Buccaneers set to face Eagles on short week


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The break between week five and week six this year was just four days for the Buccaneers and the Eagles who take the national stage on Thursday Night Football.

Bucs quarterback Tom Brady said it’s like cramming for an exam and if they can just get through this game with a win, then the extra time on the back end before week seven will be great.

Coming off a 45-point performance on Sunday against the Dolphins, many wonder if that’s sustainable. That marked the second time this season the Bucs have score 45 or more points– granted that first one against the Falcons had two defensive touchdowns.

But that all equals 33.4 points per game for this Bucs team, which ranks third in the NFL. They also rank first in passing offense (349.4 yards per game) and second in total offense (431.4 yards per game).

“If we work at it and we have the urgency that we need I think we’re going to continue to keep improving in different areas,” Brady said about the efficiency and potential of their offense. “Again, I don’t know how that plays out on scoreboards. I don’t know how that plays out in production. But I think from our own standpoint, we have confidence that when we’re all on the same page that we make it much more difficult for the defense to stop us. If we’re not on the same page and five guys are doing one thing and five guys are doing another and one guys doing another, we’re most dangerous when we have 11 people on the same page doing the right thing, all trusting. Byron (Leftwich) said, ‘Even if we do it wrong, we do it wrong together, and that still gives us a chance to make a play.’ Our communication, us all being on the same page, is very important. We’re working hard at that every day.”

While Brady and the entire team work towards improving each week, they’re of course happy to have four wins in five games, but in all of those they’ve said they left points out there. Bucs Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich even admitted that with his coach’s hat on, he’s trained to critique.

“The coach in me sees the four plays where it didn’t go,” Leftwich said. “That’s the crazy part of it – to see what we left out there to be honest with you because there was still something out there. We have a good group. We have a good group that puts the work in. They come to practice to make sure they’re in the right spot. They’re doing the right things. They show up. They love the responsibilities that they have. They take advantage of that. They embrace it. It allows a bunch of guys to just go out there and just play. Just play and no one has to ask for anything. Just do your job, get open. There’s only one ball, so somebody is getting it. The only thing you can do is get open. So, you make sure you’re open and assume that the other guys are getting open too… Every week, you’re not going to have games like that where that’s the outcome from a yardage standpoint, but just the way we approach it, the way we attack it, that’s the way we see the game of football.”

The Bucs (4-1) and Eagles (2-3) kick-off at 8:20 p.m. ET.

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