The Philadelphia Eagles were no match for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at least to start, but the Bucs held on to a 28-22 win at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday night.
You thought Tampa Bay really had control of the game in the first half, as the defense, after allowing the Eagles to score on their opening drive, shut the door and prevented the Eagles from having any real chance in the game after the Bucs took a 14-7 lead on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Antonio Brown in the first quarter.
And it really was the running game, Leonard Fournette in particular, that had the most impact on the game, seemingly able to pick up short third-down yardage at will against an ineffective Philly defensive line. Fournette also had some big runs and catches out of the backfield, including an evasive 18-yard reception on the Bucs' third touchdown drive, which he capped off with a two-yard TD run to make it 21-7 before the end of the first half.
Regular-Season Lenny also added a 1-yard plunge to put the Buccaneers up three scores, 28-7, in the third quarter with 5:47 to go.
OJ Howard also had an impact in the game, as he scored Tampa Bay's first touchdown on the Bucs' opening drive, a soft two-yard lob reception from Brady at the end of a 10-play 75-yard drive. He also had a couple of nice first-down catches, throwing away an Eagles defender on one of those plays.
And if it was the solid play of the Buccaneers' defense that made the Eagles' offense look inept at times, it was also 95 yards of pass-interference penalties by the secondary that put the Eagles in position to score some points. On the Eagles first drive, Jamel Dean interfered with Jalen Reagor for a 45-yard penalty that set up a 5-yard Zach Ertz touchdown. And after the Bucs went ahead 28-7, Mike Edwards had a 50-yard penalty, also on Reagor, that set up a Hurts 6-yard TD run with 2:15 left in the third.
But the Eagles made it closer than it should have been in the fourth quarter, as the Bucs failed on a 4th-and-2 at midfield. Philly scored on that drive on a 2-yard-run by QB Jalen Hurts, cutting the score to 28-21.
But on the next Tampa Bay drive, they had a first and goal at the Eagles 6 at the 2:00 warning, with no Eagles' timeouts, which allowed them to kneel out the clock.
The Bucs get a nice 10 days before their next game, Sunday, October 24, as they host the Chicago Bears at Raymond James Stadium. Coverage on 95.3 WDAE starts at 2 p.m. as Tom Krasniqi and Michael Clayton bring you Countdown to Kickoff!
Cover Photo: Getty Images