Bucs second-chancers lead victory

by Gary Shelton on October 15, 2021

in general

Leonard Fournette had a big game./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

It is a game of second chances. It is a game of fresh starts.

Tell it to Tom Brady, whose successes haven't made anyone forget his controversies. Tell it to Leonard Fournette, who was thrown away by, of all teams, Jacksonville. Tell it to Antonio Brown, whose scandals derailed his career.

Together, the trio continues to take advantage of the restarts of their careers. Check out the team's 28-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. No, the score wasn't as lopsided as much of the play indicated. Still, the Bucs did enough to run their record to 5-1 on the season.

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You want to talk about fuel still left in the tank.

Check out Brady, who threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns. Check out Fournette, who rushed for 81 yards and caught passes for 46 more. Check out Brown, who caught nine balls for 93 yards.

In all, it was enough to account for 399 yards and 39:56 seconds worth of possession time. If not for 120 yards worth of penalties, the Eagles might not have been in the game.

"Penaltes were huge in this game again," Arians said. "We had a couple ... just get our heads around and play the ball a little better on defense. And the (offensive) holding penalty took a lot of steam out of us in the fourth quarter. But I liked the drive at the end to win (clinch) the ballgame.

"I like where our team is now. In first place."

Bucs' fans are used to seeing Brady shine -- he's now on pace to throw for 48 touchdowns this season. But Fournette, remember, was facing being cut by the Bucs late last season. And Brown's off-field controversies have not been a problem since he arrived.

"Lenny is punishing people," Arians said.

Another second-chancer, Richard Sherman, left the game early with a hamstring injury.

"They (the Eagles) played tough,' Brady said. "They've got a good front. They really clogged up the run game in there and we just didn't complete as many passes as we need to. I thought they did a great job. They really made us earn it and we just came up short a few times."

The Bucs are off on Sunday, naturally, then begin to prepare for the Bears the following week.

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