The Buccaneers embarrassed the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night, winning the game 32-9. They will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions next week.
For Philadelphia, this was an awful way to end the season. After starting 10-1 and holding the first overall seed, they lost four of their last five and continued their skid in Tampa Bay. Although there have been talks that Nick Siriani might be on the hot seat, it is very unlikely that he will be fired.
Buccaneers' Big Performers
The Buccaneers got a much-needed performance from Baker Mayfield. He played an amazing game and brought his team to the next round. He threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns on the way to victory.
He had help from his receivers, making multiple explosive plays after the catch. In the first quarter, David Moore took one to the house from 46 yards out, and then in the third quarter, Trey Palmer scored from 56 yards out, really putting the game on ice. Chris Godwin completely put the game away with a 23-yard touchdown late in the fourth. Cade Otton had a very nice game, going for 89 yards on eight receptions.
The Buccaneers defense also had a great game. They kept the Eagles quiet all night and completely shut down the running game. D’andre Swift only had 34 yards on 10 carries. Jalen Hurts was under pressure all night and was unable to effectively pass the ball against the Buccaneers blitz scheme. The Eagles also went 0-9 on third downs, and 0-2 on 4th down, a huge stat for the Bucs.
What Went Wrong For Philadelphia?
The Eagles have to figure out what went wrong in the final half of the season. After looking like they were going to continue their dominance from the year before, they completely collapsed, lost the division, and then failed to get past the Wild Card.
Not having AJ Brown was a huge factor in the game. He was one of the best receivers in the league throughout the season but was unable to go this week. Devonta Smith did all he could, but nobody else on the Eagles offense stood up in his absence. Julio Jones was expected to play a large role but he got hurt very early on.
Defensively, the Eagles played one of their worst games all year. They missed tackles consistently and made bad errors such as running into each other in man defense. James Bradberry had a very rough game, despite being a decent player most of the year.
In all, the Eagles have a major problem to fix. Whether it is a staff change, or bringing in new players, something needs to be done in Philadelphia to ensure a collapse such as this never happens again.
Conclusion and Looking Ahead
Tampa Bay moving on might be a surprise to many, as they barely snuck in by winning a weak NFC South, but they proved why they made it. If Mike Evans plays like he did in the regular season against Detroit, the Buccaneers can cause all kinds of mayhem and could very well advance to the NFC Championship. Baker Mayfield having another game like he did today will also drastically help the Buccaneers chances at a upset in Detroit.
Now that the rest of the playoffs are set, it will be interesting to see how the two lower-seeded teams (The Buccaneers and the Packers) can hold up against the Lions and 49ers. Both teams can win, but they will need to play near-perfect games to complete the upsets.