LANDOVER, Md. (WDVM) – In their first three drives, Washington’s defense forced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to punt the ball, they strip the Bucs and recover the fumble, and Bobby McCain comes up with an interception; the first of two for quarterback Tom Brady in the first half.
The Washington Football Team would go on to upset the reigning Super Bowl champs, with a 29-19 victory, but lose defensive end Chase Young in the process to an injury.
Young would come back later in the game on crutches, but no official timetable on if and/or when he can return to play.
Washington would finish their first half with a 16-6 lead over Tampa Bay. New kicker, Joey Slye would go three-for-three in the first half, including a PAT. His longest kick would be from 46 yards out.
Taylor Heinicke, who made headlines in a surprise start last season during the playoffs against the Buccaneers, threw 26 of 32, for 256 yards, and also rushed for 15 yards. Running back Antonio Gibson earned 64 yards, with two touchdowns to show for it.
Tom Brady did have a chance deeper in the game, finding Cameron Brate, and Mike Evans for two touchdowns, to cut the deficit 23-19. Washington’s offense would then progress to kill the clock with a 19 play, 10:24 drive, that ended with a short score from Antonio Gibson, to make it a 29-19 game.
“We eliminated stupid mistakes.” said defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, who came up with pressure on Tom Brady in the first half. “We eliminiated the plays that we gave them. Made them earn everything they got, and we just made them drive the way through the field. We didn’t let them move over on top of us. And this is what happens when we do things the right way. What separates the good teams with the bad teams, is being able to do this on a weekly basis.”
“Now we’re going to play some younger guys.” said Head Coach Ron Rivera, when speaking about how they manage with the injuries from today’s game. “Now we’re going to gonna have to step up and really do the things we do in terms of growth and development. The extra step that these guys are gonna have to do on their own. The rest will be up to us as coaches and make sure we’re sharing things with these guys. And hey, the young guys have to play smart, and really study your guide. You gotta understand who you’re playing, and understand how everything they do impacts everything we do.”
Washington’s next challenge will be on the road next week, against the Carolina Panthers.