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Brady, Buccaneers crush Lions to clinch playoff berth

/ by Justin Leger
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Slow starts have been an issue for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in recent weeks. That definitely was not the case in Saturday's matchup vs. the Detroit Lions.

The Bucs steamrolled Detroit 47-7 -- with 34 of Tampa's points coming in the first half -- to clinch their first playoff berth since the 2007 season. Tom Brady completed 22 of his 27 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns before being replaced by backup QB Blaine Gabbert in the second half.

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Brady got the party started less than four minutes into the game with a perfect 33-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowski. It marked the 96th time the former New England Patriots stars have connected for a touchdown.

Tampa Bay jumped out to a 13-0 lead with another TD about halfway into the first quarter, this time a 27-yard toss from Brady to Mike Evans.

The second quarter didn't go any better for the Lions. Running back Leonard Fournette helped the Bucs go up 20-0 with a score, then Brady found Chris Godwin with five minutes left in the quarter for his 3rd TD of the half.

Brady's fourth and final touchdown pass came near the end of the second quarter as the 43-year-old was able to connect with Antonio Brown and take the 34-0 lead.

 

With the game already in hand, Gabbert took things from there. The former Jacksonville Jaguars QB added two touchdown passes of his own to finish off Tampa's blowout win.

Brady's four TDs brought his total to 36 on the year, a new Buccaneers single-season record. He joins Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield as the only two QBs to throw four TD passes in a half.

The Buccaneers will wrap up their 2020 regular season next Sunday when they host the Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m. ET.