By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports writer
PHILADELPHIA- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not the biggest fans of Thursday night football games and last week’s contest against the Philadelphia Eagles was another example of why.
After demolishing the Miami Dolphins to the tune of 45-17 the previous week, the Buccaneers were proverbially flying high heading into Lincoln Financial Field. Though Tampa Bay started off fast, the offense ended up sputtering. Fortunately, the Bucs defense held on late to secure a 28-22 win over Philadelphia. Tampa Bay improved to 5-1 on the season heading into a home game versus the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The beleaguered Buccaneers’ defense has been riddled with a series of injuries all over the secondary and Tampa Bay suffered another one, their recent addition being Richard Sherman. The newest cornerback suffered a hamstring injury in the contest against the Eagles. Being down Sherman, Tampa Bay had to figure out how to slow down the Jalen Hurts’ led offense and they did.
Hurts and the Eagles’ offense were kept in check all evening long and only amounted to 215 yards of total offense. With the way Tampa Bay started off the game, it really looked like it would become a blowout fairly quickly. Tom Brady (34-of-42, 297 yards) opened up the game with a scoring drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end OJ Howard. After Philadelphia scored, Brady and the Buccaneers fired right back and he hit wide receiver Antonio Brown on a 23-yard strike.
Tampa Bay (5-1) got into high gear with touchdown runs from Leonard Fournette in the second and third quarters. That’s when the Eagles started to make a comeback attempt look like reality. What Hurts wasn’t doing with his arm, he was doing with his legs. Hurts scored on touchdown runs in the third and fourth quarters and it looked like one more possession by Philadelphia would put them in the driver’s seat to win.
That’s when the Buccaneers shut down Lincoln Financial with a game-ending drive that sucked up the rest of the game clock. Brady and the offense methodically moved down the field, getting inside of the Eagles’ 10-yard line before taking a knee to end the game. Now the Buccaneers will shift their focus over to the Chicago Bears (3-3), who are coming off a 24-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.