Tom Brady threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns and Leonard Fournette ran for 81 yards and two scores as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned a 28-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.
The six-point margin of victory was far closer than the game felt throughout most of the contest.
The Buccaneers held a 28-7 lead with 5:47 left in the third quarter after Fournette’s second touchdown of the night gave them a three-score advantage. Fournette’s 1-yard run capped a 12-play, 79-yard drive by Tampa Bay as they appeared to take full control over the Eagles.
However, Jalen Hurts scored on a 6-yard touchdown run on the following drive for Philadelphia to cut the Tampa Bay advantage to 28-14 late in the third quarter.
Philadelphia had eight offensive possessions up to that point in the game. It took two lengthy pass interference penalties for the Eagles to muster any scoring at all through three quarters. A 45-yard pass interference on Jamel Dean led to their first score of the night. A 50-yard call against Mike Edwards set up Hurts’ touchdown run. On their other six possessions, the Eagles went three-and-out five times and had a drive end with a Hurts interception.
But after Hurts’ touchdown, the Eagles offense became a bit more lively. A promising possession ended at the Buccaneers 28-yard line when Jake Elliott missed a 46-yard field goal try wide right to keep the lead at 14. After the Buccaneers failed to convert on a fourth-and-3 attempt from the Eagles’ 46-yard line, the Eagles turned to Miles Sanders to move them deep into Tampa territory. Runs of 23 and 14 yards from Sanders put the Eagles in scoring position before Hurts found the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown run on a speed option to pull within one score. Hurts would connect with Quez Watkins on a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 28-22 with 5:54 left to play.
But the Eagles would get no closer. A taunting penalty against Genard Avery helped give a free 15 yards to the Buccaneers, but Brady connected with Antonio Brown for a pair of key first downs as they marched inside the Eagles red zone and drained the clock.
Hurts completed 12 of 26 passes for 115 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 44 yards on 10 carries and two scores.
Antonio Brown and O.J. Howard were the recipients of Brady’s two touchdown passes in the first half. Brown finished the night with nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown for the Buccaneers.