The Buccaneers and Eagles have history when it comes to Wild Card Weekend and said history hasn't been too kind to the Bucs.
Tom Brady and the Bucs returned the favor of past grievances with a dominating 31-15 win over the Eagles during Super Wild Card Weekend and honestly, the final score wasn't an accurate representation of how dominant the Bucs really were.
Brady threw for over 200-yards and two touchdowns, Mike Evans caught nine passes for 117-yards and the defense forced three turnovers as the Bucs shut down Jalen Hurts and Co. for nearly the duration of the game.
The Eagles won the toss and deferred, so the Bucs started the game on offense.
Ke'Shawn Vaughn got the game started off with a 17-yard run right up the gut to set the Bucs up with a 1st and 10 at their own 42. It looked like the Bucs were about to face a 3rd and 10 a couple of plays later, but a personal foul on Derek Barnett kept the drive alive and moved the Bucs into Eagles territory.
The Bucs did eventually face a third down, except for it was a 3rd and 7. Brady connected with Evans for an eight-yard catch-and-run, which gave the Bucs a fresh set of downs. Tampa Bay converted a 3rd and 2 two plays later after Brady hit Giovani Bernard for nine-yards down the left sideline.
Brady and the offense now had a 1st and 10 at the Philadelphia 15. Cameron Brate's eight-yard catch-and-run off a screen pass gave the Bucs a 1st and goal at the Philly 4 and Bernard punched it into the end zone two plays later for six. Ryan Succop's PAT made it a 7-0 game with 10:00 to go in the first quarter.
Although the Bucs scored a touchdown, the drive itself was bittersweet as All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs was hurt and had to be helped off the field and into the locker room. He was eventually ruled out of the game with an ankle injury.
Outstanding defense by Devin White on second down and Jordan Whitehead on third down led to a three-and-out for the Eagles. Arryn Siposs made matters worse when he shanked the following punt. The 29-yard kick gave the Bucs excellent field position as they started their second drive of the game at their own 43.
The Bucs offense returned the favor with a three-and-out of their own and Bradley Pinion's punt gave the Eagles the ball back at their own 19. But the good news was that Jensen returned to the game and played during the aforementioned series.
Hurts was able to move the ball a little bit with his legs, but Whitehead blew up a handoff for a five-yard loss that nuked the drive and forced the Eagles to punt. Sippos' second attempt went for 36-yards and set the Bucs up at their own 36 for their next drive.
Brady found Rob Gronkowski for gains of 13- and eight-yards to move the ball into Philly territory. Brady then connected with Tyler Johnson for 17-yards and Evans for 16-yards to give the offense a new set of downs in the red zone.
Five plays later, the Bucs found themselves scoring the second touchdown of the game as Vaughn crossed the goal line for the one-yard score. Succop's PAT was good and the Bucs now led, 14-0, with 0:25 to go in the first quarter.
But the Bucs suffered another big injury when Ryan Jensen appeared to be in serious pain after Vaughn's touchdown run. He was able to walk off the field under his own power and was seen heading into the blue medical tent on the sideline.
Philadelphia started its third drive of the game at its own 27. The Bucs defense continued to dominate. Antoine Winfield Jr. sacked Hurts on a 3rd and 8, which marked the second three-and-out in three drives for the Eagles.
Tampa Bay's drive started with an 18-yard completion to Evans and then the Bucs just methodically drove down the field the rest of the way by mixing up both the run and the pass. Johnson's 13-yard reception set the offense up with a 1st and goal at the Philly 5, but the Eagles defense held tough and killed the chance at a touchdown by sacking Brady on 3rd and goal. Succop's 34-yard field goal was good and the Bucs led, 17-0, with 9:16 left in the second quarter.
The Eagles were a play away from going three-and-out again, but Hurts found Dallas Goedert over the middle for a 16-yard gain on 3rd and 7. Hurts and Co. were able to cross midfield for the first time during the game, but Hurts couldn't connect with Goedert on 3rd and 4.
Nick Sirianni decided to go for it and the decision paid off as Hurts hit Goedert on the right sideline for a 10-yard gain to move the chains. The Eagles later faced a 4th and 10 from the Tampa Bay 37 and decided to go for it due to the wind and field position, but couldn't convert the 4th down this time around.
Carlton Davis III was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, which cost the Bucs 15 yards. So, instead of starting at their own 37, the Bucs took over at their own 22, looking to extend their lead before halftime.
That didn't happen, though, because Fletcher Cox sacked Brady on third down, which forced Bradley Pinoin's second punt of the game. The kick went for 50-yards and the Eagles started the following drive at their own 39.
A holding penalty on Jason Kelce wiped out what would've been a 32-yard catch-and-run by Goedert. Instead of 1st and 10 at the Tampa Bay 29, it was 1st and 10 at the Philadelphia 39. An offensive pass interference call on Quez Watkins on the very next play turned a positive gain into a negative one and left the Eagles with a 1st and 20, as opposed to a 2nd and 8.
Hurts overcame all of the drama by finding Watkins downfield for a 35-yard gain to the Tampa Bay 27 on 3rd and 11, but the Bucs defense rushed Hurts out of the pocket and into his first turnover of the game, which turned out to be a Mike Edwards interception in the end zone. Hurts tried to connect with DeVonta Smith for six points, but didn't see Edwards as the third-year safety broke in front of the ball and made the play.
The Bucs couldn't do enough to get any points before halftime thanks to a Ryan Kerrigan sack and went into the locker room, up, 17-0.
Philadelphia received the ball to start the second half. Kelce was called for another holding penalty, but Hurts overcame the penalty by finding Goedert downfield for a 28-yard gain on 3rd and 8. The play set the Eagles up in Tampa Bay territory, but three straight passes left the Eagles without a single yard and Siposs punted the ball away.
Jaelon Darden's fair catch gave the Bucs a 1st and 10 at their own 9 to start the first drive of the second half and the seventh of the game.
The Eagles defense came up with a clutch stop to force the three-and-out, but Jalen Reagor halted all momentum when he muffed the punt on the ensuing punt return. Scotty Miller forced the fumble and Ross Cockrell fell on the ball. The Bucs offense took over at the Eagles' 48.
Brady hit Bernard for 22-yards off a screen pass to start Tampa Bay's subsequent drive. The offense moved into the red zone, but immediately faced a 3rd and 3 from the 19. Brady made it look easy as he connected with Evans for 17-yards to the Philly 2. Brady then tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski on the following play. Succop's PAT went through the uprights and the Bucs led, 24-0, with 7:38 left in the third quarter.
Miles Sanders started the Eagles' drive off with a 14-yard run, but it was all downhill from that point on. The offense couldn't convert a 3rd and 3 and was forced to go for it on 4th and 3 from the Philadelphia 46 due to game circumstances. Hurts tried to complete a pass downfield to Smith, but Shaquil Barrett tipped the pass to himself and ran it back to the Philly 36 for 18-yards.
At this point, the Eagles needed a miracle to just get back into the game.
The miracle never came. Brady delivered a strike to Evans over the middle, who rumbled 13-yards into the end zone for the 36-yard touchdown. Succop's PAT was good and the Bucs led, 31-0, with 5:18 to go in the third quarter.
The Eagles followed up with a three-and-out. The Bucs gained 15-yards on the first two plays of their following drive, but two straight plays with negative yardage and a snap infraction left the offense in a 3rd and 18. The Bucs just ran the ball and then punted it back to the Eagles.
Both teams went three-and-out afterward. Brady was sacked for the fourth time, so it was just a matter of time before he was pulled from the game.
The Eagles offense finally put points on the board and it didn't take much effort. Hurts and Smith hooked up for a 31-yard catch-and-run and then Boston Scott busted off a 34-yard touchdown run. Jake Elliot's PAT was good and the Bucs lead was cut to 31-7, with 12:08 left in the game.
Brady remained in the game. Brate's 16-yard catch-and-run got the Bucs out of the shadow of their end zone, but the drive didn't go much further and the Bucs punted the ball back to the Eagles.
19- and 17-yard completions to Smith and Goedert helped move the Eagles into Buccaneer territory. Kenneth Gainwell's 20-yard catch-and-run on 3rd and 6 gave the offense a new set of downs at the Tampa Bay 22 and his 16-yard catch-and-run went for six points as he hurdled into the end zone.
Hurts' mobility allowed the Eagles to convert the two-point conversion and the Eagles now trailed, 31-15, with 4:45 to go in the game.
Philadelphia attempted the onside kick, but Tampa Bay recovered and eventually ran the clock down to 1:11. The Bucs couldn't convert a 4th and 1, so the Eagles received one last possession.
Steve McClendon sacked Hurts, which essentially ended the game. The Bucs won by a final score of 31-15.
Tampa Bay will host another playoff game next week in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but the opponent, time, and date are all yet to be determined.
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