Bucs offence falters late in stunning loss to Washington

November 14, 2021
Bucs offence falters late in stunning loss to Washington
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Tom Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter as part of an implosion by the reigning Super Bowl champions, contributing to Washington upsetting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29-19 Sunday while losing Chase Young to injury.

Tampa Bay lost a second consecutive game on either side of its bye week and was dealt an extra blow in the last minute when nose tackle Vita Vea was carted off with an injury on the final play of a 19-play, 80-yard drive over 10:26 that sealed the victory for Washington (3-6).

Brady threw two picks just like the loss to New Orleans two weeks ago and finished 23 of 34 for 220 yards and two touchdown passes.

The Buccaneers (6-3) couldn’t find much of a rhythm on either side of the ball in a rematch of their wild-card victory at Washington from January. Brady’s interceptions on two of his first six throws — one off the hands of rookie Jaelon Darden and another inexplicable toss that was caught by Washington safety Bobby McCain — disjointed the NFL’s best scoring and passing offence, which did not have a first-half touchdown for just the fifth time in the past two seasons.

Brady bounced back in the second half, throwing TD passes to Cameron Brate and Mike Evans. The 40-yard connection with Evans cut the Buccaneers’ deficit to 23-19.

That’s where the comeback bid faltered, when Tampa Bay’s defence could not stop Washington’s offence on the final, clock-draining drive. Coach Ron Rivera lived up to his “Riverboat Ron” nickname by going for it on fourth-and-goal from the Tampa Bay 1-yard line with 31 seconds to go, and Antonio Gibson’s second touchdown run of the day put the game away and caused Vea’s injury, which could linger for the Buccaneers.

Cowboys return to win column with rout of Falcons

Ezekiel Elliott ran for two touchdowns, Nahshon Wright recovered a blocked punt for a score a week after touching one kept Dallas from getting the ball, and the Cowboys routed the Atlanta Falcons 43-3 on Sunday.

Plenty of things that went wrong for the Cowboys in a blowout loss to Denver that ended a six-game winning streak a week ago went right to help the NFC East leaders get back on track.

Offensive execution was among them.

Dallas (7-2) looked much more like the NFL’s No. 1 offence with Dak Prescott throwing two TD passes to CeeDee Lamb and Elliott finishing two drives kept alive by fourth-down conversions, all before halftime.

Bills roll past Jets with blowout victory

Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes, Buffalo ran for four scores and the Bills’ top-ranked ranked defence intercepted Mike White four times and smothered the New York Jets in a 45-17 victory Sunday.

It was an impressive showing for the Bills (6-3), who rebounded from an embarrassing 9-6 loss at Jacksonville last week by thoroughly dominating the lowly Jets (2-7).

Allen was 21 of 28 for 366 yards with TD passes to Matt Breida and Stefon Diggs with an interception. Breida added a scoring run, as did Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie as Buffalo’s offence looked alive and well.

Taron Johnson, Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace and Jordan Poyer each intercepted White, who made his third straight start for the injured Zach Wilson — and it might have been his last.

Titans edge Saints to extend NFL-best winning streak to 6

Ryan Tannehill ran and threw for touchdowns as the Tennessee Titans held off the New Orleans Saints 23-21 Sunday for their NFL-best sixth straight victory.

The Titans (8-2) also became he second team in NFL history to win five straight over playoff teams from the season before, joining the 2003 Philadelphia Eagles. Tennessee improved to 7-0 overall against 2020 playoff teams this season.

The Saints (5-4) dropped their second straight since losing quarterback Jameis Winston to a season-ending ACL injury.

Against the Titans, they also played without a trio of starters in four-time Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara because of an injured knee, left tackle Terron Armstead (knee and shoulder injuries) and defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson (foot), who was just put on injured reserve.

Patriots overpower undermanned Browns in big win

Mac Jones threw three touchdown passes, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for a career-high 100 yards and two scores, and the New England Patriots rolled to a 45-7 victory over Cleveland Sunday as the Browns lost quarterback Baker Mayfield to a knee injury.

The Patriots (6-4) won their fourth straight game. The Browns (5-5) have dropped four of their last six and haven’t won at New England since 1992, when Bill Belichick was their coach.

Jones finished 19 of 23 for 198 yards passing. Hunter Henry added a pair of TD receptions. Playing without star running back Nick Chubb, who missed the game after a positive COVID-19 test, the Browns were held to 217 total yards and were 1 of 11 on third down.

Mayfield limped off the field after taking a pair of hits in the third quarter.

Edge rusher Deatrich Wise drove Mayfield into the turf and was penalized for roughing the passer. Two plays later, linebacker Matt Judon crunched into Mayfield’s midsection, and the QB was slow to get up.

Colts almost fumble lead, narrowly beat Jags

Jonathan Taylor rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown, Indianapolis returned a blocked punt for a score and the Colts’ defence held on for a 23-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Indy (5-5) has won four of five to reach .500 for the first time this season.

The Jaguars (2-7) have lost 12 consecutive road games and nine straight against AFC South foes.

Taylor has scored in seven straight games and posted at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of those, both league-highs. He’s the fourth player during the Super Bowl era to achieve both feats and he’s tied with two-time defending NFL rushing champ Derrick Henry for the league lead with 937 yards.

Steelers tie winless Lions 

Playing without star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who entered the COVID-19 protocol on Saturday night, the Steelers slogged their way to a 16-16 tie with the Detroit Lions on Sunday in an ugly nearly four-hour marathon that produced more comedy than highlights.

Mason Rudolph completed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but struggled with consistency while making a spot start. Najee Harris ran for 105 yards and at times appeared to be Pittsburgh’s only legitimate offensive weapon as the Steelers (5-3-1) saw their four-game winning streak halted in the dank mist at rainy Heinz Field.

De’Andre Swift ran for a career-high 130 yards for the Lions (0-8-1), who relied heavily on the run to avoid a ninth straight loss with quarterback Jared Goff rendered almost completely ineffective.



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