Tom Brady and therefore 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 had been Brady and therefore the defending Super Bowl champions who began their season with a victory, though, because the Buccaneers drove down for a game-winning Ryan Succop field goal within the waning seconds to defeat the Cowboys, 31-29. Chase Goodbread breaks down what you would like to understand from Thursday’s action. The trick bag is still full for Brady. Tom Brady opened his 2021 season going right back to Brady things. He put all kinds of different throws on display in leading the Bucs’ first TD drive, serving notice to the league that he not only still has the fastball, but a good range of other pitches.
A rifle-like throw to Rob Gronkowski into a decent 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 touch and trajectory for a 28-yard strike. He finished, of course, with a classic Brady game-winning drive to line up kicker Ryan Succop for a game-winning 36-yard field goal. Notch another late comeback for the GOAT. He’s still Brady. Dak comes out firing. You had to love how Dallas came out offensively, albeit its first possession led to a punt. protected near his line against what might rather be the NFL’s best defensive front seven, Dak Prescott showed no ill effects from his ankle injury.
Well-protected from his own end zone, he fired a deep strike with midseason touch, hitting a good open Amari Cooper for 28 yards. it had been a gutsy call from the Cowboys coaching staff, one that demonstrated not only the initial confidence in post-injury Prescott but within the pass protection, as well. Mike McCarthy placed the sport squarely in his hands with 58 pass attempts, and he was up to the task everywhere but the scoreboard. Shaky starts for Zuerlein. Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a 48-yard FG within the clutch — to require a one-point lead with 1:24 remaining — but during a 31-29 loss, it is the misses he’ll remember. He had a chip FG try to go wide from 31 yards and missed an additional point.
Forget the ill-advised 60-yarder he missed late within the half — that was an excessive amount to ask — but leaving four points on the sector from short home in a two-point loss is that the quiet thing that shortens a training staff’s patience quickly. Following offseason back surgery, his performance going forward warrants attention. Bucs secondary is a primary issue. The Bucs’ defensive backfield was short-handed, and it showed. Already minus injured starting safety Jordan Whitehead from the outset, the Bucs also lost Nickelback Sean Murphy-Bunting, whose night had barely begun before he exited with a dislocated elbow, and safety Mike Edwards, who exited but later returned.
Not surprisingly, the Bucs’ vaunted defense had its troubles against 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 pass rush will protect this secondary, but a minimum of early within the season, it’d need to roll in the hay tons . A tall task for McGovern. handling the Bucs’ defensive front wasn’t a fun assignment for backup OL Connor McGovern. He stepped in at right guard for one among the simplest within the game in Zack Martin, who is stuck in COVID-19 protocols. He was overpowered sometimes and had his share of trouble anchoring in pass protection, resulting in more pressure on Prescott than Tampa Bay’s sack total (one) would indicate.
That pressure came from everywhere, however, so it wasn’t nearly all on Martin’s replacement. Still, Martin’s return to the lineup won’t come a flash timely for the Cowboys. Next-Gen stat of the game: Tom Brady faced pressure on just 18% of his dropbacks against the Cowboys, even better than the 24.9 pressure percentage that his pass protection allowed in 2020. NFL Research: Tom Brady’s two TD passes to Rob Gronkowski gave them 100 all-time, counting postseason play. the sole duo with more in NFL history? Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison (114).