The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) came into Sunday night's matchup with the New England Patriots (1-3) not looking for just a bounce-back win, but the team was also looking for one of the biggest wins in Tom Brady's storied career.
Brady's homecoming wasn't pretty in more ways than one. A heavy rain surrounded most of the game and then the final score of 19-17 isn't anything to brag about in today's NFL.
But at the end of the day, Brady and the Bucs found a way to get the job done and beat the Patriots in a thrilling, last-second win.
The game didn't start off so hot for the Bucs. Bradley Pinion's opening kickoff sailed out of bounds before it reached the end zone, which is a penalty and gave the Patriots the ball at the New England 40.
The Patriots threw the ball on the first three plays and were able to move into Buccaneer territory, but a Joe Tryon-Shoyinka sack on 2nd and 5 forced the Patriots into a 3rd and 9 that they couldn't convert. So, they had to punt the ball.
The Bucs started their first drive of the game at their own 11, but quickly faced a 3rd and 2. Leonard Fournette broke through the line for a 21-yard gain to move the ball to the Patriot 40. The drive soon ended, however, as Tom Brady missed an open Cameron Brate on a deep corner route.
Pinion's punt bounced off Gunner Olszewski's hands and it looked the ball was about to roll out of bounds inside the Patriot 5, but it bounced off the pylon and went out of bounds, instead. Therefore, New England's offense started its second drive at its own 20.
Tragedy nearly struck for the Patriots just two plays in. It looked like Jakobi Meyers was about to gain eight yards off a shifty catch-and-run, but Shaquil Barrett punched the ball out and Devin White was able to recover the ball and return it to the New England 15. The play was reviewed and reversed, however, the Patriots still faced a 3rd and 14 due to a four-yard loss on the first play of the drive.
New England couldn't overcome the deficit and punted. An illegal block in the back on Rashard Robinson had the Bucs starting at their own 18 instead of their 38 to start the second drive of the game.
An 11-yard run and a 13-yard catch-and-run off a screen by Fournette had the Bucs on the move. Brady then hit Evans for gains of 13- and 28-yards to not only put the Bucs at the Patriot 14, but the second pass to Evans officially broke Drew Brees' all-time career passing yards record.
But the offense couldn't punch it in for six and had to settle for a 29-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Succop. The kick went through the uprights and the Bucs led, 3-0, with 4:49 left in the first quarter.
Heavy pressure from White resulted in a big hit on Jones as he threw which then resulted in Ross Cockrell tipping the ball. This led to Antoine Winfield Jr. picking off the pass and the Bucs offense getting to start its third drive of the game at its own 34.
Tampa Bay converted one third down and then a beautiful back-shoulder throw-and-catch from Brady to Antonio Brown converted the second third down of the drive and moved the Bucs 27-yards down the field and into Patriot territory. But Brady and Fournette couldn't come through on a 3rd and 7 and the Bucs had to settle for another Succop field goal. Succop couldn't hit the 36-yard attempt and the Bucs still led, 3-0, with 14:49 left in the first half.
Completions of 15- and 16-yards and then a five-yard completion to Kendrick Bourne had the Patriots offense in Bucs territory. It looked as if the Bucs defense was about to get anoher stop on 3rd and 5, but Richard Sherman was called for defensive pass interference, which gave the Patriots a new set of downs.
Carlton Davis III was hit with a DPI a few plays later, which gave Jones and the offense a first down at the Tampa Bay 14. It took just two more plays for Jones to find Hunter Henry over the middle for an 11-yard touchdown as Henry broke a tackle and ran into the end zone. Nick Folk's PAT went through the uprights and the Patriots led the Bucs, 7-3, with 8:28 left in the first half.
The game continued to turn in the Patriots favor as Matthew Judon broke through the blocks of Alex Cappa and Ronald Jones II to sack Brady for an eight-yard loss on 1st down. The Bucs couldn't overcome the loss and had to punt the ball away.
Barrett returned the favor on second down, sacking Jones for a seven-yard loss to put the Patriots in a 3rd and 17 that they couldn't convert. The Patriots did get a great bounce off the punt, though, and the Bucs had to start the next drive at their own 5.
But it didn't matter. Brady found Chris Godwin down the right sideline for a 28-yard gain and then hit him for a 26-yard gain on the very next play. Brady then hit Brate for 11-yards and it looked like the Bucs were going to come out with six points, but Brady couldn't hit his next three passes and Succop came out to try his third field goal of the first half.
The 44-yard kick went through and the Bucs went into halftime down 7-6.
Tampa Bay received the ball to start the second half. A bad drop by Brate and then an ill-timed illegal-use-of-hands call on Donovan Smith killed any shot at a first down and the Bucs went three-and-out to start the second half. The penalty was especially bad because it wiped out what would've been a 44-yard completion to Brown.
Pinion's punt was unimpressive as it sailed 34 yards to around midfield. Olszewski returned it 11-yards to give the Patriots offense great field position at the Tampa Bay 38.
Winfield Jr. came through with another huge play to keep the Patriots from scoring any points, however. Jones hit J.J. Taylor on a swing pass and Winfield Jr. came flying in to dislodge the ball with his helmet. Sherman jumped on the ball and the Bucs offense took over at their own 32 with a chance to take the lead.
But the Bucs couldn't even come up with a first down and went three-and-out as the Patriots defense continued to make life difficult.
The Bucs defense continued to make life difficult for the Patriots offense, too. Back-to-back sacks by Will Gholston and Tryon-Shoyinka wrecked any and all chance for the Pats offense to do anything, so Jake Bailey punted after the three-and-out.
Tampa Bay took over at its own 48 after a 12-yard return by Jaydon Mickens. Fournette gained 26 total yards on four consecutive touches and a 5-yard penalty on Davon Godchaux helped the Bucs get into the Patriots' red zone. Brady hit Evans for a nine-yard gain and then Jones punched the ball into the end zone two plays later on an eight-yard scamper. Succop's PAT was good and the Bucs now led, 13-7, with 3:29 left in the third quarter.
Damien Harris kicked the next drive off with a 21-yard catch-and-run for the Patriots offense and then Jones completed five straight passes for 55 yards. All of a sudden, the Patriots had a 1st and goal from the Tampa Bay 1.
Jones then found a wide-open Jonnu Smith in the back of the end zone for his second passing touchdown of the game. Folk's PAT was good and New England led, 14-13, with 14:57 to go in the game.
The Bucs quickly faced two crucial third downs on their next drive, but both were converted thanks to a Brown catch and a six-yard Brady scramble. Fournette came through with a huge 23-yard catch-and-run off another screen pass that placed the Bucs offense at the Patriot 25.
Tampa Bay converted its third third down of the drive when Brady found Brate over the middle for a 18-yard gain to the Patriot 6. But the Bucs couldn't cash in and had to rely on Succop's fourth field goal attempt of the game.
The 27-yard attempt went straight through the uprights and the Bucs led, 16-14, with 7:58 to go.
Jones continued to tear the Bucs defense apart and another trick play landed the Patriots inside the Tampa Bay 10, specifically the 9. The Bucs were able to force the field goal attempt after shutting the Patriots offense down in the goal-to-go situation. Folk's 27-yard attempt was good and the Patriots led, 17-16, with 4:34 left in the game.
The Bucs next drive got off to a great start thanks to a DPI call on Kyle Van Noy. The penalty moved the ball 31-yards all the way up to the Patriot 44. But the tables quickly turned when Evans was hit with an OPI a few plays later to force the Bucs into a 2nd and 17. Evans recovered most of the penalty yardage with an 11-yard reception on the following play, but the Bucs still faced a crucial 3rd and 6 from the Patriot 40.
Brady found Brown for an eight-yard gain over the middle that was enough for the first down, but the offense faced another big third down -this time a 3rd and 8- just two plays later. Brady nearly connected with Brown for what would've been a 30-yard touchdown, but the former All-Pro receiver couldn't hold on to what would've been an incredible catch. Succop came on to try the 47-yard field goal attempt and barely squeaked it through to give the Bucs a 19-17 lead with 1:57 left in the game.
The Patriots still had one timeout, so they were in decent shape time-wise, but clock control would still be crucial in executing the game-winning drive.
Another big DPI call on the first play of the Patriots' next drive -this time on Jordan Whitehead- set the Patriots up near midfield with plenty of time to go. Jones was able to get his offense down to the Tampa Bay 37, but Lavonte David batted down Jones' pass at the line of scrimmage to halt the drive and force a 56-yard field goal attempt from Folk.
Folk's kick just barley missed left and the Bucs would go on to win, 19-17. They are now 3-1 on the season as they host the Miami Dolphins in Week 5. Kickoff is currently set for 1PM EST.
Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL news and analysis. Follow along on social media at @SIBuccaneers on Twitter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.