The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recover from a 16-6 deficit and a dismal performance by Tom Brady as they beat the Arizona Cardinals 19-16 to close out the NFL’s Christmas Day schedule and win the league’s most dying division I put it in the best position for .
The Buccaneers entered the game with a significant advantage given that the Cardinals had started career backup quarterback Trace McSorley, but that meant their own offense struggled for most of the game. Brady finished 48-32 with 281 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, averaging 3.8 yards per rush in the running game.
Some plays were particularly rough.
But then Brady did what he’s done so often since the turn of the century. Going into the fourth quarter by 10 points, Brady led the Bucks to their first touchdown drive, then capitalized on a Mussorley fumble to score the game-tying field goal.
Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation, but their final drives went nowhere. Completed back-to-back passes to put the team in field goal range.
Ryan Succop drilled a 40-yard game-winner down the middle.
McSorley, who was playing for the injured Kyler Murray, struggled more than Brady. He finished 45-for-24 with his 217 yards and interceptions. Almost a quarter of his yardage came from his great 47-yard catch by Marquise Brown.
The loss lowered the Cardinals to 4-11. At this point, the team may be counting the weeks until the end of the season and considering an organizational overhaul.
Buccaneers could take NFC South next week
NFC South is really rotten this year, but the Buccaneers are the least rotten.
Tampa Bay is 7-8, leading the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints by one game. They’re still holding the tiebreak against the Saints thanks to his two wins earlier this season, so all they have to do to clinch the division next week is beat the Panthers at home. .
However, if the Buccaneers lose, the Bucks will need help from the New Orleans Saints to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18.