Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Hope to Snap Eagles' Streak

Series History: The Bucs seek to snap a three-game Philly winning streak that has been marked by some of the most dramatic moments in Tampa Bay's franchise history.

Photos of the top 10 defenses in the league, in terms of total yards allowed.

This weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers return to Philadelphia, a place that inspires mixed memories, including one of the most unforgettable moments in franchise history. Two promising Buccaneer seasons ended in Philly but another one used Veterans Stadium as a launching point for a trip to the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay has twice as many postseason games against the Eagles as they do against any other opponent. Strangely, the Eagles have also been the Bucs' opening-day opponent four times, tied for the most against any team in Tampa Bay history, including division rivals.

Overall, the Eagles have used a current three-game winning streak to break out of an all-time tie and forge an 8-5 lead in the series. The playoff ledger is tied, 2-2. Including the postseason, the Bucs have actually beaten the Eagles more times in Philadelphia (four) than Tampa (three).

Tampa Bay got three of its five regular-season wins in the head-to-head battle in a row from 1991-99, but the Bucs' best stretch in the series came over a nine-month stretch in 2003. First, the visiting Buccaneers won the 2002 NFC Championship Game in the final game ever played at the Vet on Jan. 19, 2003, advancing to Super Bowl XXXVII, where they would defeat Oakland, 48-21. Then, to open the 2003 season and the new Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, the defending league champions completely dominated in a 17-0 victory.

Ronde Barber's 92-yard interception return for a touchdown, an iconic moment for the Bucs' franchise, sealed that NFC title game, giving the Bucs a 27-10 lead. Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, who had joined the team in Philadelphia late because he was tending to his ailing infant son, Michael, also turned in a memorable play with a 71-yard catch-and-run to set up Mike Alstott's one-yard touchdown. Brad Johnson also threw a nine-yard scoring pass to Keyshawn Johnson to help the visitors build a 20-10 lead but the Eagles were rallying before Barber's big play.

Jurevicius played a big role in the season-opening win the following year, too, scoring both touchdowns in the shutout win, both in acrobatic fashion. His first score was one of the most impressive TD catches in Bucs history, as he reached back for a pass thrown behind him and purposely tipped it into the air before spinning around and diving for the deflection in the end zone. Meanwhile, the Bucs' defense sacked Donovan McNabb three times (two by DE Simeon Rice) and intercepted him once while giving up just 245 yards of offense.

Those two wins helped erase some of the lingering bitterness from a pair of playoff trips to Philly the previous two seasons. In 2000, the Buccaneers had a chance to secure a division title and a first-round bye in a season-ending game in Green Bay but Martin Gramatica missed a 40-yard field goal at the end of regulation and the Packers won in overtime, 17-14. That made Tampa Bay a Wild Card team with a date in Philadelphia, and the Eagles made the Bucs' postseason a short one. Shaun King was sacked four times, two by Harry Douglas, and Tampa Bay couldn't move the ball on the ground (50 yards) or through the air (149 net yards). The following year, a 9-7 finish made the Bucs a six-seed in NFC playoff field, which once again resulted in a trip to Philly. This game was arguably worse than the one before, a 31-9 Eagles victory that featured four interceptions off QB Brad Johnson, the last returned 59 yards for a touchdown by S Damon Moore. McNabb had a strong outing, with 16 completions in 25 attempts and a pair of touchdown passes plus a team-high 57 rushing yards.

Coincidentally, the Buccaneers and Eagles had also played each other just six days earlier in Tampa. The contest had originally been scheduled for Week Two of the regular season but the NFL had postponed all of its games that week following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That week's slate was moved to early January, and in the case of the Bucs and Eagles both teams were already locked into their respective playoff seeds before their game, so it proved moot. Philadelphia won a game played largely by reserves, 17-13.

The first Bucs-Eagles game was played on opening day of 1977, in Philadelphia, before Tampa Bay's expansion franchise had won a single game. Tampa Bay's defense held its own to start the team's second season, relatively speaking, allowing 281 yards and a pair of touchdown passes by Ron Jaworski, but the Bucs offense could muster just 118 yards and a Dave Green field goal. By the time the two teams squared off again, in the 1979 NFC Championship Game, that Buccaneers' defense had developed into the league's best and it led Tampa Bay to its first playoff victory. The Eagles were held to 227 total yards and Bucs RB Ricky Bell did the rest, carrying 38 times for 142 yards and two scores in a 24-17 win.

Photos of QB Jameis Winston against the Cowboys on November 15th.

The Bucs went back to Philadelphia in 1981 during their second playoff season but lost 20-10 in a game that got wild in the fourth quarter. It was just 7-7 heading into that final period, but the Buccaneers would turn it over three times down the stretch, two setting up Philadelphia scores. The Eagles didn't make their first regular-season visit to Tampa until 1988, but they enjoyed the visit, leaving with a 41-14 victory. This was yet another opening-week game between the two teams, and the Eagles began a division-winning campaign by picking off Bucs QB Vinny Testaverde five times. Testaverde did throw for 324 yards and two scores but the Eagles countered with 141 yards on the ground and three rushing TDs.

The Bucs countered with a three-game winning streak beginning with a stunning comeback in a 14-13 win at Tampa Stadium in October. Neither team could move the ball (364 combined yards of offense between the two teams) but they did manage to combine for 10 turnovers. The biggest of those during the first three quarters was Seth Joyner's end zone recovery of a fumble by Testaverde after he was sacked by safety Wes Hopkins. Philly had a 13-0 lead heading into the final period and then promptly picked off Bucs QB Chris Chandler on the next two drives. However, a Buc rally was ignited when punter Jeff Feagles couldn't handle a snap and never got a kick off before he was buried by Broderick Thomas at the Bucs' 12. Tampa Bay scored two plays later, then won the game with a minute left on Chandler's five-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Hill.

Photos of WR Mike Evans against the Cowboys on November 15th.

The 1995 meeting in Philadelphia was yet another season-opener, and the Bucs won easily, 21-6. Trent Dilfer, making his first opening-day start, hit WR Horace "Hi-C" Copeland on a 64-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and the Bucs' defense would sack Randall Cunningham five times. One of those belonged to Warren Sapp, playing in his first regular-season game against a team that had passed him over in the draft in favor of Mike Mamula. When the Bucs went back to Philadelphia four years later it was McNabb's turn to make his NFL debut after Tampa Bay's defense chased starter Doug Pederson from the game. Sapp led a nine-sack attack with three takedowns, with Chidi Ahanotu also getting three and Marcus Jones adding two. The Bucs won, 19-5.

The aforementioned flurry of Bucs-Eagles meetings from 2000-02 capped the series for a while, until the Eagles returned to Tampa in 2006. This game also provided one of the more memorable moments in franchise history when Matt Bryant won it with a team-record 62-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Coincidentally, the 2012 rematch in Tampa also ended in a 23-21 final on a last-minute score, although this time it was Nick Foles-to-Jeremy Maclin one-yard touchdown pass with two seconds left that gave visiting Philadelphia the win. The Eagles won another game in Philly in 2009, 33-14, over a winless Buccaneer club in Week Five. McNabb completed 16 of 21 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns and nearly compiled a perfect passer rating (157.2). His favorite target was WR Jeremy Maclin, who caught six passes for 142 yards and two scores, one a 51-yarder on Philadelphia's second play from scrimmage. The most recent meeting between the two teams was in Tampa in 2013. This one also sent the Bucs to 0-5 on the season, though the Bucs did take a 17-14 lead into halftime on the strength of two Vincent Jackson touchdowns. Foles had another big day, though, and his third touchdown pass of the day (the second to DeSean Jackson) sealed the game in the fourth quarter as Philadelphia prevailed, 31-20.

Bucs-Eagles Regular-Season Game-by-Game Record:

Season

Result

Site

1977

L, 13-3

Philadelphia

1981

L, 20-10

Philadelphia

1988

L, 41-14

Tampa

1991

W, 14-13

Tampa

1995

W, 21-6

Philadelphia

1999

W, 19-5

Philadelphia

2001

L, 17-13

Tampa

2002

L, 20-10

Philadelphia

2003

W, 17-0

Philadelphia

2006

W, 23-21

Tampa

2009

L, 33-14

Philadelphia

2012

L, 23-21

Tampa

2013

L, 31-20

Tampa

Bucs-Eagles Postseason Game-by-Game Record:

Season

Result

Site

1979

W, 24-17

Tampa*

2000

L, 21-3

Philadelphia**

2001

L, 31-9

Philadelphia**

2002

W, 27-10

Philadelphia*

    • NFC Divisional Playoff Game

** - NFC Wild Card Playoff Game

* - NFC Championship Game

Series Notes:

  • Overall Season Series: Philadelphia leads, 8-5
  • Bucs' Home Record: 2-4
  • Bucs' Road Record: 3-4
  • Current Streak: Lose 3 (2009-12)
  • Buccaneers' Longest Winning Streak: 3 (1991-1999)
  • Eagles' Longest Winning Streak: 3 (1977-88, 2000-02)
  • Regular Season Point Total: Buccaneers 199, Eagles 243
  • Most Points in a Game, Buccaneers: Buccaneers 23-21 (2006)
  • Most Points in a Game, Eagles: Eagles 41-14 (1988)
  • Most Points, both teams: Eagles 41-14 (1988)
  • Fewest Points in a Game, Buccaneers: Eagles 13-3 (1977)
  • Fewest Points in a Game, Eagles: Buccaneers 17-0 (2003)
  • Fewest Points in a Game, both teams: Eagles 13-3 (1977)
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