Looking back at Bucs’ win over Eagles

by Gary Shelton on January 17, 2024

in general

Mayfield had a big game./TIM WIRT

5 Thoughts

  1. Someday, they’re going to find out that a guy from Tampa Bay cracked the liberty bell. To the Eagles, disappointment has an 813 area code.

2. Odd. Some people don’t seem to mind the $2.8 million worth of incentives that Baker Mayfield has made nearly as much as they did the $4 million salary.

3. In summation , you can look at the game (and the two-point conversion) like this. The Eagles got handed their tush.

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4. Antonio Winfield, Tristan Wirfs and Lavonte David would like a Pro Bowl recount, thank you very much. 

5. How much smarter does Jason Licht look today than he did before yesterday’s game?

Bowles won his first playoff game./TIM WIRT


(From Todd Bowles’ day-after press conference)

(On what sticks out to him about the loss to Detroit in Week 6): “We were where we were at that time of year. I don’t wish we had done anything differently — we wouldn’t have learned from it. Very good team. They have a very good team, coached very well — very fast, [and] very physical. The electric crowd is going to be up there. [I] wish we hadn’t done anything different, because we wouldn’t have learned from it with any of our losses from that matter. We’re a different team now. We’re mentally tougher. We’ve gotten stronger from it, and we learned some things. We’re still piecing it together, but we’re happy with where we’re at.”

(On how much he changed things up when playing the Philadelphia Eagles the second time around): “It was completely different from the first time we played them. All the way around from a game plan standpoint — base, sub, different packages. The guys were communicating better. We could do more since they had some more experience over the course of the games, and we tweaked some things around, because what we did the first time, we didn’t prepare it well.”

(On LB K.J. Britt’s contribution)“Well, he was on that package, and they came out in it quite a bit more than they had in the past in 12 personnel. K.J. is probably our best downhill thumper. It was very good to have him in there for that, and like I said, K.J. is a good football player. We think we have three starting linebackers in there, and he is a big part of that. He’s earned his right to play. He is still a leader on our team and he did very well.”

(On Baker Mayfield): “It’s great seeing Baker be Baker. It looks like he is having fun like he was in college. He looks relaxed, very intense and learning the gameplan and mastering everything. He’s going out there and playing free and carefree. It’s really helping him and it is really helping us.  He didn’t come in here as the No.1 pick, expecting to carry the team, with all the expectations on his shoulders. We just asked him to drive the car. The car was built. We just asked him to drive it. We didn’t ask him to put in a new engine. We wanted him to be himself, because his personality would expand upon the team and then they would see him for who he is and not for who anyone else was. Then, they would gravitate toward him faster, and that’s exactly what he did. In doing that, he invited all of the attention to him from the guys. They really look up to that, and they really see the grit, toughness, and preparation that he does. He’s integrated himself with the team that way, and that’s all I really mean by him being himself.”

(On how much the rookies have grown): “Quite a bit. At least 30%, because they’re all playing. I mean, Cody Mauch was a day one starter. [Christian] Izien started day one from a nickel standpoint once the season started. Calijah [Kancey] started when we got back from injury. YaYa [Diaby] came on pretty early. [Trey] Palmer has been playing very consistently, and you forget we [have] a lot of first year guys. Rachaad [White] is only in his second year. [There are] a ton of guys, Logan [Hall] in his second year. We have a ton of guys playing. Zyon McCollum is only in his second year. We [have] a bunch of puppies out there right now. Rachaad is in his second year – you would think he’s three, four [or] five years in. The maturity of all the guys from the lumps we took is really starting to come through now. It’s more so the mental toughness, understanding the grind, and I think that’s helped us out.” 

White has had a strong finish./TIM WIRT

Game Balls

Offense: Yes, Baker was terrific. But for a change, let’s give it to offensive coordinator Dave Canales, who has never looked smarter.

Defense: He is criticized a lot by his team’s fans, but Jamel Dean had a team-leading 10 tackles, including one for loss, and a pass defensed.

Special teams: Before Chase McLaughlin, they were just called “teams.”

Diaby has had a good start./TIM WIRT


Quarterback: You wonder what Mayfield’s rating would have been if receivers hadn’t had six dropped passes. Grade: A.

Running back: Rachaad White has excelled at helping the wind down the clock in fourth periods. Grade: B.

Offensive line: Baker was sacked four times, but the team averaged 4.1 yards per rush. Grade: B.

Wide receivers: Too many dropped passes kept the game close for a while: Grade: D.

Defensive line: Only 42 yards rushing. That was a key to the game. Three sacks helped. Grade: A.

Linebackers: Ordinary tackling numbers because the line was very good. Grade: C.

Secondary: Hurts was good, as expected. But the corners are making more plays. Grade: B-.

Special teams: Jake Camarda punted three times, and all were inside the Eagles’ 20. Grade: A.

Power Rankings

  1. Baltimore

2. San Francisco

3. Buffalo

4. Detroit

5. Kansas City


7. Tampa Bay

5 Biggest Disappointments

  1. Dallas

2. Philadelphia

3. Cleveland

4. L.A. Rams

5.  Miami

5 Top Bucs' Rookies

  1. Jake Camarda, punter

2. Calijah Kancey, defensive tackle

3. YaYa Diaby , outside linebacker

4. Cody Mauch, guard

5. Trey Palmer, receiver

Jake Camarda dominated field position./TIM WIRT

5 Biggest Bucs’ Playoff Wins

  1. Philadelphia, 2003

2. Kansas City, 2021

3. L.A. Raiders, 2003

4. New Orleans, 2021

5. Green Bay, 2021

winfield jr in shades tim wirt

Top 5 Bucs’ Free Agents

(And the order they'll be pursued)

  1. Antoine  Winfield

2. Baker Mayfield

3. Mike Evans

4. Lavonte David

5. Chase McLaughlin

Wirfs played well in win./TIM WIRT

Bucs’ coaches in Playoffs

  1. Bruce Arians            5-1

2. Jon Gruden               3-2

3. Tony Dungy               2-4

4. Todd Bowles               1-1

5, John McKay               1-3

Palmer had a big catch Monday night./TIM WIRT

5 Best Bucs’ Quarterbacks

  1. Tom Brady

2. Doug Williams

3. Brad Johnson

4. Baker Mayfield

5. Jameis Winston

Otten had his best game./TIM WIRT

5 Eagles Memories

  1. 2003 — Ronde Barber’s 92-yard interception return shut down Vet Stadium.

2. 2022 — Tom Brady wins his final playoff game in a 31-15 victory.

3. 2014— Bucs upset Eagles to define their season.

4. 1979 — Bucs win first-ever playoff game in franchise history.

5. 2001 — In Tony Dungy’s final game, Bucs are beaten in Philly for the second straight year.

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