It was a night that Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans were looking forward to, their next trip to the Super Bowl would begin but gutting the Dallas Cowboys on home turf.
The Bucs would leave the cutlass in the sheave and allow the six-shooting Cowboys to win the draw and progress to the Divisional Round with a very convincing win 31 – 14.
By no means were the Cowboys the conclusively better team. Cowboys could’ve scored more had it not been for errors by Brett Maher than missed all four of their kicks for Extra Points.
Likewise, the Bucs didn’t come alive to the fact that they were in the Playoff until the end of the Third Quarter.
Both teams were sluggish, it was pretty clear, but when Quarterback Dak Prescott managed to connect his throw with Dalton Schultz, Dallas was able to score their first touchdown of the game.
The Bucs did wake up and began moving the ball but it seemed to stop dead when Tom Brady embarrassingly got his throw intercepted by Jayron Kearse. It as a half-hearted throw which was easily picked up by Kearse.
The Second Quarter would see the Cowboys add an additional 12 points to their 6 from the First thanks to Touchdown Run from Dak Prescott and a Touchdown Pass from Schultz again.
This was when the Bucs finally realised the significance of the game and got their act together. Wide Receiver Michael Gallup would deliver Dallas’ third touchdown within five minutes of the Third kicking off.
Bucs would respond when Brady was able to throw to Julio Jones who scored a 30-yard touchdown pass. The score was now Bucs 6 – Cowboys 24.
Cowboys would return in the final quarter with the intention not to let the Bucs rebuild. They responded with their own nine-play, 66-yard touchdown delivered by CeeDee Lamb.
After an initially sluggish start to the game, Dak Prescott was able to deliver some impressive and successive 80+ yard touchdown drives which destroyed the Bucs’ defence.
The team’s offensive capabilities were also strong when they were needed, managing to convert seven of the 11 3rd down instances and 4th down tries. The Cowboy’s defence was also able to keep the Bucs out of their end zone in 2 of the 3 trips.
The Cowboys are set to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.
The 49ers dominated their game against the Seattle Seahawks last night 41 – 23. Cowboys will have to bolster their defence if there are to gain a lead and hold it.
The 49ers are also very physical and their rushing on the Seahawk’s lines ensured they collapsed their lines.
The Buccaneers will have a lot of things to think about in the off-season and there are questions about whether Brady will stay with Bucs.