Philadelphia, PA —-Even though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not have for their full compliment of players, they find a way to get the W.
The Buccaneers survived a late Philadelphia Eagles comeback attempt, capping off a flawless night which Tom Brady completed 81 percent of his passes with a injured thumb en route to a 28-22 victory Thursday night. Brady had two touchdown passes and Leonard Fournette had two touchdown runs in the win — as Tampa Bay retains its commanding NFC South lead with the victory.
Brady came out the gate slinging the football. The seven-time Super Bowl champion had TD passes on the Bucs’ first two drives while going 11 for 12 for 121 yards.
With the win, the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (5-1) lost another cornerback when three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, but their depleted defense held on after Jalen Hurts rallied the Eagles from a 28-7 deficit.
“It’s tough to win on the road,” Brady said. “Obviously, we didn’t play our best so we have to get back to work. We got to get better.”
Tom was Tom, facing a third-and-7 from Philadelphia’s 45-yard line, Brady rolled away from pressure and threw a dart to wide receiver Antonio Brown for a 27-yard gain to extend the drive and Tampa ran down the clock.
“It was a great route, hell of a throw as Tom got out of the pocket,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said. ″Couple times this year he slipped out of the pocket to the right and made a big play down the field.”
Brady finished the game 34 of 42 for 297 yards and an pick. He insisted his thumb, which was taped, was good.
“I feel great, awesome,” he said. “It’s football season. I feel good. Really do.”
Philly (2-4) are winless in three home games under rookie coach Nick Sirianni. They heard the crowd booing at the break but fought to the end to make it close.
“We were bad in the first half. Put that one on me,” Sirianni said. “There’s no doubt our offense needs to be better to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Brady’s 2-yard TD pass to O.J. Howard gave Tampa a 7-0 lead. Philadelphia came back on Hurts’ 5-yard scoring pass to tight end Zach Ertz. Brady then went back to work and hit Brown for a 23-yard TD pass to go back up 14-7.
After two straight three-and-out, Brady marched Tampa on another scoring drive with Fournette taking in from the 2-yard line to extend the lead to 21-7. The Bucs increased its lead to 28-7 when Fournette walked in from the 1-yard line in the third.
Fournette ran for 81 yards and caught six passes for 46 yards.
“Having that year under my belt makes a big difference understanding it,” said Fournette, who signed with Tampa Bay shortly before last season. “The sky’s the limit for me.”
Tom “The Terrific” was 19 of 22 before missing three straight passes late in the second quarter, including a deep ball picked off by strong safety Anthony Harris that ended his streak of 227 passes without a interception.
“We just have to keep playing with the guys we have and see how long the injury is. Next man up,” Arians said.
Hurts struggled throwing the ball, he had pressure in his face all game long. He was 12 of 26 for 155 yards, one TD and one interception. Hurts ran for 44 yards and two touchdowns.
“I haven’t executed enough to win, clearly,” Hurts said. “The ball is in my hands every play and I enjoy that and I like that. I have to be better. I’m not doing enough to win. I’m not doing enough to start fast. I will be better.”
THERE IS A TROUT SIGHTING
Hurts fired the ball toward the stands after running into the end zone for his second TD, causing a security guard to duck and three-time AL MVP Mike Trout to duck in the front-row seat. Trout, who grew up in nearby Millville, New Jersey, is a huge Eagles fan.
Buccaneers: Host Chicago (2-3) on Oct. 24.
Eagles: At Las Vegas (3-2) on Oct. 24.