Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Washington 29, Buccaneers 19

The Buccaneers fall to the Football Team in Washington following their bye. 

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The Buccaneers won the toss and elected to receive, putting quarterback Tom Brady and the Bucs offense on the field to start. The first play of the game would end up going for negative yards as tight end O.J. Howard was called for a false start. It put the Bucs behind the chains enough that they wouldn't recover, going three and out on their first drive.

The Bucs, unexpectedly without starting cornerback Richard Sherman, who was hurt in pregame warmups, allowed Washington to get down the field and into Buccaneer territory. A big third-down pass breakup by safety Jordan Whitehead meant Washington had to end up settling for a 46-yard field goal but it gave them a 3-0 lead with 9:57 left in the first.

On the Bucs' next possession, Brady was interception on second down and Washington would take back over on the Tampa Bay 28. Despite the sudden change, the defense was able to stand up behind an eight-yard tackle for loss by safety Antoine Winfield Jr. that ended up forcing the Football Team to settle for another field goal. Washington took a 6-0 lead with 5:56 left in the first quarter.

After recording their first, first-down of the game, Brady was intercepted again on the next drive, relinquishing the ball at midfield and though the ball was returned 19 yards, a taunting penalty backed the Washington Football Team up to the Bucs' 46. Behind two sacks of Heinicke, both by Bucs' backup OLBs, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Anthony Nelson, Washington was faced with third and 14. Going for it on fourth and three paid off and the drive ended with a touchdown by quarterback Taylor Heinicke to wide receiver DeAndre Carter, giving Washington a 13-0 lead with 12:26 left in the second quarter.

Brady would lead a 13-play, 68-yard drive all the way to the goal line but then on third and six, the Bucs would be stopped and end up settling for a 25-yard field goal. The kick was good from Ryan Succop and it put the Bucs on the board, making the score 13-3 with 6:44 left in the first half.

Washington would get back down the field in a hurry but the Bucs' defense would end up forcing them to again settle for a field goal, mitigating the damage. Inside the two-minute warning, Washington extended their lead to 16-3 after a 29-yard field goal, giving the Bucs about a minute to work with before halftime.

The Bucs started the drive how they started the game: with a false start penalty. But thanks to having all three timeouts left, Brady was able to get Tampa Bay into Washington territory quickly. On a 22-yard completion to wide receiver Mike Evans and a drawn facemask penalty, the Bucs were set up at the 12-yard line with time to run one more play. Tampa Bay elected to kick the 31-yard field goal and went into the half trailing 16-6.

Thanks to a 10-yard sack by Devin White, his second of the game, the Bucs were able to force Washington to punt away their first possession of the second half after just three downs. Unfortunately, Washington returned the favor and the Bucs went three and out on their first possession, as well.

Behind another sack, this time by Suh, and an almost fumble recovery, the Bucs would force Washington to punt yet again. And the next possession would finally prove fruitful. It took the Bucs just four plays to go 43 yards after a short punt by Washington. The drive ended in a six-yard touchdown to tight end Cam Brate to pull the Bucs within three, 16-13, with 8:46 left in the third.

Unfortunately, Washington would follow suit again, this time spanning 71 yards in eight plays to get into the end zone after a defensive pass interference penalty set Washington up with first and goal at the one-yard line. It was running back Antonio Gibson on his third effort crossing the goal line to put Washington up 23-13 with 4:21 left in the third.

The Bucs began their next drive again committing a penalty, this one a 10-yard holding call. But they'd move the chains thanks in large part to a 15-yard completion to Godwin getting a bulk of the needed yards. They'd face a third and six that they wouldn't end up converting and Tampa Bay would punt as the third quarter expired.

Washington's next drive was cut short thanks to a forced fumble by Lavonte David, who punched the ball out of wide receiver Dax Milne's hands after he caught the ball. It was then recovered by safety Antoine Winfield Jr. The Bucs' offense then made quick work of getting into the end zone as Brady hit Evans on a deep slant for a 40-yard touchdown. Succop missed the extra point, making the score 23-19 with 10:55 to play in the game.

Washington took their time on their next drive, winding down the clock as they moved down the field behind mostly run plays. They forced the Bucs to use all three of their timeouts on the drive and were faced with third and five at the Bucs' 15 yard line with 3:05 remaining in the game. Heinicke completed it to McLaurin for the first down and Washington had first and goal at the nine-yard line. The game hit the two-minute warning and Washington would find themselves at fourth and one at the one with 31 seconds left in the game. They took a timeout and then went for it on fourth and one. Antonio Gibson got to the outside and into the end zone. Before Heinicke could take a knee for the two-point conversion, Vita Vea was carted off the field, adding injury to insult. The score would stay at 29-19, where it would stay as the Bucs dropped to 6-3 on the season.

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