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Tom Brady leads Buccaneers past Washington in Wild Card game

Tampa Bay moves on to the Divisional round of the playoffs despite heroic effort by Taylor Heinicke

Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passes during the 3rd quarter of the game against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on January 09, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Washington Football Team 31-23, but it wasn’t easy, as quarterback Taylor Heinicke put forth a heroic effort.

Brady played extremely well, completing 22 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns, but they did have some trouble in the red-zone, as Ryan Succop kicked four field goals under 37-yards each.

The Buccaneers never trailed in this matchup, but Heinicke made a spectacular play on third-down as he ran for an eight-yard touchdown, escaping pressure and jumping from the four-yard line to get the ball to the pylon. After an unsuccessful two-point conversion, Washington trailed just 18-16 late in the third quarter.

Unfortunately for the Cinderella Heinicke story, Brady was up to the task, as he kept the heat on, making great throws to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Cameron Brate to ice the game.

Despite coming into the game as questionable, Evans led the way once again, as he caught six passes for 119 yards, while Godwin and Antonio Brown both found the end zone.

The Buccaneers started the game down one player, as their starting running back Ronald Jones injured his quad before the game, giving Leonard Fournette the start. Fournette played well, rushing 19 times for 93 yards and a touchdown while adding 39 yards on four receptions.

Washington running back Antonio Gibson had no luck against the Buccaneers tough run defense, but also appeared to still be hampered by his turf toe injury. His teammate, Heinicke, was the true star for Washington, as he completed 26 passes for 306 yards, one touchdown and one interception to go along with 46 yards rushing and a touchdown. Heinicke won himself a contract somewhere next season.

The Buccaneers will face either face the Saints or the Rams in the Divisional round next week depending on how the Sunday games unfold.