Most Impressive Players in Week 18
The Bucs did not get the desired result on Sunday afternoon, lost 30-17 to the Falcons. That means they are now the only team in this year’s playoffs with a losing record. Tampa Bay held out several key starters and drew nearly every starter as the game progressed, so the outcome was to be expected.
The Bucs’ offense wasn’t great, with and without their starters, and defense wasn’t much better. But the team already has a ticket to the dance and will find out who the Wild Card Weekend opponent is on Sunday night.
Here are the most impressive players from Tampa Bay’s loss to Atlanta in the regular season finale:
Brady was less than half in it, but broke two records on Sunday. The first was his own, extending his lead for most completions in a season from 485 to 490. He also now holds the record for most tries in a season, with his 733 attempts surpassing Matthew Stafford’s record of 727. Brady finished his regular season early, but finished the day going 13-of-17 for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Gage put the Bucs back on top late in the first half, coming down with a three-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert. Gage’s day ended early against his former team after the catch shook him up. He had three receptions on six targets for 15 yards and the score.
Leverett started the game at left guard, but a hamstring injury to center Robert Hainsey saw him slide forward to take on quick duties. Leverett didn’t miss a beat, anchoring an offensive line that was assembled with Shaq Mason and linemen who had little to no game experience.
White played only one half, but figured out the heads-up to recover a fumble and put the Bucs in first place. The football slipped from Desmond Ridder’s hands as he tried to pass. White was there to scoop up the ball and advance it nine yards. The play resulted in a short field, leading to a touchdown for the Bucs.
This is a name I thought I wouldn’t write this year, but Rudolph came down with his first touchdown catch of the season on the Bucs’ opening drive. Brady found the veteran tight end in the back of the endzone for a score of eight yards. Rudolph became the 98th other player to get a touchdown pass from Brady in the legendary quarterback’s career.
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