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.”

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PissedOffBuc1988
18 days 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 »

Spitfire
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
18 days 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 »

compewterpirate
18 days 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.

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toucan
Reply to  compewterpirate
18 days 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.

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THE Pewter Pirate
18 days 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 »

surferdudes
18 days 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.

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scubog
Reply to  surferdudes
18 days 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.

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toucan
Reply to  scubog
18 days ago

Hahaha…. I remember that hit. Vick actually squealed ! Brooks shot through like a bottle rocket just as Vick crossed the line of scrimmage.

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fredster
18 days ago

This is not a good defense. This draft will have to be mostly defense. I said all year this team will likely go as far as defense takes us. They cannot get pressure with 4. They cannot tackle half time either. They have 1 good CB and two lackluster ones. White helps when blitzing. When he’s in coverage they still stink. Offense will have to play stellar to beat Saints or Packers. This O line has no depth. Lose one guy who’s not best O lineman at all and still struggle. Larsen, Wells, Haig all are pretty bad.

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Oldtimer2
Reply to  fredster
18 days ago

The defense is top notch against the run but the pass coverage is very weak. It seems every quarterback has a career day against the BUCs. We also don’t seem to have edge protection against a mobile quarterback. These weaknesses are putting a lot of pressure on our quality offense. We have good athletes in the secondary, so I believe the failings are due to poor coaching. How do teams always seem to have wide open receivers roaming our secondary? Once we hit a team like the saints with an effective defense and a QB capable of picking even good… Read more »

toucan
Reply to  fredster
18 days ago

The damage of the loss of Vita Vea is so obvious. The run defense is not as good and Vea did apply pressure in the passing game, too. Just getting him back next year will improve the D. Can Murphy-Bunting improve? He needs to. He got the pick last night only because the pass was tipped.

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gg720
Reply to  fredster
18 days ago

Our 3 DB’s couldn’t cover anyone last night and were giving their receivers all kinds of room before they were there to tackle someone. Only time they were close to the receivers, they got a flag for holding them. We need to draft this offseason nothing but defensive backs and let someone else do the draft for these players as Licht drafted these second round backs and they are horrible. 23 should never see the field as a starting back on any defense in the league. When we caught passes there was an opponent hanging on us even if we… Read more »

scubog
18 days ago

I learned a long time ago that any QB putting on an NFL uniform is capable of having the game of his life and, as Ali said,”shock the world”. I remember Clint Longley coming in for the Cowboys and lighting it up. We can blame our “soft” coverage, but that kid was spot-on accurate even if “Prime Time” and Ronde were patrolling the back end. I was most concerned with the disappearance of JPP and Shaq who couldn’t corral the youngster. Sadly, I think JPP might be hurting more than we know.

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toucan
18 days ago

Arians is correct. The Bucs have NO chance of beating the Saints playing D like last night. Brees will eat them up. Red zone offense settled for too many FGs. Bucs will not beat the Rams with FGs.The D struggled last night against a team with a losing record and a substitute QB that they could not contain. Then again, Brees and Goff are not likely to run as well as Heinieki, who did a great job of keeping drives alive for the Skins. Pass coverage for the Bucs was mediocre at best last night. The Saints and Rams have… Read more »

Dave
18 days ago

The most accurate statement I’ve ever heard! The sad thing is, I think it’s 75% on Bowles, and 25% on the players. Bowles, week after week after week after week after week, runs the same horrible gameplan that DOESN’T work. Like Jesus dude, switch it the hell up already. This soft zone crap does NOT work. Ever! If Bowles goes out next week with the the same defensive game plan, we’re cooked. Unless Brady throws for 400 with 3 TD’s and 0 TO’s

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Eddie
Reply to  Dave
17 days ago

There were lots of missed tackle too. Seemed like Bucs had them earlier in the season, much improved lately but returned last night. I hope Godwin is not hurt, the way he dropped passes is uncharacteristic of him.

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Dave
Reply to  Eddie
17 days ago

Yeah see I’m not worried about Godwin one bit. Not even in the slightest. He definitely had an off day, but he’ll bounce back next week for sure! He’s as consistent and reliable as there is in this league. Every player has an off day. Even the best of the best. But I have full faith in a bounce back game for CG

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Spruce
18 days ago

The team reflects it’s coach. Just not mentally disciplined. The game well in hand in the first half and looking to make it a laugher and then the intensity goes poof. Against a kid for crying out loud. The party is over Bucs nation. The string of teams with losing records is over and now they’ll end up playing someone good. Likely their division adversary that they lost to twice. It’s just been a magical run to this point as the seas seem to have parted for a dream like run by the aging Brady. Now he has to really… Read more »

chefboho
Reply to  Spruce
17 days ago

Ummmm every team in the playoffs is a good team. The redskins had the number 2 ranked defense and Brady shredded them. So tired of this “ they’ve only beaten losing teams” analogy people keep using. The rams beat the Seahawks and the colts would’ve won if not for a bone headed fourth down and goal miss and a field goal attempt. Anyone you beat in the playoffs is a good team. Just stop

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Spruce
Reply to  chefboho
17 days ago

You’ve got to be kidding me. The WFT has a terrific defensive line that’s it. They used an inexperienced kid at QB that made the Bucs defense look lazy or incompetent at times and he did it with no running game. The Bucs didn’t beat a good team they struggled at times against a bad team that the Colts and Rams have nothing in common with on an overall talent level. Well the cup cake express is over my friend. Now its on to New Orleans to play a well rounded team the first in quite a while. There’s only… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  Spruce
17 days ago

If the Game against the Saints is close until the end(which I’m very confident it will be), win or lose, I wouldn’t call this season a fail. Setting franchise records on offense, going 11-5, winning a playoff game, and going toe to toe with the division champs, is nothing to be ashamed of. You can call it whatever you want, but I won’t call that a failure. Only 1 team out of 32 gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end. Missing the playoffs, or not winning a playoff game would have been a fail

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Spruce
Reply to  Dave
16 days ago

That’s a perfectly acceptable conclusion for a member of the fan base. The sports world at large not so much. Fact is the franchise spent and ungodly amount of money and signed every piece of the puzzle they thought they needed to go deep into the playoffs. Beating one team with a winning record and whatever that was Saturday night against one of the worst teams ever to be in the playoffs then losing to the Saints again ain’t going to impress many outside of Bucs nation. The Bucs only have a couple years with Brady and a few players… Read more »