The Bucs offense picked up where it left off in Detroit as the Bucs beat the Atlanta Falcons 44-27 to lock up the fifth seed in the playoffs.
The Bucs will play at Washington next Saturday at 8:15 PM.
The Buccaneers finish 11-5, their best record since 2005.
The Buccaneers were sharp offensively, started quickly, and were able to run the ball when needed to secure the win.
Tom Brady had another monster day passing for 399 yards and four touchdowns, giving Brady 40 touchdown passes on the season, a new Buccaneer record.
This was Brady’s best season since 2007 when he had 50 touchdown passes.
Wide receiver Mike Evans was injured in the game after setting an NFL record. Evans caught three passes for 46 yards to give him seven consecutive seasons of 1,000 receiving yards.
After setting the record, Evans hyperextended his knee in the end zone on the very next play and had to be helped off the field. Bruce Arians said he did not believe it was severe, and an MRI revealed no extensive knee damage.
In Evans’s absence, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin combined for over 270 yards receiving, and four touchdown passes in the Buccaneer win.
Ronald Jones looked fresh as he ran for 78 yards and one touchdown. Jones missed getting 1,000 yards rushing on the season by 22 yards.
Jones missed the last three games due to a broken pinkie and COVID issues.
The Bucs also set a new record for points scored as they finish the 2020 campaign with 494 points scored, a new franchise record.
The Bucs defense was in a bend but don’t break mode all game as they allowed the Falcons to move the ball between the ’20s but kept the Falcons offense in check inside the red zone.
Kevin Minter played well filling in at linebacker for Devin White, leading the Bucs with nine tackles.
Playing without Devin White and Shaq Barrett, you knew the defense would struggle a bit. The defensive play was nothing exceptional, but good enough to get the job done.
Sean Murphy Bunting had the play of the game for the defense, stripping Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley of the ball in the fourth quarter. That set up a Tom Brady to Antonio Brown touchdown pass to put the Bucs up 44-27.
The Bucs offense is playoff ready. There is still a big concern for this defense as they allowed the Falcons 385 yards of offense: two hundred fifty-eight passing yards and 127 on the ground.
This defense will have to step up big time and play much better if they want to make a deep playoff run. Should the Bucs win at Washington on Saturday, a date with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers await at Lambeau Field the following week.