Trace McSorley had the chance to play both hero and spoiler in his first NFL start of his career, helping the Cardinals take the NFC South-leading Buccaneers into overtime in the final game of the league’s Christmas tripleheader . But in the end, Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady, the quarterback elder, won the best match. Sunday night’s showdown was far from Brady’s best game. In fact, for a while, it might have been his most uninspiring of the year. He set up a walk-off field goal from the Kop to win 19-16.
Here are some takeaways from Sunday night’s Buccaneers victory:
Why the Buccaneers won
Not because they understood everything, that’s for sure. For most of Sunday night, Tom Brady looked lethargic all season long, Leonard Fournette struggled to find open lanes on the ground, and only Ryan Sacop looked able to perform consistently. But then Arizona had to putt to the end, and Brady, relying on Fournette, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage, dialed it in the late minutes to score 13 no answers. I took the chance to upgrade. If there was one thing he did well all night, it was Todd.
Why the Cardinals lost
With or without Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy, they consistently fail to move the ball. Arizona’s defense actually works very well, with JJ Watt putting constant pressure on his Tom Brady face and Marco Wilson taking his TB12 deep ball and taking two of his picks instead of one. I was. But despite all of McSorley’s shootout effort, and the veteran’s backup had some pretty downfield shots, including one to Marquise Brown, Arizona kept their rhythm in the air. James Connor and Greg Dorch made the most of every touch, while others like DeAndre Hopkins were basically invisible. seemed to be catching up in the final minutes of the action. Perhaps Tampa Bay winning the battle of ownership time wore it down in the end.
3rd and 9th at the Cardinals’ 36-yard line on OT’s first possession. McSorley had already connected with Marquis Brown for an accurate third downstrike early in the drive. Here, however, he was unable to connect with DeAndre Hopkins on a tight window throw to the left flank, and officials did not honor Hopkins’ plea for pass interference. Guaranteed to win the match with a score of , it was clear that Tampa Bay was poised to come out victorious, albeit uglier.
It wasn’t necessarily a “good” play, but it was huge for the Bucks: McSorley’s quick pitching to Kiontai Ingram caused a fumble that ultimately gave Tampa Bay the bonus possession and the visiting team was forced to play. Allowed to tie things up at 16. -16 late. It also symbolizes the ugly nature of the whole back and forth, including 11 penalties and 5 turnovers.
The Buccaneers (7-8) return home for a New Year’s Day rematch in Week 17 against the rival Panthers (6-9) who upset the Lions on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Cardinals (4-11) are on their way to face the Falcons (5-10).