TAMPA, Fla. — Dak Prescott was medical because the Dallas Cowboys took care of enterprise on the street in opposition to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday within the remaining sport of the opening spherical of the playoffs.
The Buccaneers had been in a position to get one of the best of the Cowboys within the season opener, 19-3, however Prescott’s 5 whole touchdowns and a dominant protection was an excessive amount of within the 31-14 wild-card matchup.
The Cowboys will journey to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET, Fox) within the divisional spherical.
The Tom Brady curse? Over.
The eight-game playoff shedding streak on the street? Accomplished.
Monday’s thumping of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended Brady’s private seven-game successful streak in opposition to the Cowboys and gave Dallas its first street playoff win because the 1992 NFC Championship Recreation.
It was the Cowboys’ most full efficiency this season because the 40-3 demolition of the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 20, and it could be the jolt the group must make it again to a Tremendous Bowl for the primary time since 1995.
Since that win over the Vikings, the Cowboys had been chasing that sort of efficiency and struggled in wins in opposition to the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, whereas shedding to the Jacksonville Jaguars in extra time. Now the Cowboys will look to construct on this after getting over the primary hurdle.
QB breakdown: Prescott saved assuring everyone the interception factor would finish. It is not clear if anyone believed him, however Prescott believed it. He set a postseason file by operating for a landing and throwing a landing in his fourth straight playoff sport. He joined Troy Aikman (Tremendous Bowl XXVII) and Roger Staubach (1975 NFC Championship Recreation) because the third Cowboys QB with 4 TD passes in a playoff sport. His confidence grew steadily. His second landing go to Dalton Schultz was a factor of magnificence, scrambling to his left and throwing throughout his physique to the tight finish to provide the Cowboys an 18-0 lead. In his 4 earlier playoff video games, Prescott had at the very least one interception in three of them. It wasn’t that he simply performed mistake-free. He made large performs in key moments.
Purchase breakout efficiency: The protection seemed just like the protection from the start of the season when opponents could not crack 20 factors in six of the primary seven video games. Micah Parsons was a nuisance and noticed extra motion at off-the-ball linebacker than he had over the second half of the season. Security Jayron Kearse had the primary pink zone interception of Brady’s profession in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers could not run the ball, which is much totally different than when these groups met within the opener after they had 152 yards on the bottom. The Niners will current extra of a problem with operating again Christian McCaffrey, receiver Deebo Samuel, tight finish George Kittle and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, however this has to boost the group’s confidence.
Troubling pattern: Kicker Brett Maher was as constant as he could possibly be within the common season. He missed simply three additional factors. He missed 4 on Monday. And that comes on the heels of lacking his one and solely point-after try within the regular-season finale in opposition to the Washington Commanders. His first two misses had been sliced to the precise. His third was hooked the left. His fourth went off the highest of the precise upright. Based on Elias, Brett Maher is the one participant in any NFL sport since 1932 to overlook 4 additional factors in a single sport, common season or playoffs. So there’s that. Do the Cowboys want to have a look at a kicker as they transfer into the divisional spherical of the playoffs?
Underrated statistic to know: At one level within the first half, Prescott had 11 straight completions, which broke the Cowboys’ postseason file, beforehand set by Troy Aikman in Tremendous Bowl XXX in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers, per Elias. — Todd Archer
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There can be no second shot on the 49ers and no eighth Tremendous Bowl ring this season for Brady.
Monday marked Brady’s first loss to the Cowboys and was simply the third time that his group was eradicated within the wild-card spherical of the playoffs, with the final loss approaching Jan. 4, 2020, in a 30-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans in his final sport with the New England Patriots. Brady had gone 2-0 in wild-card rounds with the Buccaneers the final two years.
With Brady set to grow to be an unrestricted free agent, basic supervisor Jason Licht will make each effort to re-sign him this offseason, and they’ll give him on a regular basis he must decide — one which can be closely influenced by household given his want to be near his kids. However his standing will decide whether or not they’re in a ‘win-now’ mode or pressured to rebuild.
There are additionally questions in regards to the teaching employees. Todd Bowles is predicted to be again as coach in 2023, however this wasn’t the employees he assembled. May there be modifications? Brady will need to hear what their plan is for subsequent 12 months.
QB breakdown: Regardless of the return of Professional Bowl middle Ryan Jensen, who missed your complete common season with torn ligaments in his knee and gave the entire group a jolt this week, Brady was pressured closely, and the offense seemed out of rhythm. The offensive line could not block Micah Parsons, and because of this, Brady had not accomplished a go of 10 or extra yards within the first half. Brady accomplished 35 of 66 passes for 351 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The interception got here at the start of the second quarter on when Brady tried to throw the ball out of the again of the top zone, however security Jayron Kearse was in a position to decide it off. Brady stated he simply did not put sufficient on the the try. It was Brady’s first interception within the pink zone in 409 go makes an attempt. Brady’s first landing go got here on the finish of the third quarter, discovering huge receiver Julio Jones alongside the left sideline for a 30-yard landing, and his second — which was arrange by an onside kick restoration by Giovani Bernard — got here with 2:04 left within the sport to Cameron Brate on an 8-yard rating.
Largest gap within the sport plan: Even with their total beginning secondary again, the Bucs’ disguised coverages weren’t sufficient to idiot Prescott. Their go rush struggled to maintain him within the pocket, they usually could not cowl the Cowboys’ tight ends.
The primary landing to a good finish was a 22-yard throw to Dalton Shultz. Prescott held off security Mike Edwards, who had one in every of his roughest video games as a Buccaneer. It was arrange by a roughing the passer name on defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Then on fourth-and-goal from the 1, the Bucs bought out to cease the run with linebacker Okay.J. Britt shedding include and Prescott operating a bootleg into the top zone untouched.
Previous to that, the Bucs had a very blown protection on a 35-yard reception by tight finish Jake Ferguson.
Prescott discovered Schultz as soon as extra on an 11-yard landing — with Edwards out of place as soon as once more — thrown on the run with 27 seconds left to go. CeeDee Lamb additionally slipped via for a rating after lining up in a journeys left formation with Schultz and Noah Brown. Lamb was unaccounted for and ran huge open for an 18-yard landing reception.
Underrated statistic to know: Brady’s 66 go makes an attempt had been probably the most of his profession in a playoff sport, and his 31 incompletions had been probably the most for him in a playoff sport. — Jenna Laine