TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time completions leader and threw his 700th touchdown pass for the winning score as the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers got a 33-27 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Brady threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns, and scored on a quarterback sneak set up by the 7,143rd completion of an unmatched 22-year career that includes seven Super Bowl titles.
Tampa Bay won it on Breshad Perriman’s 58-yard catch-and-run with 5:31 left in OT — the 700th TD pass of Brady’s career, including playoffs.
Despite blowing a 21-point halftime lead, the Bucs (10-3) won their fourth straight game and moved closer to clinching Tampa Bay’s first NFC South title since 2007.
Brady, who ruled Buffalo and won 17 AFC East titles during a two-decade stint with the New England Patriots, improved to 33-3 in career starts against the Bills. He broke Drew Brees’ record for most completions in a career late in the second quarter and finished 31 of 46 with no interceptions.
Josh Allen shrugged off a slow start to throw for 308 yards and two touchdowns for Buffalo. He also rushed for 109 yards and a TD, becoming the fourth player in league history to throw for over 300 yards and also rush for 100-plus in the same game.
Since starting 4-1, the Bills (7-6) had hardly resembled the team that won its first division title since 1995 and enjoyed its deepest playoff run in 27 years before losing to Kansas City in the AFC championship game last January.
They are 3-5 over their last eight games and have lost two in a row for the first time this year, jeopardizing their playoffs hopes with four weeks remaining in the regular season.
The Bucs, who have won four straight on the heels on a two-game skid, exposed the Bills offensively and defensively before Allen and the league’s No. 1 ranked defense got back on track after halftime.
Buffalo’s red-zone issues contributed to falling behind, with the offense settling for a field goal on a drive inside Tampa Bay’s 5 with the Bills trailing 10-0 in the second quarter.
A tendency to be overly reliant on Allen was a hindrance, too, with the absence early of a rushing attack that actually involved running backs. Buffalo ran just four times for 43 yards in the opening half, with Allen logging all the carries. The first rushing attempt by a running back came early in the third quarter, when Matt Breida took the snap on a fake punt and lost 3 yards on fourth-and-2 from the Bills 45.
Devin Singletary’s first carry went for 29 yards on Buffalo’s next possession, launching a long drive Allen finished with an 18-yard TD run, making it 24-10. Turns out, the Bills quarterback was just getting started.
Allen moved his team within striking distance with TD passes of 15 yards to Dawson Knox and 4 yards to Gabriel Davis, trimming the deficit to 27-24 with just under five minutes remaining in regulation.
Buffalo got the ball back with 3:05 left and put together a 70-yard drive to force overtime with a 19-yard field goal.
Bills: WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee) was hurt in the first half and did not return. … Reserve RB Taiwan Jones (knee) was hurt in the first quarter.
Buccaneers: They played without S Jordan Whitehead, inactive for the second straight week with a calf injury. … RB Giovani Bernard (hip) sat out the second half. CB Jamel Dean (illness) also didn’t play after halftime.
Bills: host Carolina on Sunday. They’ll play three of four games against opponents that currently have a losing record.
Buccaneers: Tampa Bay can clinch its first NFC South crown since 2007 when its hosts three-time defending division champ New Orleans next Sunday night.