Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs at Eagles: 5 things you might have missed

So dominant was the Bucs' 45-17 win over the Eagles on Sunday that you could have easily missed a few things. Here are five …

1 It didn't start well for the Bucs defense. The uptempo Eagles marched 86 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead, never getting to third down along the way.

"You can practice all you want, but you're not ready for it until it comes at you," said safety Chris Conte, who would later get one of three Bucs interceptions. "You've got a lot of adrenaline going, and everything's flying around. Once you calm down, you realize it's not that fast. They're running the same plays over and over again."

DT Gerald McCoy told the defense that an uptempo offense like the Eagles' will have "a first 14" scripted plays: "Get past those plays and you slow down and play our defense."

The next four drives against the Bucs? Four punts, with just one first down and 27 total yards, allowing the offense to take a 21-7 lead and control of the game.

2 Two rare touches for fullback Jorvorskie Lane were huge. Lane had two catches and no carries all season, but twice he fell on the ball to avoid a setback.

Leading 14-7 in the second quarter, Jameis Winston was sacked and fumbled, but Lane fell on the loose ball at the Bucs 12-yard line to avoid a turnover. When the Bucs put their "hands team" out for an Eagles onside kick — with Philadelphia down 21 with 5:14 left — it was Lane who recovered the kick for the Bucs.

"I used what they put me out there for, my hands," Lane said. "With Jameis, it was kind of my fault that the ball was on the ground, as far as pass protection."

3 WR Russell Shepard got his first NFL touchdown, on the exact play he stayed late to work on after Friday's practice.

"We practiced it three times this week and we didn't get it once," said Shepard, facing the team and coach that cut him as a rookie in 2013. "I was thankful (offensive coordinator) Dirk (Koetter) still called it. It was an amazing opportunity and a great throw by Jameis."

4 Jacquies Smith also thinks his knee was down. Smith, returning after missing two games with an ankle injury, recovered a fumble forced by Will Gholston on the game's third play only to fumble himself on his return, with the Eagles recovering. Replays seemed to show Smith's knee was down before the fumble, but the call was upheld after review.

"I thought it was down, too," Smith said. "I have to go back and look at the rule book and see what's going on with that. The refs made the call and we have to go along with that, but hypothetically speaking, I thought I was down."

5 The rest of the NFL helped the Bucs out on Sunday. Before the game, the Bucs were one of six NFC teams two games out of the wild card. Not only did the Falcons lose to fall to 6-4, four of the 4-5 teams lost, leaving the Bucs and Seahawks one game out of the second wild card.

Tampa already beat Atlanta on the road and gets it at home in two weeks with a chance to make up ground.

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs at Eagles: 5 things you might have missed 11/22/15 [Last modified: Sunday, November 22, 2015 9:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'


    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston throws during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday in Cincinnati. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville


    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode …

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]
  3. Who's No. 2: Florida State Seminoles or Ohio State Buckeyes?


    The toughest decision in my first stint as a voter for the AP Top 25 came at the top.

  4. Rays morning after: The real reasons behind Tuesday's win over Blue Jays


    Scoring six runs was the big news for the offensively challenged Rays in Tuesday's victory over the Blue Jays.

    Corey Dickerson (10) celebrates Tuesday's victory with Steven Souza Jr. (20) and Peter Bourjos (18).
  5. Jones: Roberto Aguayo getting the boot was star of Tuesday's 'Hard Knocks'


    TAMPA — Roberto gets cut.

    That was the big story line heading into the second episode of HBO's Hard Knocks, the behind-the-scenes look at Bucs training camp. In fact, it was one of the most anticipated story lines Hard Knocks has had in years.

    Roberto Aguayo watches one of his final kicks Friday for the Bucs.