TAMPA, Fla. -- "Tommy and Gronky," the show featuring Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and tight-end Rob Gronkowski, resumed exactly where it left off seven months and two day ago. With two touchdowns (or "tuddies"), they matched their two Super Bowl LV "tuddies" in a thrilling 31-29 victory over the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL Kickoff Game Thursday night.
Brady's third quarter 11-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski was their 100th touchdown connection. This is the first time that a tight end and quarterback have teamed up for 100 touchdowns. They are now second only to Marvin Harrison (114), and Peyton Manning (114).
The Buccaneers had to rely on Gronkowski and Brady, not like in the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay's defense managed to shut out Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City Chiefs. He was 44 years old and was playing his 300th game. Gronkowski threw for 379 yard, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin combined for more than 100 yards.
Brady orchestrated a 11-play, 56-yard drive with 1:22 remaining in the fourth quarter to set up a game-winning field goal.
Ezekiel Elliott was shut down and the Cowboys were rendered one-dimensional. This week, the Bucs' defense had been the goal. However, quarterback Dak Prescott was able to showcase his three talented receivers, CeeDee lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. He threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns. Prescott was able to sabotage the Bucs' defense, making many of their blitzes ineffective, even in the absence Zack Martin, Cowboys center, due to COVID-19.
The Bucs' starting cornerback Sean Murphy Bunning was injured in the first quarter and the Cowboys picked on Jamel Dean, their third cornerback. Jordan Whitehead, the Bucs' strong safety, was also out with a hamstring injury and was unable to play.
They made enough timely plays, even though the game was almost over in the fourth quarter. Godwin spun toward the end zone and gave up the ball at the 2-yard mark. With 1:29 remaining, Dallas took a drive that culminated in a field goal of 48 yards by Greg Zuerlein. This gave the Cowboys a lead of 29-28.
Tampa Bay's victory elevated the Super Bowl champions to 38-16-1 in season openers.