Tom Brady and company could breathe a sigh of relief after ending a two-game losing streak in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ 26-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings possessed the ball most of the game — almost 19 more minutes to be exact. Brady made the most of the 20 minutes, 57 seconds the Bucs had the ball with two touchdown passes and a couple of deep throws that set up scores. The Vikings kicking game bumbled meanwhile with three missed field goals and a missed extra point.
“Defense was on the field a lot,” Brady said in the postgame press conference according to NESN. “On offense, didn’t convert as many third downs (5-for-11) as we needed to. But it was a good win for our team so just keep it going.”
Less is More
The Athletic’s Greg Auman noted via Twitter that Brady didn’t need a career day against the Vikings, posting his lowest total for passing attempts in five years.
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano compared Brady’s Game 13 Sunday to Jameis Winston’s Game 13 last year for the Bucs. Winston threw a single-season franchise record of 5,109 yards, and 465 of those yards came in that Game 13, but Winston also tossed three interceptions, Romano noted.
“This was the first time in three games that Brady did not throw an interception and the first time since mid-October that he wasn’t sacked,” Romano wrote. “As the Bucs learned in 2019, it’s not always fun when your quarterback is walking on the high wire.”
Brady described the Bucs’ methodical offensive approach Sunday as key to pulling out a win.
“I just think us complementing our run game, pass game, everything, finding our rhythm. Finding ways to win games and making plays in situational football like we did at the end of the first half and the start of the second half,” Brady said in the press conference per NESN.
Finding rhythm included Bucs running back Ronald Jones III going for 80 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Jones, the team’s leading rusher, hadn’t touched the ball more than 10 times any game in almost a month.
Miller Time Returns
The Bucs started slow for the third game in a row with a scoreless first quarter, the Associated Press noted via ESPN. Brady got things going in the second quarter with — gasp — deep throws. That included a 48-yard touchdown strike to Scotty Miller to jumpstart the Bucs offense.
Miller said he wanted to get more involved after being limited by injury of late according to WFLA’s Gabrielle Shirley via Twitter.
Miller hadn’t caught a pass in almost a month when he had a four-yard reception against the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 15. Miller has 462 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
Defensive Game Balls
Brady also complemented the defense, which sacked Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins six times.
“Defense came up with some big plays there in the fourth quarter and that’s what it’s going to take as we go forward,” Brady said per NESN.
The Bucs (8-5) solidified their hold on the No. 6 seed for the NFC playoffs while the Vikings (6-7) slipped below .500 again.
“Yeah, it was a good win. We’re obviously going to need to keep just making progress,” Brady said according to NESN.