Buccaneers vs. Washington live score, updates, highlights from NFL wild-card playoff game
NFL 

With Alex Smith ruled out because of a calf injury, Taylor Heinicke is the quarterback of choice for the Washington Football Team in Saturday’s NFC wild-card matchup with the Buccaneers.

Heinicke, who has thrown just 77 career NFL passes, goes up against perhaps the greatest passer of all-time in Tom Brady. It’s a seemingly lopsided meeting, even though Brady is 43 years old and the game is being played in Landover, Md. Washington (7-9) is here only because of the ineptitude of the NFC East; Tampa Bay (11-5) enters the postseason believing it can make a deep run.

For Washington to be competitive, it will likely need edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat to get in Brady’s face. The emerging duo combined for 16.5 sacks during the regular season.

Brady, though, has a number of receivers adept at finding almost immediate space after the snap. The quickness of wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown off the line of scrimmage make it difficult to reach Brady before the ball leaves his hand.

Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Buccaneers vs. Washington wild-card matchup. Follow for complete results from the 2021 NFL playoff game.

Buccaneers vs. Washington score

Buccaneers vs. Washington live updates, highlights

8:28 p.m.: Cam Sims doesn’t help out Taylor Heinicke there, dropping a long pass over the middle that could have allowed his quarterback to settle in had it been caught. Washington punts.

8:21 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, Buccaneers. Washington finally applies pressure to Brady, and its rush on third down puts the quarterback on the turf as his pass attempt flies incomplete through the back of the end zone. The Buccaneers settle for a short kick. 3-0, Tampa Bay.

8:19 p.m.: Tampa Bay is past midfield in the blink of an eye. A completion from Tom Brady to Chris Godwin puts the Buccaneers on the 17.

8:15 p.m.: The Buccaneers start Saturday night’s wild-card game with the ball.

Buccaneers vs. Washington start time

This kickoff time is the same as the usual Monday night kickoff time during the regular season. Washington is coming off a Sunday night game in Week 17, which will have its body clocks lined up to start at this time again in the first round of the playoffs.

Buccaneers vs. Washington marks the third of three wild-card games on the opening Saturday of the playoffs, with three more scheduled for Sunday. 

NFL playoff schedule 2021

Wild-card round

Saturday, Jan. 9

Sunday, Jan. 10

Divisional round

Saturday, Jan. 16

Sunday, Jan. 17

Conference championships

Sunday, Jan. 24

Super Bowl 55

Sunday, Feb. 7

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