The Bucs opened the NFL season in dramatic fashion with a last-second field goal to win against the Cowboys, 31-29. After the Cowboys took a 29-28 lead following a Chris Godwin fumble at the Dallas 2-yard line, Tom Brady led the Bucs down the field to set up a 36-yard game-winning field goal from Ryan Succop. Godwin made a clutch 24-yard catch to put the Bucs in Succop’s range.
Turnovers were a big part of the game with Tampa Bay giving it away four times on the night. The defense would struggle mightily against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense. Missed tackles and soft coverage allowed Prescott to pick apart the Bucs defense to the tune of 403 yards and 29 points. Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Ceedee Lamb would each go over 100 yards and score a touchdown. Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting suffered a dislocated elbow and missed most of the game, which didn’t help the Bucs secondary.
Brady would throw for 379 yards and four touchdowns but also had two interceptions. Big games by Rob Gronkowski (8-90-2), Chris Godwin (9-105-1) and Antonio Brown (5-121-1) would help propel Tampa Bay to its first win of the season.
The Bucs would receive the ball to start the game, but wouldn’t get much going. After a quick three-and-out by the offense, a beautifully placed punt by Bradley Pinion pinned Dallas at the 2-yard line. Dallas got off to a hot start marching down the field but a false start by the entire offensive line stalled the drive in its track. It was then the Bucs time to go to work and that’s exactly what they did. Tom Brady led the offense 94 yards down the field on nine plays connecting on a 5-yard touchdown to Godwin. Big Plays of 20-plus yards to Brown and Gronkowski would help move the chains.
The Cowboys would answer right back on a 75-yard drive led by Prescott. Cee Dee Lamb would be the recipient on the 22-yard touchdown. Murphy-Bunting was injured on the play after colliding with safety Antoine Winfield Jr. He would be ruled out for the remainder of the game with an elbow injury.
After quick possessions that ended in punts for both teams, the Bucs would get back to work on offense. Driving 50 yards on 6 plays, Brady found old friend Rob Gronkowski for his first “Tuddie” of the season from two yards out. Brady would connect with Godwin ona 19-yard catch and a 17-yard catch and run to help set up the score.
On the ensuing drive the Cowboys would travel 62-yards into Bucs territory. After a near pick in the endzone by Carlton Davis on third-and-three, Dallas kicker Greg Zuerlein missed on a 31-yard field goal attempt. On the Bucs first play after the missed field goal, Ronald Jones II would fumble the ball with a Dallas recovery. Working with a short field the Cowboys would eventually capitalize with a 5-yard touchdown by Amari Cooper. A missed PAT by Zuerlein would leave the Bucs leading 14-13.
The next drive for the Bucs would end very much like the last. A screen pass set up for Leonard Fournette would go off his fingertips and end up in Cowboys corner Trevon Diggs hands for the interception. Dallas’ drive would almost end by a near interception of his own by Lavonte David. It would force a successful field goal try from the Cowboys.
It wouldn’t take very long for the Bucs to answer back. A 41-yard kick return by Jaydon Mickens would set the team up with great field position. After a 10-yard reception by Godwin, Brady would heave the ball 47 yards for a Brown touchdown.
A sack by Shaq Barrett and a big pressure by him on the next play would set up an unsuccessful Dallas field goal attempt. Brady would try a hail mary throw from the 50-yard line with six seconds left in the second quarter. It would result in a 66-yard interception by Jourdan Lewis to end the first half.
The Bucs would take a 21-16 lead into halftime.
The Cowboys would open the second half with a 72-yard drive to the Tampa 2-yard line. The Bucs defense would come up with a big stop and hold Dallas to only three points on the drive. Following a three-and-out by the Bucs, Carlton Davis III would come up with a huge interception that bounced off the fingertips of Lamb. Brady would find Gronk for a 20-yard catch on the first play of the drive. He would find him again for the touchdown from 11-yards out.
The Cowboys would answer right back on a 10 play 75-yard drive resulting in an 21-yard Amari Cooper touchdown. The Cowboys would however lose Michael Gallup on the drive with an ankle injury. Back to Back punts by both teams would set the Bucs up with the ball on a pivotal drive. Leading 28-26, with 10:54 remaining in the fourth quarter the Bucs would chew up over five minutes on the drive before a fumble by Godwin would give the Cowboys the ball back on the Dallas 11-yard line.
Dallas would march down the field, converting on two big third downs, and take a 29-18 lead on a 48-yard field goal. With 1:24 remaining, Brady, the king of comebacks, would lead the Bucs on a 57-yard drive for a game winning 36-yard field goal by Succop with two seconds remaining.
J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.