Cowboys, Buccaneers both threw 50 passes, only fourth such game in NFL history

Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Getty Images

The 2021 NFL season opener was a rare game in NFL history, with Dak Prescott throwing 58 passes and Tom Brady throwing 50.

How rare was that? It was just the fourth game in NFL history when both teams threw 50 or more passes.

Of the three previous games, two needed to go to overtime for both teams to reach 50 passes: In 2019, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw 56 passes and Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 52 passes in a Dolphins overtime win, and in 2002 Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw 53 passes while Chargers quarterback Drew Brees threw 49 (and receiver Reche Caldwell threw one on a trick play) in a Seahawks overtime win.

The only time before Thursday night that both teams threw 50 passes in regulation was in 2014, when Brady threw 53 passes for the Patriots while Peyton Manning threw 57 passes for the Broncos in a Patriots victory.

Thursday night’s pass fest was rare, but it may point toward a growing trend toward the passing game in the NFL. Coaches are increasingly finding that their offenses are more efficient the more they pass.

13 responses to “Cowboys, Buccaneers both threw 50 passes, only fourth such game in NFL history

  1. Tampa Bay’s defensive line shut down Ezekiel Elliot and it didn’t look like Tampa was even trying to run against the Dallas d-line.

  2. The good news, for Cowboys fans, is that they hung in the game. The bad news is four take-aways and still losing. Is Elliot still on the team? The opposite can be said for the Buccaneers. They were expected to win, and win handily. If not for the Patriots connection (TB12, Gronk and AB) they wouldn’t have even been in the game!

  3. Coaches are increasingly finding that their offenses are more efficient the more they pass.

    Thats kind of a vague statement. Maybe some statistics to back it up?

  4. Had to look cause I figured Marino vs O’Brien had to be there, turns out Marino had 448 yds on only 30 completions

  5. Zeke is seriously overpaid when they won’t trust to hand the ball of on 3rd and 1. Bucs defense is good at stopping the run but still.

  6. Just STOP already … Tampa defense played bend but don’t break defense all night due to injuries in the back half of the defense , hence Daks lofty numbers … can’t say the same for the Cowboys , that defense just sucks and Brady lit’em up !

  7. I hate Dallas intensely, but good lord, how were they going to win the game when it’s 11 Cowboys against 11 Bucs + the refs?

    Anyway, I’d like to thank that soft Bucs defense for an easy Cowboys +8 cover. Nice start to the season 🙂

  8. What happened to Greg the Leg? With the Rams this dude was a stud and now he’s missing multiple chip shots? I have to say though the quick passing game that Dallas employed kept this Bucs defense on their heels. I think this is a blueprint. Bucs were missing Whitehead but the quick passes were very effective. Should’ve kept Pollard in the game more. Zeke had too many touches early in his career combined with the fact that he’s now been paid. You can see the disinterest in his fakes and routes. Problem is this is standard McCarthy offense, throw and throw some more. If the Bucs don’t work on their pass coverage there will be no repeat.

  9. Brady on his way to #8 while BB continues to be sub-.500 as a head coach without Brady……Uh speaks for itself who was responsible for the Pats’ titles.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.