Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Buccaneers-Eagles

January 16th, 2022

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THAT’S the way you take care of a playoff pretender.

The Bucs wasted no time in showing a national TV audience the difference between a 13-4 division champion and a 9-8 wild-card club.

If you arrived a little late for Sunday’s matchup, you missed the game because the Eagles were competitive for less than 15 minutes.

When the first quarter concluded, Tampa Bay had 11 first downs — Philadelphia had one. The Bucs had 25 snaps compared to 8 for the Eagles. The gap in total yards was 137-17.

Game, set, match.

In their Week 6 encounter at Philly, the Bucs built a 28-7 advantage in the third quarter before a pair of Eagle touchdowns made things uneasy. This time around, the Bucs led 31-0 before the Eagles found some pride.

Forget the final score, this was a very impressive beatdown marred only by an ankle injury to Tristan Wirfs. Tom Brady was sharp, Mike Evans was on point and the defense swarmed. The Eagles should have stayed home and ordered in cheesesteaks because they played as soft as those Amoroso rolls Philly is famous for.

The Bucs are guaranteed at least one more home playoff game – perhaps more than one if the Packers are upset at Lambeau next week.

This was a Tampa Bay team that seemed driven from the start, playing with passion and precision while imposing its will on these impostors from the north.

And while it may not have been as dazzling as Buffalo’s dismantling of New England on Saturday evening, this victory serves notice that the NFL’s defending champions are in no mood to yield the crown.

Here’s how the Bucs improved to 8-1 at home with a dominant postseason performance heard all the way to Green Bay:

* Targeted 10 times, Evans caught nine passes for 117 yards, including the TD grab that made it 31-0. He showed no signs of a strained hamstring, running freely and running wide open against an Eagle secondary that kept losing him in coverage.

* Jordan Whitehead set an aggressive tone with some big early hits, ending Philadelphia’s opening possession by dropping Jalen Hurts for a 3-yard loss on third-and-2. He also tackled Miles Sanders for a 5-yard loss as Philly’s heralded ground game was held well in check.

* Mike Edwards joined the party with a team-high 9 tackles and a gorgeous interception in front of DeVonta Smith at his own goal-line. Buc coaches have told us for years that Edwards boasted superior ball skills. Guess what? They were right.

* The Eagles sacked Brady four times, but he still carved them up for 29 completions to 9 different targets. Bruce Arians says when Brady figures out a defense, you’re done. The Eagles were done from the start.

* Welcome back, Gio Bernard. Saddled with injuries in his first year with Tampa Bay, Bernard had managed only 181 yards from scrimmage during the regular season. On Sunday, he accounted for 83 yards, including a TD run that opened the scoring. The veteran RB could be a key factor in the next few weeks if Leonard Fournette remains sidelined.

* The Bucs played very well, but let’s be honest … the Eagles stunk.

* One of the few Philly players who showed up was third-year LB Alex Singleton, who finished with 16 stops, a sack and 4 tackles for loss.

* Shaq Barrett wasn’t credited with a tackle or a QB hit, but he turned in a huge play in the third quarter when he dropped back into coverage and picked off Hurts’ fourth-down floater. Brady and Evans connected from 36 yards out on the next snap to end Tampa Bay’s scoring, triggering a mass exodus from Raymond James Stadium.

* Much of the buildup for the divisional-round game will center around the health of Tampa Bay’s All-Pro right tackle. Josh Wells struggled filling in for Wirfs, who played every offensive snap during the regular season.

* Say what you will about Sunday’s opponent, but credit the Bucs for a complete effort. They overwhelmed the Eagles on offense, defense and special teams. The visitors had no chance because Buc players faithfully executed a smart game plan, won the turnover battle 3-0 and displayed superior energy. It’s a formula that just might take this team to Los Angeles in four weeks.

Yes, that warranty includes USED vehicles!
Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

19 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Buccaneers-Eagles”

  1. jay adams Says:

    Silly that I have friends predicting an eagles win

  2. Miller5252 Says:

    Wirfs health is going to be the biggest story going into the next game. Whoever we play, they’ve got good edge rushers and Wirfs is needed. Brady had a career year and a big chunk of that was due to the O line. 30 is the Bucs secret sauce
    To victory in the playoffs. 5 playoff games, 5 wins and 30+ points were scored in each of them! If the D continues to show up like this week after week, there’s no team that’s going to beat the Bucs! Hands down!!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Ira…you also mentioned in the Arians presser that we were very clean on the penalties…..very clean…..that always helps.

  4. Ron says Says:

    I was really happy with the game I thought we played a really controlled game on defense and offense. The only things I felt were bad, is the intensity on both the defense and offense went away in part of the 3rd and 4th quarter which caused players to play longer and increased their chances of injuries. Brady should have been out of that game most of the 4th quarter but by the defense easing up and allow the eagles to run over them it made him play longer taking a risk we should not have allowed. We also had a very timid offense for the last part of the 3rd and 4th which cause this game to be prolonged. Games are won in the playoffs by focus and intensity they shouldn’t be just survived on previous achievements regardless of the score.

  5. dmatt Says:

    Why didn’t BA put Robert Hainsey? He’s agile, mobile, strong n a clone of Ryan Jensen. I didn’t agree with TWirfs returning to the line up n thought that putting him back in was at risk of ending his season. However, honestly, a 60% TWirfs plays better than a 100% JWells.

  6. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Wells was terrible. We need Wirfs back next week. Jimmy G is trying to throw the game away against Dallas. Hopefully, he won’t succeed. I want the Cardinals/Rams winner, not Dallas.

  7. FairMinded Says:

    Nailed it about the energy especially on defense led by #45 who is back to his old self with Lavonte by his side. The DB’s and safeties also had impressive positive energy celebrating every play. Hope they keep their heads on straight and we could see a major defensive resurgence just in time

  8. Lamarcus Says:

    I rather played Dallas than SF

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Kensington is the part of Philadelphia where they have an open door drug market.
    Just google Kensington to see it in action.
    Hopefully, we will see a whole bunch of Eagles Fans there this evening, as they try to ease the pain of the whipping we just put on the Eagles.
    The Eagles and Cowboys are both NFC Central Teams, and both went down today.
    Hopefully, the red hot 49ers take care of the Packers, and suddenly we are the Top Seed left, then all the remaining playoff games happen right here in Tampa!

  10. geno711 Says:

    Lamarcus Says:
    January 16th, 2022 at 7:56 pm
    I rather played Dallas than SF

    I’d rather play SF. That means that San Fran would be coming to Tampa after 2nd week wins by both teams playing for the NFC championship.

    Seems like a dream scenario.

  11. DrunkInYbor Says:

    Josh Wells was horrible. Credit ((Again to the Coaches)) who had no choice to switch up the offenses game plan. Josh was a turnstile it was embarrassing. Good to meh okay back up. Hey maybe this next week of practice a man who has some avocados Stinnie can get prepared to fill in. Because Wells ain’t it

  12. DrunkInYbor Says:

    I’m sorry hateneif you want. But all you saying I want play this team or I hope we get this team. Y’all sound like freaking COWARDS!! WE The BUCS ARE THE DEFENDING SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS!! We will destroy any team in our path!! You Johnny Come Lately worries worts need to go find some other frontrunner team to talk about. Real Bucs fans KNOW how rare this is and we are ALL in!! I pray players don’t have your cowardice mind set.

  13. Steven M. Says:

    What’s the story with Jensen’s injury ?

  14. orlbucfan Says:

    Wirf’s injury is worrisome. However, it was great seeing my man LVD on the field, not favoring his injured ankle, and leading the defense. Barrett goes nuts when he’s out there with LVD. Still, playing a team like the Bills with that red-hot QB of theirs makes me nervous. That dude is better than Aaron Rodgers.

  15. Joe Says:

    What’s the story with Jensen’s injury ?

    Will get an idea tomorrow when Arians talks and news leaks.

  16. Bradinator Says:

    Wells was hurt too. He was ok until he dinged up his ankle or whatever it was. The coaches should never have put Wirfs back in the game. That was dumb.

  17. LakelandSteve Says:

    It was great to see Carlton Davis locking down his man and the safety’s flying around making plays behind the line of scrimmage, but it seemed Edwards was everywhere. If I am not mistaken he led the team in tackles and had a huge interception before the half in the end zone to keep Philly from scoring and even more importantly going into halftime with momentum. It seems like when Edwards is on the field good things happen for the Bucs. I think that guy is a keeper.

  18. Buczilla Says:

    Well said Ira and an awesome win!

  19. Ed Says:

    There is something to say about 1PM games at Raymond James vs night games.

    The Bucs simply play better in the afternoon than at night when at home. Glad to see next week’s game is at 3PM instead of Sunday Night Football.