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Tom Brady, Buccaneers detain Washington to win NFC round with wild card

LANDOVER, Md. – New team, the same successful playoff for Tom Brady.

Brady threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Bookers past Washington. 31-23. in their NFC wild card game on Saturday night for their first playoff win since 2002.

In his 42nd start of the season and first out of uniform with the New England Patriots, Brady took full advantage of the lack of pressure to create the second-ranked NFL defense with 22 of 40 assists.

He had to overtake Taylor Heinicke of Washington, who had a breakthrough in just his second professional start and first in the playoffs in place of injured starter Alex Smith. Heineke – signed in early December for the training team – ran for 46 yards and a touchdown and threw for 306 yards and a score.

But that wasn’t enough to overcome Brady’s brilliance.

While Bill Belichik and the Patriots watch from home with a series of playoffs, broken at 11 after season 7-9, Brady has the opportunity to play in another Super Bowl – at his new home stadium.

The Buccaneers are waiting for the result from Chicago in New Orleans on Sunday to see if they will visit Drew Breeze and the Saints or host the Los Angeles Rams next weekend. They would need upset bears to play at home in the divisional round.

There is not much delay for Brady, who at the age of 43, 159 days passed George Blanda as the oldest player who threw a TD pass in the playoffs. A 36-yard goal with Antonio Brown was Brady’s longest in the playoffs since 2011.

Brady was methodical in the first half with 12 performances for 209 yards and was not fired until the last minute of the second quarter.

Heineke made things interesting in the third, mostly fighting for an 8-yard TD, diving on the pylon in the corner of the end zone. The play even caught the attention of the ruling Super Bowl champion Patrick Maomes, who wrote on Twitter: “Brother what!?!?!”

The series, after Heinicke hit his left shoulder, Brady projected a 69-yard score, closed by 3-yard Leonard Fournette TD. That made him 28-16, which was enough to withstand Heineke’s attempt to be an unlikely hero.

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