MUNICH (AP) — Tom Brady has had his share of memorable football games.
He says Sunday in a noisy Allianz Arena is right up there.
“It was one of the best football experiences I’ve ever had,” said the seven-time Super Bowl champion. “That says a lot about 23 years in the league.”
Brady went undefeated on the road throwing two touchdown passes to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-16 in the regular season opener played in Germany.
Brady joined Julio Jones and Chris Godwin on assists and Leonard Fournette ran one as the Bucs (5-5) improved to .500 and ended Seattle’s four-game winning streak.
German fans packed the Allianz Arena for the historic game and the Bucs delivered a balanced attacking performance over three long runs scored. Rachaad White started and ran for 105 yards on 22 carries.
“It was very electric from the moment we walked onto the pitch,” Brady said. “The end of the game with them singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Country Roads’ – it was pretty epic.”
Brady completed 22 of 29 passes for 258 yards to add Germany to his international winning list after wins in London (twice) and Mexico City with the New England Patriots.
Trailing 21-3 in the fourth quarter, Seattle’s Geno Smith threw touchdown passes to Tyler Lockett and Marquise Goodwin to make it 21-16 with 3:58 left.
Smith found Goodwin in the corner of the end zone for 19 yards on fourth-and-1 to complete a drive that began on the Bucs 45 after Brady threw his first interception since the season opener. Linebacker Cody Barton picked it – ending Brady’s pass streak without an interception at 399, three attempts shy of Aaron Rodgers’ NFL record set in 2018.
Lockett caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Smith with 8:20 to go, but the 2-point conversion try failed, leaving the score at 21-9.
Smith was 23 of 33 for 275 yards and both touchdowns for the Seahawks (6-4), who are still atop the NFC West.
“It feels like a real missed opportunity,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
The Bucs entered the game with the worst rushing attack in the league. Fournette, who got his passport just in time to travel, had 57 yards on 14 carries as he and White helped Tampa Bay go 10 of 15 on third down.
“They didn’t run the ball very consistently, so going into the game we were hoping we could keep it a secret and be able to roll out for the throwing game,” Carroll said. “They finished running the ball in the fourth quarter, which kills me.”
Brady is the first quarterback to start a regular season game in three countries outside the United States
Brady found Jones open on a short drive through and the receiver threw him for a 31-yard play early in the second quarter. Jones dropped his left shoulder and passed safety Josh Jones on the goal line.
Fournette then rumbled from 1 yard to complete a 13-play, 86-yard drive. He scored two plays after a wide-open Scotty Miller caught a 22-yard pass and went down while throwing the ball at 5.
Godwin caught a 4-yard touchdown reception to make it 21-3 early in the fourth quarter. Godwin led the Bucs with 71 yards on six receptions. It was his first touchdown since his season-ending knee injury last year.
Trailing 14-3, Seattle led the Bucs 9 before Devin White’s strip-sack of Smith, whose fumble was recovered by Anthony Nelson at 13.
The Seahawks had 57 net yards in the first half and went to the Tampa 22 after the second half kickoff before settling for a 55-yard field goal from Jason Myers to go 14 -3.
The Bucs went to the Seattle 22 when Fournette took a direct snap, rolled a right and threw across the field to Brady – but he was intercepted by cornerback Tariq Woolen, who had the quarterback at the 45-year-old slow foot well covered in 6.
Brady was then reported for tripping – which would be a yellow card if he played for Bayern Munich.
“If he hadn’t slipped, you would have seen his 42-inch vertical,” coach Todd Bowles joked.
Brady acknowledged the defense was not fooled.
“I tried to shout ‘Lenny no’, but it was too late,” Brady said.
Several players slipped on the lawn of Allianz.
Carroll thought the pitch was limiting his team’s running game. Rookie Kenneth Walker III had 10 carries for 17 yards.
“I wish the ground was firmer,” Carroll said.
White had two of Tampa Bay’s three sacks.
Just inside the two-minute first-half warning, White crossed the line unblocked and knocked Smith down for a 10-yard loss at the Seattle 10.
On Seattle’s first drive, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka beat rookie tackle Abraham Lucas on the rim and dropped Smith for a 17-yard loss on third down.
Devin White’s father died shortly before the team left for Munich.
“He got on the plane anyway. Losing his dad right before getting ready to go to Germany, and getting out there and still playing, that says a lot about the guy,” Bowles said.
White said it was “unreal” to hear the bad news.
“At the end of the day, I knew I had a job to do,” White said. “I just put my head down and kept going.”
Fournette left in the fourth quarter with a hip injury. Bowles said the running back has a hip pointer and will be assessed. Bucs CB Zyon McCollum was ruled out at halftime with a concussion.
Seahawks practice linebacker Aaron Donkor of Germany led the team out of the tunnel carrying the “12” flag. Donkor is not on the list of 53 players.
Seahawks: Goodbye before hosting the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Buccaneers: Bye then to Cleveland on Nov. 27.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
#Brady #Bucs #beat #Seahawks #historic #game #Germany