NFL: Colts beat Buccaneers in Brady’s preseason opener

The holder of seven Super Bowl rings led the Buccaneers first-ever offense, despite missing 11 days of practice for personal reasons.

The Indianapolis Colts beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-10 Saturday as Tom Brady made his final NFL preseason appearance in the final week of the preseason.

The holder of seven Super Bowl rings led the Bucs’ first offensive drive, totaling 44 yards, completing six of eight completions and leading his offense to take a three-point lead with a field goal.

Brady was absent 11 days from practice and his squad’s first two warm-up games to attend to personal matters. He returned to practice Monday.

Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles’ urgency to have his star back was due to the need to hasten his coordination with new center Robert Hainsey, a replacement for veteran Ryan Jensen, who will miss the season with a knee injury.

Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, rookie Hainsey injured his ankle in the second quarter and will undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury.

The Colts went into halftime with a 14-10 lead thanks to touchdowns by Deon Jackson and Phillip Lindsay. Matt Ryan, starting quarterback, started the game; he passed for 59 yards and connected on five of seven carries.

In the first offensive drive of the third quarter, Sam Ehlinger, quarterback three, escaped 45 yards to the diagonals to extend the Colts’ lead to 21-10, a score they extended to 24-10 with a field goal. In the last period, Indianapolis sealed the 27-10 with another three-point kick.

Earlier, in a duel between the rivals who played in Super Bowl LVI last February, the Cincinnati Bengals overcame the champion Los Angeles Rams 16-7.

The top quarterbacks on both squads did not see action in any of the three preseason games. The Bengals are nursing Joe Burrow who underwent appendicitis surgery on July 26; for the Rams, Matthew Stafford is recovering from an elbow injury.

The win for coach Zac Taylor’s squad was fueled by kicker Evan McPherson, who converted three field goals, capped by a 16-7 touchdown pass from number three passer Jake Browning to Justin Rigg.

The Rams’ offense was led by Bryce Perkins, the third quarterback, who scored his team’s touchdown on the ground. The game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos will close this Saturday’s activity.

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