SportsPulse: Lorenzo completed the common season on a sizzling streak and is able to roll for the playoffs. Listed here are his 3 ideal bets for Saturday’s motion within the NFL wild-card.
For the primary time since their 2002 Tremendous Bowl season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have received a playoff recreation.
Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David successfully sealed a 31-23 victory Saturday evening at FedExField when he fought thru a block to drop Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke 11 yards at the back of the road of scrimmage with 2:22 to play in an NFC wild-card recreation.
Credit score 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, who notched his 31st occupation playoff victory and primary now not in a New England uniform, for advancing Tampa after an 11-Five season.
“He’s a fighter,” stated Buccaneers operating again Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 93 yards and a landing. “He performs onerous, he works onerous, he research onerous. He’s the person for the process.”
Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady (Picture: Brad Generators, USA TODAY Sports activities)
Brady threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-40 passing, carving up the Soccer Workforce’s secondary early together with a 36-yard landing to receiver Antonio Brown and a 27-yarder to Chris Godwin. That used to be sufficient to offer Tampa a lead it will by no means lose in spite of the Soccer Workforce’s nasty entrance sacking Brady thrice and hitting him seven in overall.
The drive harm Tampa within the pink zone, its 1-of-Five evening prompting Brady to say his unit has “undoubtedly so much to enhance.” However the Buccaneers nonetheless logged 507 yards of offense within the victory and safe smartly sufficient for Buccaneers trainer Bruce Arians to deadpan of Washington’s entrance: “No, they did not scare us.”
“If it’s good to win 100 to not anything, it’s going to be the similar end result,” Brady stated in a while. “You’d like to play nice each and every recreation, I feel it’s excellent to win and advance, and if we don’t play smartly subsequent week, we’re now not going to feel free.
“So I’m satisfied we received, satisfied we were given any other week of labor and we’re going to move in and check out to do a a lot better process this week and get able for whoever our opponent is.”
Heinicke, for his phase, inspired in spite of falling quick past due. The Buccaneers had been already preferred earlier than Washington quarterback Alex Smith used to be dominated out with a lingering calf harm that hampered his mobility and capability for the wildcard recreation. Heinicke, making simply his 2d occupation get started, demonstrated athleticism and gave the impression unfazed through Buccaneer blitzes and through a non-throwing shoulder harm that wanted locker-room exam as he threw for 306 yards, a landing and an interception along with six rushes for a team-best 46 yards.
“He used to be very elusive,” stated Arians, who additionally deemed his protection’s tackling “horrible” till the general 8 mins. “We had been actually hoping for Alex as a result of we knew that a part of the sport wasn’t going to be in there, and (Heinicke) were given out of a few actually excellent spots, made some actually excellent performs. He had a large number of poise.”
Heinicke used to be spectacular scrambling, thrice changing a primary down along with his legs along with a third-quarter landing. Heinicke eluded a sack, dipped during the pocket, scrambled left and dove the general 4 yards to the pylon for the ranking. Washington rookie defensive stud Chase Younger raced from his spot amongst defensive avid gamers at the sideline to embody Heinicke, his left hand round his quarterback’s waist whilst his proper index finger jabbed the nameplate at the again of Heinicke jersey. Younger’s obvious message: “Bear in mind this title.”
The Cinderella efficiency fell quick, the Buccaneers as a substitute advancing to the NFC divisional spherical.
Tampa’s bid to be the primary staff to compete in a place of origin Tremendous Bowl lives on.
Observe USA TODAY Sports activities’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein