The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their Super Bowl defence with a thrilling 31-29 victory over the Dallas Cowboys that saw veteran quarterback Tom Brady pulling the strings as usual.
Brady was superb in the opening game of his 21st season, passing for four touchdowns and 379 yards in another ageless performance for the 44-year-old.
The Cowboys have never beaten Brady, who improved to 6-0 against them, with five of the victories coming during his historic 20-year run with the New England Patriots.
However, he had plenty of competition in the form of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
In his first game since suffering an ankle injury 11 months ago, the 28-year-old threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns as the two teams traded scoring drives throughout the entire 60 minutes.
The contest came down to the final two minutes, when Dallas kicker Greg Zuerlein — who earlier missed an extra point and a 31-yard attempt — nailed a 48-yeard field goal to put the Cowboys up by one.
But the Cowboys defence, which had forced four turnovers, was unable to stop Brady when it mattered most.
The veteran quarterback led the Buccaneers on a 62-yard drive before Ryan Succop sealed the victory with a 36-yard field goal.
We won,” the Brady said, “but we know it was far from perfect. There's obviously a lot to clean up.”
“As I told our guys, I learnt a long time ago we don’t learn anything more from losing than you do from almost losing, We’ve got a lot to learn,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians added.
“Obviously not pleased with the start of the game, Loved the finish. Our guys are winners, They’re going to finish.”