The Bucs dominated from start to finish, beating the Eagles 31-15 in the Wild Card round. They controlled the game in all three phases, getting splash plays from Shaq Barrett, Scotty Miller, Mike Evans and many more.
Although Tampa Bay put a beat down on their opponent to move on to the divisional round, there were a couple things that need to get cleaned up before the next game.
Here are the most disappointing moments from the Bucs home playoff win.
Breshad Perriman & Tyler Johnson
Even though the Bucs went up 7-0, they were not exactly in rhythm starting out. Aided by a roughing the passer penalty on a hit to Tom Brady during the opening drive, there were multiple drops in the first half. Breshad Perriman dropped two of his three targets and Tyler Johnson had a third down catch go off his hands in the first quarter. The drop resulted in a punt. Even the reliable Giovani Bernard dropped a pass early. Tampa Bay made up for it with splash plays as the game went on. In a closer game, though, they can’t make those mistakes.
Bucs Dropped Interceptions
It wasn’t just the offense that was dropping the football, the defense couldn’t hold onto it either. The Bucs recorded two interceptions in the game and could’ve had as many as four or five. Carlton Davis had two opportunities, Jamel Dean came very close after Joe Tryon-Shoyinka tipped a pass and Lavonte David saw one that went through his arms on a low throw. The second drop by Davis was probably the most egregious, as Jalen Hurts airmailed it and Davis tracked it the whole way. The Bucs obviously dominated in so many aspects on defense, but if things were much tighter on the scoreboard, the missed chances would have been costly.
Third Down Pass Blocking
Brady was sacked four times on the afternoon, and all four came on third down to end drives. It’s never easy to replace a stud at right tackle like Tristan Wirfs, but backup Josh Wells did allow a sack when inserted into the game. Wells didn’t struggle alone though, as the OL gave up two other sacks. It’s rare to see the offensive line give up so many sacks like that in a game.
Bucs Fourth Quarter Tackling
I can’t really blame the Bucs for taking their foot off the gas pedal after leading 31-0 going into the fourth quarter. The lead was too big to worry about a late comeback for the Eagles, but poor tackling in the fourth quarter prevented the Bucs from getting a shutout. Tampa Bay whiffed on multiple tackles during the Eagles’ two touchdown scoring drives, which saw chunk plays by DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell. Mike Edwards and Jordan Whitehead were some of the players that missed tackles.
Philadelphia never beat Tampa Bay deep, it was simply running plays and screen passes while the Bucs couldn’t wrap up. It wasn’t the end of the world as the game was out of reach, but it did rob us of the opportunity to see backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert get in the game and close it out. The tackling problems and missed chance of a shutout can be used as motivation for the Bucs in the next round.