Patriots

Brady accomplishes rare playoff first as Bucs survive WFT

Patriots

Saturday night was Tom Brady's 42nd career playoff game. He's thrown 75 touchdown passes over those 42 games.

That's the context that makes the following stat so surprising: The Buccaneers quarterback threw two touchdown passes of at least 20 yards Saturday in Tampa Bay's NFC Wild Card Round win over Washington -- for the first time in his postseason career.

To clarify: In 17 trips to the postseason over 20 years with the New England Patriots, Brady never threw multiple TD passes of more than 20 yards in single a playoff game.

Graphic of Brady and Blanda blows Twitter's mind

For more incredible context, Brady tossed at least two TDs in 23 playoff games with New England, including a six-touchdown scorching of the Denver Broncos in 2012. In none of those games, however, did TB12 hit on two deep TD strikes in the same game.

The Bucs needed both of Brady's deep balls Saturday, barely holding on to beat the Football Team 31-23 and advance to the NFC Divisional Round.

Here's Brady's final stat line on the night:

22 for 40, 381 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, 104.3 passer rating

Now to the highlights. Here's Brady's first TD pass of the game, a 36-yarder to old friend Antonio Brown down the right sideline:

And here's Brady's second deep TD pass: a 27-yarder to wide receiver Chris Godwin that put Tampa Bay up 15-7.

Brady was excellent throwing the long ball all night and hooked up with Mike Evans for this fourth-quarter beauty that set up a Bucs field goal:

 

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke (306 yards, one passing TD, one rushing TD) kept things close for the Football Team, but Tampa Bay's defense held strong late in the fourth quarter to seal the franchise's first playoff victory since the 2002 Super Bowl.

If the Saints beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday, the Bucs will travel to New Orleans next weekend in the NFC Divisional Round. If the Bears win, Tampa Bay will host the Los Angeles Rams.