LIONS vs BUCS | NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND PLAYOFFS
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions would take to the field for the second NFC Divisional Round game this afternoon. The Bucs are the #4 seed and are riding the wave of their blowout win over the Eagles in the Wild Card round. Detroit (12-5) won their first playoff game since 1991 last week against the Rams, snapping a 32 year streak of missing the playoffs.
FIRST HALF STALEMATE
The first quarter saw the Lions punting after a quick three-and out on offense. Tampa Bay’s first offensive drive ended in five plays as QB Baker Mayfield threw an interception to C.J. Garner-Johnson. Both teams would exchange field goals to stay tied 3-3. Lions QB Jared Goff would lead a 14-play drive that would bleed into the second quarter.
Goff would complete ten passes including a touchdown pass to Jameson Williams to make the score 10-3. The teams would both have to punt after unsuccessful drives. The Bucs would try to pull closer before halftime with a field goal. Kicker Chase McLaughlin however, would miss a 50 yard attempt after making his first one from 43 yards out.
The Buccaneers would receive a second chance to tie and succeeded. Mayfield found WR Mike Evans for two 20+yard receptions including a beautiful sliding catch that put them at the 1 yard line. After a touchdown pass to TE Cade Otton, the score was tied 10-10. The second half should be a good one!
SECOND QUARTER FIREWORKS
The Lions and Buccaneers would start the third quarter off slow again on offense. Three punts total for both teams (TB 2, DET 1) took place before Detroit received the ball. Goff completed plays to three different receivers on a 10 play drive that ended in a Craig Reynolds touchdown run.
Now trailing 17-10 the Bucs would respond with a quick 7 play drive to tie the game again at 17. Mayfield found Otton again on three passes with two being over 15 yards apiece. He would finish the drive on a 12 yard touchdown to Rashaad White. From here the game’s tempo would go up a few notches.
LIONS ROAR IN THE FOURTH
The Lions moved quickly to even the score. On just 5 plays RB Jahmyr Gibbs would run and receive for 58 total yards including the 31 yard touchdown run that put them ahead 24-17. Tampa Bay failed to capitalize on their next offensive drive having to punt. Goff would run another 10 play drive down the field. He threw a perfect 7-7 passes and pushed the Lions ahead 31-17 with a deep strike to Amon-Ra St. Brown.
The Bucs next possession lasted nine plays with Mayfield finding Evans for his first touchdown of the game. This kept the game alive but the duo failed to connect on a two-point conversion to make it a 5 point game. Detroit’s next offensive drive would stall out after 5 plays resulting in a punt.
BUCCANEERS FALL SHORT
With the score 31-23, the Bucs would receive the ball with less than 2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Two plays later, Mayfield would be intercepted again, this time by Derrick Barnes to end this exciting game!
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
The Lions now find themselves one game away from the Super Bowl. This win will send them to battle with the #1 seeded San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game next week. For the Buccaneers their season comes to an end as they look forward to success next season.
Congratulations to the Lions as they continue to roll in the NFL playoffs! What did you think of today’s game? Let us know down in the comments below!
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