Brady outduels Heinicke, leads Buccaneers past Washington

Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — New team, same swashbuckling playoff success for Tom Brady.

Brady threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past Washington 31-23 in their NFC wild-card game Saturday night for their first playoff victory since 2002.

In his 42nd postseason start and first not in a New England Patriots uniform, Brady made the most of a lack of pressure to carve up the NFL's second-ranked defense on 22 of 40 passing.

He had to outduel Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, who had a breakout performance in just his second pro start and first in the playoffs in place of injured starter Alex Smith. Heinicke — signed in early December to the practice squad — ran for 46 yards and a touchdown and threw for 306 yards and a score.

But that wasn't enough to overcome Brady's brilliance.

While Bill Belichick and the Patriots watch from home with their playoff streak snapped at 11 following a 7-9 season, Brady has the opportunity to play in another Super Bowl — in his new home stadium.

The Buccaneers await the result of Chicago at New Orleans on Sunday to see if they’ll be visiting Drew Brees and the Saints or host the Los Angeles Rams next weekend. They'd need a Bears upset to play at home in the divisional round.

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