If you’re gonna win, it pays to win big — and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did exactly that on Monday.
The Bucs destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles 32-9 on Monday, punching a ticket to the Divisional Round and looking very good while doing it. The team fired on all fronts, taking advantage of a broken Eagles team to sail into the next part of the postseason. We here at Bucs Wire like to grade every aspect of the team’s performance, and this week, you won’t see a lot of complaints here from an overall stifling shift from Tampa Bay.
Here’s how we graded the offense, defense, special teams and coaching for the Bucs after their big Wild Card win:
30 offensive points is nothing to sneeze at, so high marks here.
Baker Mayfield baked, throwing for 337 yards and three touchdowns. His completion percentage would have been a bit higher had be not seen some drops from his wideouts — additionally, the run game was working, as it averaged 4.1 yards per carry and almost had a 100-yard rusher in Rachaad White, who went for 72 yards.
The minus for this one comes from drops. The Bucs had a rough first half there with six, and that’s something they’ll need to clean up when they head to Detroit.
On the flip side, the defense held the Eagles to just nine points. They not only stopped the Eagles on every third down, but they also managed to stop the vaunted tush push during a two-point conversion — the second time they’ve done so all year.
Todd Bowles put together a great gameplan for them, using six-man fronts to both stop the run and put pressure on quarterback Jalen Hurts to make him fold. There were a few bad splash plays on deep balls here and there and the soft zone Tampa Bay played sometimes reared its ugly head, but overall, the defense managed to shut down the Eagles in just about every facet.
Special Teams: A+
Not only did kicker Chase McLaughlin nail all of his kicks, even from long distance (as he does), but punter Jake Camarda did well during his stint punting Monday. Camarda was faced with short fields during his punting and he made them all work, pinning the Eagles inside the 20 in all three of his punts.
It wasn’t perfect, no, but it was damn close.
As mentioned before, Todd Bowles’ gameplan against the Eagles was fantastic. He brought the blitz over 70% of the time against quarterback Jalen Hurts and used a lot of six-man fronts to help stifle the run game as well, completely severing Philadelphia’s attack on all angles. The defense got the job done and more with his fantastic plan.
On the offensive side of things, Dave Canales could have ran the ball a bit more instead of relying on the pass, but he overall called a good game that saw some varied looks and plays we haven’t really seen before. While most of Tampa Bay’s touchdowns came on YAC yards, he was able to find weaknesses in a banged-up secondary and he certainly took advantage.