Ball Control, Playing Through Injuries Help Bucs Win in Philly


Via Sports Talk Florida’s Jim Williams

Playing the Eagles at “The Link,” the Bucs came away with a hard-fought and gritty 28-22 win in Philadelphia. Make no mistake about it, playing on the road on a Thursday night is always a big challenge, but for a team as banged up as the Buccaneers are, leaving Philly at 5-1 with a win is a very good result.

Based in Washington I can tell that playing in and winning in Philadelphia no matter what the sport is is tough, and this young Eagles team will get better as time goes by this season. The bruised but not batted Buccaneers team was equal to the task.

Tom’s Thumb 

Let’s start with quarterback Tom Brady who entered the game with a injured thumb but you would not have known it by his play. The 44-year-old, seven-time Super Bowl champion tossed TD passes on Tampa Bay’s first two drives while going 11 for 12 for 121 yards.

“It’s tough to win on the road,” Brady said. “Obviously, we didn’t play our best so we have to get back to work … We got to get better.”

Brady finished 34 of 42 for 297 yards two touchdowns and an interception. He insisted his thumb, which was taped, is fine.

Controlling the Clock 

The Buccaneers knew that coming into the game with so many players out or playing hurt that a big key to a win was controlling the clock. Tampa Bay dominated the time of possession having the ball almost twice as long as the Eagles 39:59 to 20:04.

Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette was a key member of the ball control plan as he ran for 81 yards and caught six passes for 46 yards.

“Having that year under my belt makes a big difference understanding it,” said Fournette, who signed with Tampa Bay shortly before last season after he was cut by Jacksonville. “The sky’s the limit for me.”

Injuries Continue for Bucs

The Buccaneers did suffer another key defensive injury as cornerback and three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.

Tampa Bay will have some time to heal as they won’t play again until Sunday, October 24th when they welcome the Chicago Bears to Raymond James Stadium.