Rookie punter Jake Camarda’s wild one-on-one play helps save Bucs, Tom Brady’s 14th straight playoff spot

Rookie punter Jake Camarda’s wild one-on-one play helps save Bucs, Tom Brady’s 14th straight playoff spot
Rookie punter Jake Camarda’s wild one-on-one play helps save Bucs, Tom Brady’s 14th straight playoff spot

Tom Brady and Mike Evans were the stars on Sunday. But rookie punter Jake Camarda played a big supporting role with wild play to help save the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season.

Brady and Evans connected for three touchdowns as the Bucs rallied the Carolina Panthers, 30-24, to clinch the NFC South. The effort may have been wasted if not for an athletic, heads-up game from Camarda with the division on the line.

With Tampa Bay leading, 30-24 in the final minute of the game, the Bucs lined up for a punt from midfield. The snap was low and bounced off the turf. Camarda did not panic. He got the ball on the rebound, then sprinted left to evade the Panthers kickers. Then he managed to punt – and it was a good one.

With three defenders converging, Camarda punted as he neared the line of scrimmage. He got the kickoff just before linebacker Corey Littleton pushed him onto the turf out of bounds. The punt stayed inbounds and out of the end zone before the Tampa Bay covering team beat it down inside the 2-yard line.

Unfortunately for the Bucs, the punt didn’t hold. They were flagged for an illegal man on the ground amid the chaos and had to kick again. But the potential disaster that was averted remained. Without Camarda’s play, the Panthers would have been assured of a first-choice position on the field and potentially scored a touchdown on the missed play.

Instead, Camarda managed to pin the Panthers inside the 10-yard line on the next play, and the Panthers’ final rally fell through. And Brady and the Bucs are back in the playoffs.

Jake Camarda did not panic in a key moment on Sunday. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

The article is in French

. game head to head wild punter rookie Jake Camarda help save Bucs #14th place straight playoff Tom Brady

. Rookie punter Jake Camardas wild oneonone play helps save Bucs Tom Bradys #14th straight playoff spot

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