By Terrance Turner
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers season is (NOT) over.
Quarterback Tom Brady led the Buccaneers to yet another improbable comeback against the New Orleans Saints on “Monday Night Football”. Down 16-3 with just three minutes left, Brady rallied the Bucs to a thrilling last-second victory.
The team scored the first points of the game with a field goal from Succop. But Saints quarterback Andy Dalton fired a 30-yard strike to Saints multi-hyphenate Taysom Hill.
The Tampa Bay offense stayed stagnant. And the Bucs struggles were exacerbated by the stout Saints defense. Brady got picked off by DeMario Davis.
The Saints got possession back. They had a promising drive. But Jarvis Landry dropped what could have been a touchdown. New Orleans still got a field goal off the Brady interception. They led 10-3 at the half.
The Bucs’ woes continued in the second half. Brady was pressured and handed the ball off to Rachaad White, who fumbled. Saints defensive veteran Cam Jordan punched the ball out; the ball was recovered by the Saints.
The Saints ate up 14 minutes of play clock with two long drives. Both of them resulted in field goals. They helped the Saints build up a 16-3 lead. And that lead still held until three minutes were left.
Tampa Bay put together an effective drive, with Brady making completions and Leonard Fournette picking up yardage. Brady aired it out for a far-flung pass to Evans but the Saints got flagged for defensive pass interference. The ball was placed at the spot of the foul, which took the Bucs to first and goal. Brady scored immediately, throwing a pass to Cade Otton for the touchdown. The Bucs trailed 16-10 with exactly 3:00 to go.
The Saints began their drive after the ensuing kickoff. Dalton got sacked on 2nd and 7th by Buccaneers linebacker Carl Nassib. Then disaster struck. Dalton perfectly passed a ball to Hill, but he collided with the Bucs defenders. He got sandwiched between them and lost the ball. The Saints had to punt.
The Bucs launched a desperation drive. Julio Jones took them to first and goal. With 16 seconds left, Brady fired a pass incomplete. Then he threw to Godwin. 3rd and goal. The Saints called a timeout with eight seconds left. Then, the unthinkable happened.
With just seconds to spare, Tampa Bay drilled an extra-point kick to win, 17-16.