TAMPA — Before Tom Brady ever joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the franchise went 6-9 in the postseason.
The all-time great isn’t settling for too many playoff losses in his career and doesn’t plan to make that a trend anytime soon. Brady threw for 271 yards, two touchdowns and led Tampa Bay to a 31-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
Now the Buccaneers await the winner of Monday night’s playoff tilt between the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals, with Tampa Bay hosting the winner of that contest. Tampa Bay played Los Angeles in Week 3 of that season, losing 34-24. The Buccaneers have not played the Cardinals this season and most recently played them in the 2019 season.
Without starting Leonard Fournette or backup Ronald Jones, it would be another duo leading the way on the ground: Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Giovanni Bernard. The two jams would fill in the gaps nicely and combine for 97 yards of noise. The Buccaneers are anticipating Fournette’s return to the divisional round.
There were some scary moments during the game for Tampa Bay when All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs suffered an ankle injury and attempted to play again but was unable to perform and sat out most of the competition. Also down with an injury was center Ryan Jensen, who wasn’t missing any time but appeared potentially injured with a game in progress.
Despite those few moments, the Buccaneers (14-4) sat in cruise control for most of the game, building a lead that grew as large as 31-0 at one point. With most of the starters for the Buccaneers back on defense, they were able to slow the League No. 1’s onslaught. Tampa Bay held Philadelphia for just 95 yards rushing, which is 64 yards short of their season average.
Wide receiver Mike Evans had a great day, throwing nine passes for 117 yards and a touchdown for a team playoff record. The Buccaneers signed veteran John Brown, who could be promoted from the practice squad for the Divisional Round game. Brady finished the day with 29 of 37 passes.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.