The Bucs held on to beat the Washington Football Team on Saturday, getting Tampa Bay’s first postseason win since their 2002 season Super Bowl victory.

Despite quarterback Taylor Heinicke keeping Washington within swinging distance until the end, Tom Brady answered with 381 passing yards and two touchdowns. With their win, the Bucs will now wait until after the Saints and Bears face off on Sunday to see who they’ll be playing in the divisional round of the playoffs next weekend.

Bruce Arians spoke to the media following Tampa Bay’s

On Taylor Heinicke’s performance
“He was very elusive. We knew that he was going to scramble around, there was going to be bootlegs and scrambles and we were really hoping for Alex [Smith] because we knew that part of the game wasn’t going to be there and he got out of some really good spots and made some really good plays. He had a lot of poise.”

On Leonard Fournette’s performance
“Leonard played great, probably the best he’s played all year. I knew it was going to be a big game, we only had two backs. I hated the Ke’Shawn [Vaughn] fumble because he was playing good but I couldn’t say enough about Leonard and how he stepped up.”

On Lavonte David getting a sack late on a big defensive stop
“It was great because we weren’t tackling worth a [expletive] the whole game and we finally got him when it mattered. I don’t think it was the best our defense has played, it was terrible up until the last eight minutes.”

On if it matters who the Bucs’ play next week
“It doesn’t matter. We’re playing and that’s all that matters. Where we go, I mean we’re a better football team than the last time we played the Saints if and when we go there. So it doesn’t matter to me.”

On a chance of getting a home game if the Bears beat the Saints
“Now that part I’ll root for. I will root for that.”

On Mike Evans’ performance
“I mean it was a huge, huge night for him and we always say how tough he is. He was probably at 85, 90 percent which for Mike, that’s great. He played most of the season at 70. We had that one go off his fingertips that I thought he was going to get but no, I can’t say enough about him gutting it out and playing great.”

On Chris Godwin’s drops, Cam Brate’s big night
“Any time the ball goes to Chris it’s automatic and that big [drop] to start the second half was huge. Cam came up huge, I mean he’s had a hell of year for us and Byron [Leftwich] does a great job of getting him matched up.”

On the Bucs’ offensive performance against such a talented pass rush
“I think it was the biggest storyline of the week. Just because one guy says, ‘I want Tom,’ then all of a sudden they have a great front. Our guys took it to heart, they were going to block them and I thought we blocked them really, really well so no, they didn’t scare us.”

On bringing a playoff win to Tampa Bay’s organization and fans
“It’s huge, I just wish we could play at home but we can’t unless certain things fall and then I wish the stadium would be packed but hopefully we’ll continue to play better next week than we did this week.”

 On if the Bucs’ performance was good enough to beat a team like the Saints
“Well we’ll when we play next week. No, this performance defensively wouldn’t, offensively it would be. We’ll show up and see. I think some of our guys, I don’t think veterans did, but I think some of our young guys might have relaxed when Alex Smith wasn’t playing but I kept preaching to them, this kid can run, he can do a lot of things and he almost beat us with his legs. But I’m never going to apologize for winning and next week is next week.”

On how the team performed in their coldest game of the year
“Oh I thought it was balmy, myself. I thought it was beautiful. The breeze picked up a little but you couldn’t have asked for better weather. It wasn’t a factor whatsoever.”

On Alex Cappa’s injury
“It looks like a fracture so hopefully we’ll check on another X-ray with a better X-ray machine but right now it does not look good.”

Share On Socials

About the Author: Taylor Jenkins

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; our defense is lights out when Devin White is attacking the Los and blitzing. It’s no coincidence that we struggled against washington defensively and it’s because white is that disruptive. Watch next week how much better the defense is when white is making his presence felt. Also, I’m tired of all the negative talk. We won. That’s all that matters. Washington played great but when I checked the score, the final was 31-23 bucs. There are no moral victories in the nfl so I don’t understand why everyone is riding washington… Read more »

Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
3 months ago

Exactly. The Defense struggled while missing our biggest reserve guy in the middle and a Captain at LB. no that showing won’t beat the Saints but we also know our Defense can hold the Chiefs to 10 points in 3 quarters, can stop the Packers dead in their tracks after 2 drives, hold the Rams to 10 points in the second half, the Lions to 7 total. This Defense can lock down when they want and at full health should be hungry to get revenge on either the Saints or the Rams. It’s the playoffs! (Playoffs?!) and it’s all or… Read more »

3 months ago

BA is right, as well as our offense played, we won’t beat New Orleans playing like that on defense. To be fair, I thought out first half defensive play calling and execution was OK, but second half it was horrible. Especially on that penultimate drive, when Heinicke scored at the pylon, the whole drive was soft zone coverage with no pass rush. Having Devin White back will surely help, but Todd Bowles will have to be a lot more proactive next week, in blitzing the QB (whoever it is), if we are to get any sustained pass rush.

Reply to  compewterpirate
3 months ago

Containing Brees or Goff will be easier for the D. But, the D pressure has to be better to have a chance of beating the Saints or the Rams. Cappa being out is hurtful.

THE Pewter Pirate
3 months ago

As always, BA tells the truth just as it is…..Last night’s defense was not good enough to take onto the field next week against a Divisional Round opponent, they must improve on some areas. Getting White back will definitely help, and perhaps more respect for the opposing QB will get their heads in the right space as well. In their defense….no pun intended, facing a QB that you have very little film on is always dangerous, but in the end, they stepped up as a unit. Now that the game is over, I can applaud Heinicke’s performance, that kid STEPPED… Read more »

3 months ago

It’s concerning we couldn’t get much pressure with our front four. David, and White need to be our fifth pass rusher on every play. All game I was screaming just let David spy him so he couldn’t scramble. Back in the day when we played a QB who could move like Vic we’d put Brooks on him all game. End of story.

Reply to  surferdudes
3 months ago

You’re right about that Surfer. I remember the game Vick tried to run up the middle and #55 hit him in the tummy. He was never the same after that.

Reply to  scubog
3 months ago