TAMPA- Before Tom Brady ever joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the franchise sported a record of 6-9 when playing in the postseason.
The all-time great doesn’t settle for too many playoff losses in his career and doesn’t plan on making that a trend anytime soon. Brady ended up throwing for 271 yards, two touchdowns, and leading Tampa Bay to a 31-15 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
Now the Buccaneers will await the winner of Monday night’s playoff tilt between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, with Tampa Bay hosting the winner of that contest. Tampa Bay played Los Angeles this season back in Week 3 and lost 34-24. The Buccaneers have not played the Cardinals this season and last played them in the 2019 campaign.
Without starting running back Leonard Fournette or backup Ronald Jones, it would be a different duo leading the way on the ground: Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Giovanni Bernard. The two tailbacks would fill in the voids nicely and combine for 97 yards rushing. The Buccaneers are expecting the return of Fournette in the Divisional Round.
A couple of scary moments did occur during the game for Tampa Bay, as All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs suffered an ankle injury and did attempt to play again but was unable to perform and sat out most of the contest. Also going down with an injury was center Ryan Jensen, who didn’t miss any time but looked to be possibly hurt on a running play.
Despite those couple of moments, the Buccaneers (14-4) sat in cruise control for most of the game, building a lead that got as big as 31-0 at one point. With most of the starters back on defense for the Buccaneers, they were able to slow down the league’s No. 1 rushing attack. Tampa Bay held Philadelphia to just 95 yards rushing, which is 64 yards less than their season average.
Having himself a big day was wide receiver Mike Evans, who caught a team playoff-record nine passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. The Buccaneers signed veteran John Brown, who could be promoted from the practice squad for the Divisional Round game. Brady finished the day completing 29 of 37 passes.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.