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Missed holding calls fueled Buccaneers’ comeback

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons spotlight the players and storylines that deserve more attention following an action-packed Sunday.

Yes, Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith was called twice for holding during the late Tampa Bay touchdown drives. But he should have been called for holding more than that.

Smith was holding on pretty much every pass play down the stretch. Except, of course, when Brady got rid of the ball before Smith could actually do it.

On the game-winning touchdown, Smith got away with a hold. It wasn’t obvious, but it was a hold.

During the prior drive, he got away with one of the most blatant uncalled holds you’ll ever see.

With five minutes left, and with the Bucs facing first and 10 from their own 22, Smith performed a full-blown bear hug -- from behind -- of Saints defensive lineman Carl Granderson. It was so blatant that it was comical. And it wasn’t called. It wasn’t even mentioned during the broadcast. (We know that the guys in the booth can only see so much. But they have other eyes watching the action. And it didn’t take more than one marginally-functional eye to see that hold.)

The Saints still had plenty of chances to not go full-blown Falcons and blow the game to Brady and the Bucs. But it should have been first and 20 from the 12, with the Bucs down 16-3.

And that could have changed everything.