It took a while, but Antonio Brown is paying off for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite a very quiet start to the regular season after a year mostly out of the NFL, the Buccaneers kept playing him. Brown scored four touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ final three games, and had a big outing in the season finale that clinched the No. 5 seed and a date with the 7-9 Washington Football Team in the wild-card round.
Brown kept his hot streak going, scoring the first touchdown of Saturday night’s wild-card game in Washington. Brown got loose downfield and Tom Brady hit him for a 36-yard score to give Tampa Bay a 9-0 lead in the first quarter.
Signing Brown came with a lot of risk. Brown’s behavior led to premature departures from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots in 2019. The Buccaneers ignored many off-field stories to get Brown in their pursuit of a Super Bowl.
Brown didn’t score or top 69 yards in his first five Bucs games, but in the final three regular-season games he had 20 catches for 266 yards and four scores.
It took a while for Brown to look like the player we remember from the Steelers. But he is playing well again, and he made an impact right away in the Bucs’ postseason.
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