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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers 28, Eagles 22

The Buccaneers come out of Philadelphia with a win on Thursday night. 


Philadelphia won the toss to start the game at home and elected to defer. It meant that quarterback Tom Brady and the Buccaneer offense took the field first under the primetime lights. The first play of the game was a handoff to Leonard Fournette against the league's 30th-ranked rushing defense. Brady then proceeded to connect with four different receivers as Tampa Bay moved right down the field and struck first. Brady hit tight end O.J. Howard in the back corner of the end zone for the two-yard score to put the Bucs 7-0 on their first drive of the game.

Unfortunately, thanks to a couple crucial penalties, including a 45-yard defensive pass interference, the Eagles marched right down the field and answered with a score of their own. After being set up at the five-yard line with a fresh set of downs thanks to the aforementioned penalty, quarterback Jalen Hurts hit tight end Zach Ertz for the five-yard score, tying the game with 6:01 left in the first quarter.

The good news was that the Bucs' offense had no trouble answering the Eagles' answer. Brady engineered a nine-play, 75 yard drive that again ended in the end zone on a beautiful 23-yard pass to wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was inexplicably left wide open over the middle. It gave the Bucs the lead back with 33 seconds left in the first quarter, 14-7.

The Eagles' next drive wouldn't last long as the Bucs forced a three-and-out thanks in large part to two big plays by safety Jordan Whitehead. He came in with a crucial pass breakup on third down and three that ultimately forced Philadelphia to punt on their first drive of the second quarter.

The Bucs followed somewhat followed suit. They didn't suffer a three-and-out but were ultimately stalled around their own 42 and also punted. The 41-yard kick from punter Bradley Pinion pinned the Eagles at their own 17 to start their next drive with 12:07 left in the second quarter.

And again, the two teams traded punts, taking the clock down to just over nine minutes as Philly took over at their own 11. This time, they'd move the ball a bit but the drive would be over in a flash thanks to cornerback Jamel Dean nabbing his second interception in as many games. It gave the Bucs' offense the ball back at their own 27 with about seven minutes to play in the half.

This time, they'd capitalize on the gifted possession, spanning the field thanks again in large part to running back Leonard Fournette, who at one point broke off an 18-yard run that would set the Bucs up in Eagles territory. Fournette also converted a hard-fought third-and-one at the four-yard line to give the Bucs a fresh set of downs at the two. From there, Fournette was rewarded for his efforts on a handoff from Brady. He was in the end zone in a hurry, giving the Bucs a 21-7 lead with 1:56 left before halftime.

After a false start penalty, the Bucs would get behind the chains and face a third-and-15 situation in which Brady aired the ball out down the field. It was unfortunately intercepted, ending Brady's franchise-record streak of 227 pass attempt without an interception. The Eagles ended up getting another try as they took back over at their 32-yard line.

But the Tampa Bay defense would serve up another three-and-out. It gave the Bucs the ball back again with just over 30 seconds to play. Tampa Bay ran one play before letting time expire and heading into the half.

The Eagles started with the ball after deferring from the coin toss but their first drive would again go nowhere as the Bucs' defense forced yet another three-and-out. It gave the ball back to the Bucs' offense after just 1:18.

Tampa Bay's lack of production in the last two minutes of the first half did not carry over into the second as Fournette again helped Brady lead a productive drive. The Bucs offense went 12 plays for 79-yards and a defensive pass interference drawn by wide receiver Mike Evans in the end zone set them up with first and goal from the one. Though blocked on first down, Fournette would walk right in thanks to a key block by right tackle Tristan Wirfs and make the score 28-7 with 7:41 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles would get into Buccaneer territory on their next drive solely thanks to a defensive pass interference call that gifted them 50 yards. They'd make the most of it as they'd get back in the end zone thanks to a six-yard run by Hurts on third down and three. It cut the Bucs' lead to 28-14 with 2:15 to play in the third quarter.

Tampa Bay came up empty in their next drive, surrendering the ball back to the Eagles but a good punt by Pinion pinned Philadelphia at their own 15 to start the drive. Hurts would get some momentum through the air, completing big-time passes to both Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins. They'd get into Buccaneer territory but eventually be stalled thanks in part to Vita Vea's first full sack of the season and kicker Jake Elliott would try for a 46-yard field goal. The kick was no good at the Bucs would take over at their own 35 with 12:38 to play, still leading 28-14.

The Bucs would get across midfield on their next drive and then, faced with fourth down and three, would elect to go for it. Brady went overtop for Howard but overthrew him just a bit and Tampa Bay turned it over on downs with 8:59 to play.

The momentum wouldn't stop there for Philadelphia as the Eagles moved the ball quickly down the field thanks to a couple big runs by running back Miles Sanders. A holding penalty at the Bucs gave the Eagles first and goal at the one-yard line. On second down, Hurts kept the ball and made it into the end zone. Philadelphia would then go for two to make the score 28-22 with 5:54 left in the game.

The Bucs had a hard-fought way down the field but on third and long, Brady completed a 27-yard pass to Brown to get a first down at the Philly 18. Faced with third and one at the nine, Brady kept the ball on a quarterback sneak as the two-minute warning hit. Philadelphia had used all of their timeouts by then and the Bucs would take a couple knees to come away with a win on the road on Thursday night.

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