Tom Brady threw for 379 yards and four touchdowns to help the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off the NFL season with an error-riddled 31-29 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
As NFL stadiums filled for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, Ryan Succop won the game with a 36-yard field goal with two seconds left. Brady hit the ball in the final minute to the same spot where the Bucks won the Super Bowl in February for the win.
For brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion, it was the 300th regular season start of his illustrious 22-year career, a record for a quarterback. The 44-year-old joined Drew Brees as the only players to throw more than 300 yards in a game.
Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown all scored touchdowns in the first half for the Bucks, who have won nine straight games since December. Brady’s second pass of the night to Gronkowski gave the champs a 28-19 lead. Succop’s score came after Greg Zuerlein put the Cowboys ahead with a 48-yard field goal with 1:24 left.
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Dak Prescott threw for 403 yards and scored three times in the Dallas Mavericks’ opening game. He suffered a serious ankle injury that limited him to five games at the end of the 2020 season. The six-year pro didn’t play in the preseason after spraining his right shoulder early in training camp, and his throwing restriction wasn’t lifted until two weeks before the opener.
The Cowboys have never beaten Brady, who beat them 6-0, with five of those victories coming during his 20 years with the New England Patriots.
But with the help of Dallas’ revamped defense, Prescott pushed the defending champions to the limit in front of 65,566 fans. The Dallas defense fumbled and intercepted a pass that skimmed off Leonard Fournette’s hands for a touchdown.
In the end, Brady made the Cowboys pay, leading Dallas to just 16 points in the first half. In the second quarter, Zuerlein scored from the left post in addition to missing a 31-yard field goal.
Seven of the Cowboys’ first eight possessions began or ended in the Tampa Bay area, but Prescott still faced a nine-point deficit until Amari Cooper’s 21-yard field goal cut the lead to 28-26 with less than a minute left in the third quarter.
Cooper had 13 catches for 139 yards, including a 5-yard catch in the second quarter. Sidy Lamb hit a 22-yard scoring run for the Cowboys, who finished 6-10. Prescott missed the final 11 games of last season.
Brady completed 32 of 50 passes and was intercepted twice, one on a desperate pass at the end of the first half. Ronald Jones and Chris Godwin also missed, with Godwin’s turnover preventing the Bucks from putting a shot in the net in the final minutes of the game.
Brown had five catches for 121 yards, including a 43-yard TD in the first half. Godwin had nine catches for 105 yards, but fumbled at the Cowboys’ one-yard line to stop a potentially fatal field goal, and Prescott scored Zuerlein’s go-ahead field goal for Dallas.
Reprint indicated source：Shine Trader Limited Live information