s run defense — which has yielded 116.6 rushing yards per game — includes nose tackle Vita Vea, who did not practice Wednesday due to a foot injury.

“He’s a great player,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He’s so physically just big from a measurement standpoint, not just the way he moves his feet. It’s very, very rare to have a guy that size that moves laterally and then is so powerful.”

Brady, understandably, also concerns Stefanski since Tampa Bay’s offense features the fifth-best passing attack (269.8 yards per game).

“He doesn’t take sacks, he doesn’t throw interceptions, throws it at a high level,” Stefanski said of Brady. “He’s on time, accurate.”

Unlike Cleveland, Tampa Bay has struggled to run the ball. The Bucs are last in the league with an average of 70.7 rushing yards, though they ran for 161 in beating the Seahawks.

“We got the win (against Seattle), but we’ve got to do it every week,” Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said. “We have seven games left. We just got to produce and execute every week.”

Tampa bay running back Leonard Fournette (hip) and guard Luke Goedeke (foot) had limited participation in Wednesday’s practice for Tampa Bay. Receiver Russell Gage Jr. (hamstring) did not practice.

An extensive Browns injury report listed nine players who did not practice, including safety D’Anthony Bell (concussion), guard Joel Bitonio (illness/rest), defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney (rest) and Myles Garrett (rest) and tight end David Njoku (ankle/knee). Receiver Amari Cooper was also held out due to rest.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard (25) holds off Philadelphia Eagles free safety Marcus Epps (22) in the third quarter in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs designate RB Giovani Bernard to return from IR

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers designated running back Giovani Bernard to return from injured reserve Monday.

The move opens a 21-day practice window for Bernard to be promoted to the active roster.

He was placed on IR on Sept. 21 after sustaining an ankle injury in the Week 2 win against the New Orleans Saints.

Bernard, who turns 31 on Tuesday, had one kickoff return for 14 yards through the first two games this season. He played 11 snaps, all on special teams.

Bernard has rushed for 3,755 yards and 22 touchdowns and caught 365 passes for 2,990 yards and 14 scores in 129 NFL games (30 starts) with the Cincinnati Bengals (2013-20) and Bucs.

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette (hip) facing further tests

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette exited Sunday’s win in Germany with a hip pointer and will undergo further testing, head coach Todd Bowles confirmed.

Fournette was removed in the fourth quarter of the 21-16 win against the Seattle Seahawks in Munich.

He rushed 14 times for 57 yards before departing, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that put the Buccaneers (5-5) ahead 14-0 at halftime. He caught one pass for 1 yard.

Fournette also threw an interception when he attempted a pass to quarterback Tom Brady on a gadget play in the third quarter.

Fournette, 27, has run for 462 yards and three touchdowns in 10 starts this season, his third campaign with the Bucs and sixth in the NFL.

–Field Level Media

Leonard Fournette strides into the end zone for a touchdown in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' win over the Seattle Seahawks in Munich, Germany.

Bucs defense stifles Seahawks in NFL’s Germany debut

Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held off a late rally to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 21-16 Sunday in Munich, the NFL’s first game played in Germany.

The NFC South-leading Bucs, who entered last in the league with 61 yards rushing per game, exceeded that by 100. Rachaad White rushed for a career-high 105 yards on 22 carries and Leonard Fournette added 57 yards and a TD on 14 attempts.

Brady was 22-of-29 passing for 258 yards, hitting Julio Jones with a 31-yard scoring strike in the second quarter and Chris Godwin from 4 yards early in the fourth.

The Bucs, who snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a 16-13 victory against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, were dominant defensively, allowing 283 yards of total offense.

The NFC West-leading Seahawks (6-4) had a four-game winning streak come to an end. They failed to reach the end zone until Geno Smith’s 21-yard TD pass to Tyler Lockett with 8:20 left. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score 21-9.

Brady was picked off by linebacker Cody Barton midway through the fourth quarter, Brady’s first interception in 399 attempts since the season opener. That was three passes shy of the NFL record of 402 held by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.

The interception led to Smith’s 19-yard TD pass to Marquise Goodwin with 3:58 left, pulling the Seahawks within 21-16.

But Brady and the Bucs were able to run out the clock.

After a scoreless first quarter, Brady found Jones and Fournette scored on a 1-yard run to give the Bucs a 14-0 halftime lead. The Seahawks punted on all five of their first-half possessions.

Seattle’s Jason Myers made a 55-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half.

Smith completed 23 of 33 passes for 275 yards and led the Seahawks with 22 yards rushing. Rookie Kenneth Walker III was limited to 17 yards on 10 carries.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrates following a touchdown against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Carroll amped for Seahawks-Buccaneers battle in Munich

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was asked about this week’s trip to Munich, Germany, to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday as part of the NFL’s International Series.

“To me, it’s like a (college) bowl game,” said Carroll, who guided USC to several, including a Bowl Championship Series title, before returning to the pros over a decade ago. “Everything around it, there is somewhat of a celebration everywhere you go as you travel and at the airport. It just seems like there is an added level of attention to it that makes it fun.”

It will be the first NFL game played at Allianz Arena, the home of the FC Bayern Munich soccer team, and will feature a pair of division leaders.

The surprising Seahawks (6-3) have won four consecutive games to move atop the NFC West, while Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (4-5) are tied for first with Atlanta in the NFC South.

Carroll said his players are excited about the trip.

“They are really pumped up about it,” Carroll said. “We are going to try and put on a show, make them see our football, and experience it in a way they never have before. It’s an honor to do that, and we will respect the heck out of every aspect of this.”

This will be the Seahawks’ second European trip in four years — they defeated the then-Oakland Raiders 27-3 in London in 2018 — so they have a feel for what’s ahead.

“Really, we are going to get on the bus, get on the plane, we will sleep a little bit longer, and we will be in a different country,” Carroll said. “It’s really not that big of a deal.”

The Seahawks won 31-21 at Arizona last week as Geno Smith shook off a pick-six to throw for 275 yards and two touchdowns while rookie Kenneth Walker III rushed for 109 and two more scores.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, had to rally to defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams 16-13 at home to end a three-game skid. Brady completed 5 of 6 passes for 60 yards on the winning drive, the record 55th of his career, and hit rookie tight end Cade Otton with a 1-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining.

“We have not played the way we’re capable. Just some things have kind of not really fallen our way at all,” said Brady, who became the first NFL quarterback to throw for more than 100,000 career yards, including regular season and playoffs. “Hopefully we can get a win (Sunday), get to 5-5 and then the whole season is ahead of us.”

Added Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles: “It’s a lot easier to fly overseas after you win a game than when you lose a game. We’ve just got to start putting (victories) together.”

Brady’s options might be diminished Sunday as several of his receivers were listed on the injury report this week. Wideouts Julio Jones (knee) and Russell Gage (hamstring) have missed practice, while Mike Evans (ribs/ankle) has been a limited participant. Guards Shaq Mason (ankle) and Luke Goedeke (foot) have also sat out, as has linebacker J.J. Russell (hamstring).

The Seahawks are relatively healthy, with nose tackle Al Woods and defensive end Poona Ford both missing practice because of illnesses and linebacker Cullen Gillaspia sidelined with a knee injury.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) drops back to pass against the Los Angeles Rams in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady becomes first to surpass 100,000 passing yards

Tom Brady became the first player in NFL history to rack up 100,000 career passing yards across the regular season and playoffs Sunday.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback entered Sunday’s home game against the Los Angeles Rams standing at 99,836 total yards. He surpassed 100,000 on a fourth-quarter pass to running back Leonard Fournette, who went 15 yards on a third-down play.

“I think for me it’s a credit to all the guys that I’ve played with, and who have blocked for me, who have caught passes,” Brady said after the game. “I think I can’t do (expletive) in this league without guys doing what they are amazing at, too.”

Brady made sure the milestone happened in a winning effort. He engineered a 60-yard drive in 35 seconds with no timeouts and connected with rookie tight end Cade Otton on 1-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining to lift Tampa Bay over the Rams, 16-13. That play gave Brady 280 passing yards for the game and 100,116 for his career.

It marked another NFL record — Brady’s 55th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime, breaking a tie with Peyton Manning.

Brady already owns the career regular-season passing yards record, which he took from Drew Brees last season. Brees is a distant second on the list for regular-season plus postseason yardage, at 85,724.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass the ball against the Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady leads Buccaneers over Rams in final seconds

Tom Brady became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 100,000 yards — counting playoff games — and led a last-minute drive Sunday to pace the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 16-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Brady drove Tampa Bay (4-5) 60 yards in 35 seconds with no timeouts, finding rookie tight end Cade Otton for a 1-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining. Otton’s 28-yard catch over the middle on the drive’s first play pushed the Bucs into Los Angeles territory and a pass interference call in the end zone set up a first-and-goal.

Brady completed 36 of 58 passes for 280 yards as the Buccaneers won for just the second time in seven games and moved into a tie with Atlanta for first place in the NFC South.

Matthew Stafford connected on just 13 of 27 attempts for 165 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (3-5), who now trail Seattle by 2 1/2 games in the NFC West. Los Angeles has been outscored 71-10 in the fourth quarter this year.

Ryan Succop kicked three field goals for Tampa Bay, its only points until Brady assured his record-setting effort would come as part of a much-needed win.

In a rematch of January’s NFC Divisional Round classic — won by Los Angeles on a last-play field goal by Matt Gay — the teams spent the first half demonstrating why neither is anywhere near that level in 2022.

Tampa Bay initiated scoring on its first possession, controlling the ball for more than 6 1/2 minutes before settling for Succop’s 20-yard field goal at the 7:16 mark of the first quarter.

The Rams didn’t run a single play from the Buccaneers’ half of the field in the first half of play, but still made one big play to take a lead into halftime. That was Stafford’s 69-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp just over two minutes into the second quarter. Kupp broke open down the numbers on the right side and Stafford hit him in stride for his sixth score in eight games.

Gay made a 35-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the third quarter to give the Rams a 13-6 lead before Tampa Bay’s comeback.

–Field Level Media

Oct 27, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up before the start of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers hosting Rams in surprising battle of mediocrity

Two of the most surprising developments of the NFL season are the mediocrity of both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams. Neither team thought they’d be below .500 entering Week 9 — and neither team made a noteworthy move at this week’s trade deadline.

The past two Super Bowl champions will compete for a much-needed win on Sunday in Tampa, Fla.

The Rams (3-4) have lost three of their last four games, including a season sweep at the hands of the rival San Francisco 49ers. They were outscored 21-0 in the second half of last week’s 31-14 home loss to San Francisco.

“They made some big plays that they were able to capitalize on, scoring opportunities, and then there was a couple instances where we had chances to be able to make plays and didn’t quite deliver,” coach Sean McVay said. “That’s where things get out of whack and you don’t end up finishing the game the way that you want.”

Multiple reports said the Rams attempted to land Carolina Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns at the trade deadline by offering multiple first-round picks, but were rebuffed.

The defending champs can still rely on a fearsome defense without Burns — the Aaron Donald-anchored unit ranks fifth in yards allowed per game. But the Rams are fifth from the bottom in the NFL in scoring offense at just 16.9 ppg. Matthew Stafford has thrown eight interceptions, tied for second-most in the league, to just seven touchdowns.

Still, Los Angeles catches Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (3-5) at an opportune time.

Tampa Bay is 1-5 in the past six games, including losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers, two of the weakest teams in the league. The Bucs have had extra time to regroup after playing on “Thursday Night Football” last week, when their comeback effort fell short in a 27-22 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Though Brady has a 9:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and leads the NFL in completions (224) and pass attempts (340), he’s averaged a substandard 6.7 yards per attempt and the offense is tied for 25th in third-down efficiency (34.6 percent).

Brady and Stafford aren’t getting any help from their respective running games, the least productive in the league. Tampa Bay (61.9 yards per game) ranks dead last; Los Angeles (68.4 ypg) is 31st.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles alluded to the notion that his team wants more balance on offense.

“You’d like to say that, but if they’ve got nine guys up there, you’re going to have to throw the football,” Bowles said. “We’re going to take what they give us, but we’re definitely going to try to run it more.”

For the Rams, disgruntled running back Cam Akers hasn’t played since Week 5 as the team worked to try to find a trade partner who’d take him. None materialized before the deadline, and on Wednesday McVay said Akers expressed a desire to remain with the team.

There’s a chance he could play Sunday — and just as much of a chance that the Rams release him.

“We’ve talked about a couple of different options,” McVay said. “Wanted to be able to give him an opportunity to weigh that with his family and with his representation, and then we’ll circle back later on this afternoon and see what the next move is.”

The Rams also could get rookie running back Kyren Williams (ankle) back soon after he returned to practice last week.

Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp (ankle) missed Wednesday’s practice, but McVay has indicated the injury is not serious and he should be able to play against the Bucs. Center Brian Allen (knee) also sat out while receiver Van Jefferson (knee) was limited.

Tampa Bay’s interior offensive line is banged up and could be tested again this week, as guards Luke Goedeke (foot) and Shaq Mason (personal, ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Wide receivers Russell Gage (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) and cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion) were also DNPs, while receiver Mike Evans (ankle) and tight end Cameron Brate (neck) were limited participants.

–Field Level Media