Today felt weird all day. As a huge Buccaneers fan, the feeling was unfamiliar. Playing meaningful football in January after the regular season was something I hadn't experienced since January of 2008. I was feeling nervously excited about the game all day because I thought we had a pretty good shot to win it. But once Alex Smith was declared inactive, I felt a little less sure. Sure Taylor Heinicke was a no name QB, but that was scary. With Alex Smith I at least know he wouldn't be able to move or throw it past 20 yards.
The Bucs moved the ball well on the first drive, something they hadn't done consistently all season and picked up 3 points. They got the ball back and finished the drive with a beautiful Tom Brady to Antonio Brown touchdown pass.
But the Washington Football Team blocked the extra point and stayed pesky all night. They just kept hanging around. Credit to Heinicke who made his second career start and played a great game. He was really the story of the game.
Things were uncomfortably close after that touchdown with it being a 5 point game mid-4th quarter. But the Bucs drove it down and got a critical FG (that barely snuck in the left upright) and their defense finally showed up on the final drive with a Lavonte David sack and a PBU on 4th & 21 to win the game:
We got the W and it's honestly a surreal feeling. Even typing this blog 20 mins after the game has ended. I'm 34 years old and the last playoff win I've seen was when I was 16 years old. It was Super Bowl XXXVII which was awesome, but it's been a long long time since then. I'm so proud of this group of guys and the front office really stocked this team with solid backups that played huge when pressed into action tonight. With the Rams victory over the Seahawks, the Bucs will either play in New Orleans next week or at home vs. a beat up Rams team. Looking forward to it! Go Bucs!