Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski lead Buccaneers past Cowboys in season opener

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Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski lead Buccaneers past Cowboys in season opener

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski thought Tom Brady did a great job on the pass that was the pair's 100th touchdown connection together. In the third quarter of season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Brady found Gronkowski for an 11-yard touchdown.

Brady threw two touchdown passes to Gronkowski on the night as the Buccaneers escaped with a 31-29 win. "Tom made a great call," Gronkowski said. "I think I was actually on a route, and then he checked me into blocking, then checked me into blocking and releasing.

I was like, oh man, he just sees it all on the field, it's impressive. He's been playing for like 80 years, so he's seen every defense and every player." With less than two minutes to go in the game, Brady orchestrated a 57-yard drive that resulted in a 36-yard field goal made by kicker Ryan Succop.

"There was no doubt that we were going to win the game. With him, it's who is going to make plays?" Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said of Brady. "Guys up front did a hell of a job protecting, and guys went and got open."

Brady and Gronkowski delivered on the final drive

On the final drive, Brady threw a 6-yard and 20-yard completion to Gronkowski. Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin made the crucial catch as he caught a 24-yard sideline catch with 24 seconds to go.

The Goodwin catch set up a 36-yard field goal for Succop. "I was pretty certain we were going to have a chance," said Succop, who was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list one week ago. "Obviously he is the greatest quarterback of all time, the greatest player of all time.

He's so calm, so collected. His poise -- I think it permeates everybody, and everybody goes out and plays better because of him." The Buccaneers hit a game-winning field goal with two seconds left to go. "I learned a long time ago that you don't learn anything more from losing than you do from almost losing," Arians said.

"We have a lot to learn. Obviously, not pleased with the start of the game. Loved the finish. Our guys are winners. They're going to finish and they're going to win, but we can play better and not put ourselves in that situation. Obviously, there's turnovers, penalties, things we can improve on, but our guys fought and won the game."