January 15, 2024 – 9:24 PM PST
Baker Mayfield passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns and the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers drubbed the sinking Philadelphia Eagles 32-9 in an NFC wild-card game on Monday night.
David Moore, Trey Palmer and Chris Godwin each caught a touchdown pass for fourth-seeded Tampa Bay. Mayfield completed 22 of 36 passes and Cade Otton caught eight passes for 89 yards for the Buccaneers, who will visit the third-seeded Detroit Lions on Sunday in the divisional round.
“We worked extremely hard to get a chance to be in the playoffs,” Mayfield said. “We just wanted an opportunity and our guys came out and played really, really well. … We’re happy but we still got more to go.”
Fifth-seeded Philadelphia lost for the sixth time in seven games after opening the season 10-1. The Eagles fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in last season’s Super Bowl.
“We were in a big slide and any time that’s the case, I always look at myself first and I didn’t do a good enough job,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “Obviously, we lost five of the last six (in the regular season) and lost today. It was like we couldn’t get out of the rut we were in. That’s all of us. We’ll all have to look in the mirrors and accept that.”
Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts completed 25 of 35 passes for 250 yards and one touchdown while playing with a dislocated middle finger on his right (throwing) hand. DeVonta Smith caught eight passes for 148 yards.
Philadelphia played without top receiver A.J. Brown (knee) and lost veteran Julio Jones (concussion) in the second quarter.
Tampa Bay held a seven-point lead late in the third quarter before adding nine points in 59 seconds.
The Eagles were backed up on their 14-yard line when the Buccaneers’ Calijah Kancey and Anthony Nelson put severe heat on Hurts. When Nelson was in the process of sacking Hurts in the end zone, the quarterback threw the ball upfield and was called for intentional grounding, resulting in a safety and two points for the Bucs.
Tampa Bay received the free kick and took over on its own 38-yard line. On the second play, Mayfield threw a short pass to Palmer, who easily broke through the tackle attempt of James Bradberry at midfield and raced to a 56-yard touchdown to give the Buccaneers a 25-9 lead with 1:19 left in the quarter.
Tampa Bay put the game away with a 12-play, 83-yard touchdown drive that took 6:15. Mayfield capped it with a 23-yard scoring pass to Godwin with 5:42 remaining in the contest.
The Buccaneers scored the first 13 points of the game en route to a 16-9 halftime lead.
Chase McLaughlin kicked a 28-yard field goal to cap Tampa Bay’s game-opening drive. Later in the quarter, Mayfield connected with Moore on a 44-yard touchdown play to make it 10-0.
McLaughlin booted a 54-yard field goal 57 seconds into the second quarter to give the Buccaneers a 13-point edge. Philadelphia got on the board on Jake Elliott’s 47-yard field goal with 11:31 left in the half, but McLaughlin kicked a 48-yarder with 5:35 remaining to make it 16-3.
The Eagles found the end zone on Hurts’ 5-yard scoring pass to Goedert with 3:06 left in the second quarter. After a Tampa Bay penalty on the extra point, the Eagles decided to go for two points and the “Tush Push,” but Hurts was stopped short of the goal line.
–Field Level Media