TAYLOR Heinicke passed for one score and Antonio Gibson ran for two touchdowns as the Washington Football Team upset the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29-19) on Sunday in a rematch of last season’s National Football Conference (NFC) wild card game.
After Tampa Bay (6-3) pulled to 23-19 with 10:55 remaining, Heinicke led Washington (3-6) on its longest drive of the season- 80 yards in 19 plays over 10:26 before Gibson scored from 1 yard out.
Heinicke, who nearly led Washington to the upset before losing to Tampa Bay (31-23) in the wild card matchup last season, completed the task on Sunday. He completed 26-of-32 passes for 256 yards, with no interceptions.
Buccaneers QB Tom Brady was 23-of-34 for 220 yards and two touchdowns, with two first-quarter interceptions.
Joey Slye kicked three field goals in his Washington debut.
Washington defensive end Chase Young left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury.
Tampa Bay was without tight end Rob Gronkowski (rib injury) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle).
Trailing by 10 points at half time, the Buccaneers had a short field following a punt and went 43 yards on four consecutive Brady passes, the last one for 6 yards and a touchdown to Cameron Brate, cutting the Washington lead to 16-13 with 8:46 left in the third quarter.
Washington answered, driving 71 yards in eight plays, with Gibson bulling his way in from 1 yard out.
Dax Milne’s fumble set the Buccaneers up at the Washington 47, and three plays later Brady found Mike Evans alone down the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown. Ryan Succop missed the extra point, however, and Tampa Bay trailed 23-19 with 10:55 left before Gibson’s 1-yard TD run with 29 seconds left sealed it.
Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter for the first time since Week 16 in 2012.
Washington settled for a field goal and a 6-0 lead after the first pick, but cashed in the second time. Starting on the Tampa Bay 46, Washington drove to the 20 where, on third-and-6, Heinicke threw a perfect pass to DeAndre Carter in the end zone.
The Buccaneers sandwiched two field goals around another one by Slye and trailed 16-6 at half time. — Reuters