Written by Staff Writer at CNN New York.
Tom Brady tossed two touchdown passes, Tiquan Underwood scored on a fluke catch in the final minute and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New York Giants 30-10 on Friday night at MetLife Stadium.
The win was a victory for the Buccaneers, who have finished second or third in the NFC South for the past three seasons. Their only playoff appearance came in 2011.
On the Bucs’ opening possession, Tampa Bay had a big play but struggled to convert, losing on a failed 2-point conversion. The second half wasn’t much better, until the final 1:06. Tampa Bay didn’t have a first down until the final 2:47.
Brady opened the scoring for New England with a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman after just 11 seconds, and the Patriots led 12-0 after the first quarter.
The loss was a tough one for the Giants, who had every reason to feel confident after starting a rookie quarterback and getting a big-play wide receiver back from injury.
After Eli Manning started the game by leading a touchdown drive, the Bucs had a huge advantage in time of possession and ended up winning 27 seconds before halftime. The New York offense sputtered to start the second half, much as it did in an ugly 42-13 loss to the Patriots last week.
Brady leads the NFL in passing yards over the past 18 seasons and is in his 19th campaign as a starter. He has appeared in 151 career playoff games, the most in NFL history. The 38-year-old quarterback is 5-1 in the postseason, winning the Super Bowl in 2018.
This season, he will become the oldest player in NFL history to start a Super Bowl.
Brady will be competing for a record sixth Super Bowl title when the Patriots play host to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game on Sunday.
‘Mentalist of the NFL’
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New York Giants veteran Eli Manning faced the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. ET / Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Brady was arguably the NFL’s best player from 2000-08, but his team struggled to earn Super Bowl appearances. He entered the playoffs for the 13th time in the past 14 seasons with a record of 104-44 in the regular season, including a 23-16 loss to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game in 2018.
Unlike Brady, Manning’s career has remained strong. The 37-year-old quarterback took over from the legendary Phil Simms in 2004 and the four-time Super Bowl MVP has enjoyed a streak of posting winning records throughout his career.
But he struggled in the playoffs last year, losing in the divisional round for the first time since 2012.
Although Beckham, the Giants’ star wide receiver, has long been considered one of the NFL’s most talented players, Beckham skipped the team’s voluntary offseason workouts this offseason. He said he will participate in organized team activities but leave offseason workouts before mandatory.