Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were handed the gift of new life in the middle of the fourth quarter on Sunday night and turned it into a Christmas miracle.
A poor pitch attempt from Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley to Keaontay Ingram, led to a fumble recovery by Buccaneers defensive lineman William Gholston. The turnover resulted in a game-tying field goal from Tampa Bay kicker Ryan Succop.
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The Cardinals and Buccaneers would fail to score on their subsequent drives and the game would go into overtime.
Brady was able to lead the Buccaneers offense on a nine-play, 66-yard drive to set up Succop for the 40-yard game-winner. Brady had key passes to Russell and Mike Evans on the drive and the veteran kicker came in for the victory.
Tampa Bay escaped on the road with a 19-16 victory.
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The Buccaneers stayed in control of their own destiny for the NFC South title. A win against the Carolina Panthers next Sunday would give the team a division title and a playoff spot.
Brady’s struggles were apparent in the game. He was 32-for-48 with 281 passing yards and a late touchdown pass to Rachaad White to keep Tampa Bay on Arizona’s tail. Brady threw two interceptions for Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson as well.
Leonard Fournette churned out another solid game for the Bucs. He had 72 rushing yards on 20 carries and nine catches for 90 yards. Gage finished with five catches for 65 yards and Evans had three catches for 29 yards.
McSorley was making his first career start. He finished 24-for-45 with 217 passing yards and an interception. James Conner had a key touchdown run in the fourth quarter and finished with 79 yards on the ground on 15 carries.
Greg Dortch broke out for Arizona with 10 catches for 98 yards.
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The Bucs currently sit as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. If the playoffs started next week, they would host the Dallas Cowboys.