Bucs get off to slow start but come back to beat Vikings

Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bucs(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bucs(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers improved to 8-5 on the season after a tough 26-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings. The Bucs move one step closer to the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Minnesota Vikings at Raymond James Stadium in front of a reduced crowd thanks to Covid-19. Both teams were fighting for a playoff spot with the Bucs in a wild card spot, while the Vikings were in the hunt at 6-6.

The first quarter was pretty quiet with both teams struggling on offense, and Tom Brady wasn’t able to get a solid drive. The defense was doing a good job at not allowing the Vikings any forward momentum.

Near the end of the first quarter, Kirk Cousins put together his first solid drive of the game, going 7 for 7, and the Vikings would score on the first play of the second quarter when Dalvin Cook scampered into the endzone on a 1-yard touchdown run.

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Dan Bailey, the Vikings kicker who had missed some field goals and PAT in the previous contests, continued to struggle, and went on to miss the PAT after the Cook touchdown, and it stayed 6-0 for Minnesota. Brady’s throwing issues continued, and the Bucs went on another three and out, which was starting to concern everyone involved.

The one positive at this juncture of the game was that the defense was standing tall and making life difficult for Cousins, as the Vikings were able to drive again, but were forced to kick a field goal, and that’s where Bailey’s inconsistencies continued as he missed another one from 36 yards.

Brady finally got the drive he wanted, and with 7:41 on the clock, he threw a 48-yard bomb to Scotty Miller for the touchdown and Ryan Succop PAT would make it 7-6 for Tampa Bay. Once again, the defense was shutting the Vikings’ offense down, and the only thing going for them was Cook on the ground, but it wasn’t enough as they went, once again, for another field goal from 54 yards.

Bailey missed again and shot the kick wide, and the score remained 7-6 for the Bucs, which provided a much-needed boost for the offense, and on the next drive, Brady finally had a solid drive down the field. With 44 seconds left in the half, Ronald Jones ran in a one-yard touchdown to make it 14-6 for the Buccaneers.

They would add a field goal when Succop kicked an 18 yarder just as the first half finished to make it 17-6 going into halftime.