How Washington Crushed Tom Brady, Buccaneers Return Hope With 19 Plays, 10 Minutes Drive

Tom Brady leads all NFL quarterbacks with a staggering 41 comebacks in the fourth quarter. The Washington football team must have been well aware of this as their offense took the field with 10:55 remaining in the fourth inning, leading 23-19.

It took Brady just 1 minute 37 seconds to score after an earlier save from the Buccaneers – and their final goal of the game. He drove 47 yards to Tampa Bay in three innings after a tumble from Dax Milne, circling the wheel with a 40 yard touchdown throw for Mike Evans. The score gave the Bucs the lead.

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That’s the prospect that Washington’s Taylor Heinicke quarterback must face as he and his attack hit the field. The unit – up to that point only had 240 yards of attack in total and that expensive turnover – responded with an 80 yards down, 19 plays, which took a staggering 10 hours and 26 minutes. By the time Antonio Gibson ran back to punch it from long distance, Brady had only 29 seconds to score 10: that was too much, even for him.

This was the last play of the game, where Gibson faced off to score 29-19:

With that, Sporting News breaks down the momentum that has destroyed any hopes Brady and the Bucs had for completing another heartbreaking comeback:

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Any drive that takes 19 plays is impressive. But Washington’s is even more astounding for the simple reason that the Buccaneers don’t implement driving time-extending penalties. (By contrast, in the past two weeks alone, we’ve seen multiple drives renewed because of penalties, including Saints-Titans, Bengals-Jets and Bears-Steelers).

Credit to Tampa Bay for playing a relatively clean finale. Also credit to Heinicke and Co. for having completed the driving process without formal intervention.


Heinicke put on a perfect six-for-six finish on the pass, completing the pass to five different recipients: Jerron McKissick, Terry McLaurin, John Bates, Adam Humphries and Gibson. He took up more than half of the area on the track with 43 yards through and two contentions in 5 yards. He also converted two attempts down to third with his passes. Speaking of which . . .

4 for 5

Washington had an impressive 4 to 5 record with third down attempts along the way, including three straight into Tampa territory. The furthest distance to reach is 5 yards. Here are the third attempts they face on their way to the end zone:

  • Tuesday and Monday, Washington 28: Heinicke scrambles for 3 yards with Washington 31
  • Third and 1st, Tampa Bay 33: Gibson runs 2 yards to Tampa Bay 31
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, Tampa Bay 25: Heinicke overtakes Humphries in 5 yards to Tampa Bay 20
  • Tuesday and 5, Tampa Bay 15: Heinicke passes McLaurin 6 yards to Tampa Bay 9
  • Third goal and goal, Tampa Bay 4: Gibson runs 3 yards to Tampa Bay 1

The only unsuccessful third attempt was the last of the helm, as Gibson came up a yard from the goal line. WFT coach Ron “Riverboat” Rivera, perhaps made his biggest gamble in the game, choosing to go for it in the race’s only fourth drop attempt. The bet paid off when Gibson scored to give the WFT an unsurpassable lead.

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Credit goes to Heinicke for his effective final strike (he finished the game with 26 of 36 passes and a scoreline), but Gibson was also instrumental, rushing nine times. in 30 meters. That included a five-player stretch in which he dashed four times (including a third down-conversion) and four straight dashes to end the drive, including a down-switch.


You can’t skip the clock-killing laps with tons of explosions, but it’s still surprising to see that the longest lap gain is completing the 16-yard run ahead of McLaurin. The finish line came on the fourth inning of the race when Washington faced 1 and 10 on round 31. This was the only inning of 10 yards or more. The second-longest of those were six-yard shots from Heinicke; McKissic, Bates and McLaurin, respectively.


That’s the number of plays that took place in the Bucs territory: 14 out of 19 plays, or 73.7%. For those counting at home, that’s an average of 3.5 yards per play. Not really impressive, but just enough for Washington to walk out of the FedExField with victory in hand. | How Washington Crushed Tom Brady, Buccaneers Return Hope With 19 Plays, 10 Minutes Drive

Huynh Nguyen

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