The Bucs needed a Christmas miracle to walk out of Arizona with a win on Sunday night.
Trailing 16-6 in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored 13 straight points to force overtime and ultimately come out on top to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 19-16.
Offensive Struggles on Both Sides
Both teams struggled to move the ball efficiently on offense. The Cardinals, who entered Sunday with a 4-10 record, were forced to turn to their third-string quarterback, Trace McSorley.
Making his first career start, McSorley held his own, ending the night completing 53% of his passes for 217 yards. However, McSorley failed to find the endzone, which was a common theme on the night. Arizona’s lone touchdown of the day belonged to James Conner, who punched in a 22-yard run to put the Cardinals up 10.
The Buccaneers, likewise, struggled on offense. Brady threw two interceptions in Arizona territory throughout the game. Both of those turnovers were forced by former Florida Gators defensive back Marco Wilson.
However, Brady turned up his game in the fourth quarter and executed a 10-point comeback to tie the game.
The Tampa Bay defense made several key stops down the stretch of the fourth quarter to hold the Cardinals and force overtime.
Regulation consisted of six turnovers, 11 punts and six field goals. Each team found the endzone just once all night.
Bucs Prevail in Overtime
The Cardinals won the coin toss to open overtime and had an opportunity to put the game away with a touchdown. McSorley and the offense struggled to move the football and the Bucs’ defense forced yet another punt.
Brady returned to the field, with a chance to complete the comeback and earn the Bucs their crucial seventh win.
He opened the drive completing six straight passes in the game’s best drive and setting up a potential game-winning field goal.
Ryan Succop set up from 40 yards out, with a clean snap and hold, and delivered the game-winning kick.
Ryan Succop wins it in OT! #TBvsAZ | #GoBucs pic.twitter.com/dz0OcHCR5N
— NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2022
The Buccaneers escaped Arizona, with a 19-16 overtime victory.
Tampa Bay ends a two-game losing streak and puts together another big comeback to stay alive in the playoff race.
The Bucs take an important step forward in the NFC South division race with the victory Sunday.
The win elevated Tampa Bay’s playoff chances from 68% to 76% according to The New York Times NFL Playoff Picture.
Heading into week 17, the Buccaneers have a clear road to the playoffs. Facing off against the division rival Carolina Panthers, a win in week 17 clinches the NFC South for Tampa Bay and effectively secures a playoff spot.