News & Analysis

NFL Wild Card PFF ReFocused: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Washington Football Team 23

Jan 9, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a touchdown pass against the Washington Football Team during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Heinicke was lights out and battled through injury to put together one of the better performances by a Washington Football Team quarterback in recent years. Tom Brady was just better.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. 

STORY OF THE GAME

Brady completed 22-of-40 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns on his way to a 90.0-plus PFF passing grade and a 31-23 playoff win over Washington. Veteran wide receiver Mike Evans led the team in receiving with six receptions for 119 yards. Chris Godwin dropped five passes on the day but still managed to haul in five of his targets for 79 yards and a touchdown.

On the ground, veteran running back Leonard Fournette stepped up for the injured Ronald Jones. Fournette rushed for 93 yards and a score across his 19 carries, with more than 40 yards coming after contact.

Heinicke also earned a 90.0-plus PFF passing grade on first review. He completed 26-of-44 passes for 306 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. He also rushed for 46 yards and a highlight-reel touchdown on the ground.

Neither team put together a strong defensive performance. Tampa Bay left Washington pass-catchers wide open on multiple occasions, and the fearsome defensive line for the Football Team couldn’t do enough to limit Brady & Co.

ROOKIE WATCH

Buccaneers rookie offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs was his usual dominant self. He finished PFF’s first review of the broadcast film with 70.0-plus run-blocking and pass-blocking grades.

The current favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year, Washington's Chase Young, didn’t stand out as a pass-rusher against Tampa Bay, but he did show up in run defense. He earned a 75.0-plus PFF run-defense grade with multiple defensive stops on first review.

Rookie safeties Kamren Curl and Antoine Winfield Jr. both earned sub-60.0 PFF grades in the contest.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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