Three games in 11 days are rough for any team in the NFL, which was the case for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and on Thursday night, the Buccaneers concluded those three games in 11 days with a 28-22 road win over the Eagles for their third consecutive victory.
Tampa Bay was not at their best against Philadelphia, but they did enough to get the job done. QB Tom Brady, who came in battling a thumb injury, completed 34-of-42 passes for 297 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
The Buccaneers’ defense also held the Eagles 213 yards of total offense.
“Definitely. It was a good win,” Brady said after the game. “It’s tough to win on the road. Obviously, we didn’t play our best. So we have to get back to work. We have a good little break here – use it – and then get back to work. See if we can get better.”
After the Eagles cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 28-22 late in the fourth quarter, Antonio Brown, who caught nine passes for 93 yards and one touchdown, helped put the game away with a 27-yard reception on the final drive.
“Yeah, [Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown] made a great play,” Brady said. “Just dipped underneath the guy and then found space – kind of what he’s done his entire career. He made a huge play; it was awesome.”
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians added on Brown’s big catch: “It was huge. Great route and hell of a throw when you’re trying to get out of the pocket. It’s a couple times this year he’s thrown out of the pocket to the right and made a big play down the field.”
Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette also came up big. He accumulated 127 yards from scrimmage, taking 22 rushes for 81 yards and two touchdowns while also contributing six receptions for 46 yards. Fournette has now recorded 100-or-more scrimmage yards in three consecutive games. The five-year veteran, who joined the team late in training camp last season, feels much more comfortable this season.
“I came in two weeks before our first game, so just having that year under my belt makes a big difference understanding it,” Fournette said. “Especially, playing with my guys for a year–trusting them and them trusting me–the lack of trust and accountability is done on both sides.”
Brady added on Fournette: “He’s a great back. He’s big, tough, catches it, runs, blocks, does everything for us. [It’s] great to have him in there. Obviously, when he’s rolling, it’s tough to stop us.”
Tampa Bay is 5-1, and each time they have been 5-1(four times), the Buccaneers won at least ten games, so this is shaping up to be another excellent season for the defending world champions.