Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went back and forth with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys to open the NFL season in an enthralling fashion on Thursday. It was Brady and the defending Tremendous Bowl champions who started their season with a victory, although, because the Buccaneers drove down for a game-winning Ryan Succop area purpose in the waning seconds to defeat the Cowboys, 31-29. Chase Goodbread breaks down what you need to know from Thursday’s motion.
- The trick bag is still full for Brady. Tom Brady opened his 2021 season going proper again to Brady things. He put all kinds of different throws on show in main the Bucs’ first TD drive, serving to discover to the league that he not solely nonetheless has the fastball, however a variety of different pitches. A rifle-like throw to Rob Gronkowski into a tight window over the center plainly had plus velocity. On the very next play, he dialed up a deep toss to Antonio Brown with drop-in-the-bucket contact and trajectory for a 28-yard strike. He finished, in fact, with a basic Brady game-winning drive to arrange kicker Ryan Succop for a game-winning 36-yard field goal. Notch one other late comeback for the GOAT. He is nonetheless Brady.
- Dak comes out firing. You needed to like how Dallas came out offensively, though its first possession ended in a punt. Backed up close to his goal-time towards what might nicely be the NFL’s finest defensive entrance seven, Dak Prescott confirmed no unwell results from his ankle harm. Well-protected from his personal end zone, he fired a deep strike with midseason contact, hitting a wide-open Amari Cooper for 28 yards. It was a gutsy name from the Cowboys teaching workers, one which demonstrated not solely the initial confidence in post-injury Prescott however within the go safety, as nicely. Mike McCarthy positioned the sport squarely in his fingers with 58 go attempts, and he was as much as the duty everywhere but the scoreboard.
- Shaky starts for Zuerlein. Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a 48-yard FG in the clutch — to take a one-point lead with 1:24 remaining — but in a 31-29 loss, it’s the misses he’ll bear in mind. He had a chip shot FG attempt go vast from 31 yards and missed an extra level. Neglect the ill-advised 60-yarder he missed late in the first half — that was too much to ask — but leaving 4 points on the field from brief vary in a two-point loss is the sort of factor that shortens a coaching staff’s patience shortly. Following offseason again surgery, his efficiency going ahead warrants attention.
- Bucs secondary is a primary issue. The Bucs’ defensive backfield was short-handed, and it showed. Already minus injured beginning security Jordan Whitehead from the outset, the Bucs also misplaced Nickelback Sean Murphy-Bunting, whose evening had barely begun earlier than he exited with a dislocated elbow, and security Mike Edwards, who exited however later returned. Not surprisingly, the Bucs’ vaunted protection had its troubles towards Prescott. The Dallas QB threw for 403 yards to eight receivers and beat Bucs fill-in Ross Cockrell on a second-half TD throw to Cooper. Tampa Bay’s go rush will cowl for this secondary, however at the least early in the season, it might need to do it rather a lot.
- A tall task for McGovern. Dealing with the Bucs’ defensive entrance wasn’t a fun project for backup OL Connor McGovern. He stepped in at right guard for among the best within the sport in Zack Martin, who’s caught in COVID-19 protocols. He was overpowered at instances and had his share of bother anchoring in go safety, resulting in extra stress on Prescott than Tampa Bay’s sack total (one) would point out. That stress got here from everywhere, however, so it wasn’t almost all on Martin’s substitute. Nonetheless, Martin’s return to the lineup will not come a moment too soon for the Cowboys.
Next-gen.. stat of the game: Tom Brady faced stress on simply 18% of his dropbacks against the Cowboys, even higher than the 24.9 stress percentage that he goes safety allowed in 2020.
NFL Research: Tom Brady’s two TD passes to Rob Gronkowski gave them 100 all-time, counting postseason play. The one duo with extra in NFL historical past? Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison (114).