Brady leads Bucs in Eagles rout; 49ers stun Cowboys

Agence France-Presse
Brady leads Bucs in Eagles rout; 49ers stun Cowboys
Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
Michael Reaves / Getty Images / AFP

LOS ANGELES – Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers outclassed the Philadelphia Eagles as the San Francisco 49ers upset the Dallas Cowboys in NFL playoff action on Sunday (Monday, Manila time). 

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady delivered a clinical performance as the defending NFL champions romped past the Eagles 31-15 at the Raymond James Stadium.

Brady threw for 271 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, making 29 completions from 37 attempts.

"We did some good things," Brady said. "I think we're just going to have to keep doing what we did today. It only gets tougher from here."

The second-seeded Buccaneers, who will face either the Los Angeles Rams or Arizona Cardinals at home in next weekend's divisional round, dominated the Eagles throughout.

Although Philadelphia finally got on the board with two fourth quarter touchdowns from Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell, the final scoreline flattered the Eagles, who were outplayed and trailed 31-0 heading into fourth quarter.

Running backs Giovani Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn scored Tampa Bay's opening two touchdowns in the first quarter before a Ryan Succop made it 17-0 at halftime.

Brady then found long-time offensive partner Rob Gronkowski to make it 24-0, the 105th time the duo have combined for a touchdown.

A superb interception by Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett then handed Brady prime field position once again, and the 44-year-old arrowed a 36-yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Evans to make it 31-0.

The only blemish for Bucs coach Bruce Arians came in the form of the two late Eagles touchdowns.

"When you have a chance to shut someone out you don't relax," Arians said. "But for three quarters they were fantastic."

Niners dig deep

In the other NFC wild card game on Sunday, San Francisco produced another gutsy victory on the road to stun Dallas 23-17 in Arlington.

The 49ers, who squeezed into the playoffs with a nerve-jangling win over the Rams in Los Angeles last week, dug deep once again to prevail at the AT&T Stadium.

Elijah Mitchell's first quarter touchdown and three Robbie Gould field goals — two from over 50 yards — had helped San Francisco into a 16-7 halftime lead with Amari Cooper's touchdown catch the only score for Dallas.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel then weaved over for a superb 26-yard rushing touchdown to break the game open for San Francisco at 23-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

Injuries to San Francisco defensive stars Nick Bosa and Fred Warner gave Dallas a lifeline however, with Dak Prescott scoring a touchdown in a Cowboys rally to close the gap to 23-17.

But Dallas failed to score in either of two late possessions, and the game finished on a comical note when Prescott rushed up the middle of the field — rather than attempt a pass into the end zone — and ran out of time before managing to stop the clock.

"It was a dogfight, hell of an atmosphere and the fans were nuts," said 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who finished with 172 yards from 16-of-25 attempts.

"It was everything we thought it was going to be. It was fun. Guys were just stepping up in big key situations, that's what it was all day.

"We've got some dogs on our defense man. It's fun."

In Sunday's other playoff game, the Kansas City Chiefs swatted aside the Pittsburgh Steelers 42-21 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — all but certain to retire at the end of the season — could only look on as the Chiefs erupted with 35 unanswered points in just 10 minutes either side of halftime.

Patrick Mahomes tossed five touchdowns and finished with 404 passing yards. Tight end Travis Kelce also threw for a touchdown after a late trick play.

The Chiefs offense was slow to start after a first quarter dominated by defense which saw no fewer than seven punts.

But after T.J. Watt's turnover touchdown gave the Steelers a surprise 7-0 lead, Mahomes caught fire, rattling off touchdown passes to Jerick McKinnon, Byron Pringle, Travis Kelce, Nick Allegretti and Tyreek Hill to open up a 35-7 lead.

Roethlisberger meanwhile tossed passes to Diontae Johnson and James Washington, finishing with two touchdowns and 215 passing yards.



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