PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 22: Russell Shepard #89 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates his four-yard-touchdown catch in the second quarter with teammate Adam Humphries #11 against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 22, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston tied an NFL rookie record with five touchdown passes, Doug Martin carved up the Eagles defense for 235 rushing yards and Tampa Bay slammed Philadelphia on the road, 45-17.
The victory gets the Bucs to 5-5 overall and back to .500 this late in a season for the first time since 2012.
“We’ve seen progress from our team for a while but you want to see it on Sunday,” Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said. “Most things came together today. It was an outstanding job by the group.”
Sunday’s scoring outburst of 45 points, capped by linebacker Lavonte David’s 20-yard pick-6 of Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez, is the most any Bucs team has registered since beating Oakland 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.
After falling behind 7-0 on the game’s opening possession, Winston and the Bucs rattled off three unanswered touchdowns before heading into halftime up 28-14
Adding to the impressiveness of Winston’s 19-for-29, 246-yard passing day was that he hit five different receivers with each of his touchdowns. The rookie connected with Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Russell Shepard, Charles Sims and Cameron Brate.
“It just shows how we get everyone the ball,” Winston said after the game. “Coach [Dirk] Koetter definitely does not discriminate at all. He wants everyone to touch the ball and he called a great game.”
Setting up many of those scores was Martin, who recorded his second 200-plus-yard game of his four-year career. His 235 yards on 27 carries came up 16 yards shy of his career-best performance of 251 yards against Oakland in 2012. The highlight of Martin’s day full of nice runs was an 84-yard burst on the first play of a mid-second quarter drive that set up Winston’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Shepard.
“Hats off to the offensive line and Doug Martin,” Winston said. “When you establish that run game like that it’s hard to defend us.”
Martin is now closing in on his second 1,000-yard season and will enter next week’s game in Indianapolis with 941.
The Bucs set a season-high with 521 total offensive yards, outgained Philadelphia by 138 and didn’t commit a single turnover. The only time Tampa Bay gave away possession came in the first quarter when the team barely had it to begin with. Bucs defensive end Jacquies Smith recovered a DeMarco Murray fumble that was caused by Will Gholston, but he coughed it right back up.
More impactful were the three interceptions of Sanchez that came throughout the game. David’s late-game pick-6 was his second interception of the day. The linebacker’s first ended a potential scoring threat before halftime as he dove across the middle to grab it the Bucs 26-yard line. Safety Chris Conte picked off Sanchez early in the fourth quarter as Tampa Bay was well in control of the game.
“Lavonte David’s an outstanding player,” Lovie Smith said. “You’ve just got to keep making tackles until you have a game like he had today.”
The Bucs have now registered 20 turnovers on the season and at least one in all 10 games.
Conte and linebacker Kwon Alexander led all defensive players with 10 tackles each, but the performance was bittersweet for the latter. News came out earlier in the day that Alexander is facing a four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy stepped up to record 1.5 sacks Sunday and three tackles. The sacks snapped a four-game drought and push McCoy’s season total to six. Tampa Bay finished with three sacks. Howard Jones got one and Jacquies Smith was credited with a half-sack.
The Bucs defense frustrated Sanchez and the Eagles throughout most of the game and never allowed Philadelphia into the red zone. Winston and the Bucs, however, scored touchdowns on five of their six trips inside the Eagles 20. Another point of efficiency came on third downs, with the Bucs converting 10 of 16 chances (63 percent).
Tampa Bay’s second straight victory coupled with Atlanta’s home loss to Indianapolis gets the Bucs within a game of the Falcons in the NFC South standings. Next week brings another road game as Tampa Bay travels to Indianapolis for its final game against AFC South opponents.
“This week we talked a lot about back-to-back wins,” Lovie Smith said. “I know that’s small to everybody else, but for us it’s something we haven’t done in a long time. We get to .500 … we’ve talked a lot about being relevant again. I think we’re relevant.”
Tampa Bay goes back on the road next week when it travels to Indianapolis for its fourth and final game against AFC South opponents. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
WR Vincent Jackson, LT Donovan Smith, LG Logan Mankins, C Joe Hawley, RG Evan Smith, RT Gosder Cherilus, TE Luke Stocker, TE Brandon Myers, WR Mike Evans, QB Jameis Winston, RB Doug Martin
DE Will Gholston, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Akeem Spence, DE Jacquies Smith, SLB danny Lansanah, MLB Kwon Alexander, WLB Lavonte David, CB Sterling Moore, CB Jude Adjei-Barimah, SS Chris Conte, FS Bradley McDougald
QB Ryan Griffin, WR Donteea Dye, S Kimario McFadden, OL Ali Marpet, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DE Josh Shirley, DE George Johnson
DID NOT PLAY
QB Mike Glennon
Paid attendance: 69,596, Lincoln Financial Field
Game time: 3:13
Friggin Awesome. Doug, Jameis and Lavonte were just Friggen Awesome.
Now that’s what I want to see when I talk about consistency! That was an all around win, from the coaching, to Dougie to Winston to the defense all the way to special teams. That’s the best I’ve seen the Bucs play since I can remember. Go Bucs!
Dayumm! I predicted a win but I didn’t see that offensive juggernaut, led by Winston and the Dougernaut (a little poetry courtesy of the Jack Daniels distillery) lol.
This was the game that showed me beyond a shadow of doubt that we are going to be a very good team moving forward. We beat a pretty good team, in their house, and in a convincing fashion.
Adam Schefter is reporting that ASJ will be cleared to play next week, even though Cameron Brate is making the case not to rush him back now. But you could see with V-Jax back, we can use every weapon in our arsenal.
We mess around and add a couple of Georgia porch dogs to our defense next year and we could be downright nasty! Go Bucs!
Good solid game! Now it’s on for 3 in a row. Go Bucs!
Great win! Happy Bucs fan today. Now let’s beat Cokts and get above .500. Very winnable game.
Sorry Lovie Haters, this begins the Buc Dynasty and Lovie wasn’t kidding when he said this team can go to the Super Bowl. Just wait til next year after Licht gets a first round DE and signs another one in free agency and uses the rest of the draft for our Defense! We couldn’t have picked a better team to rout either after all the years the Eagles have frustrated us in the playoffs.
Wowzas gentleman! What a game. Dougie was running like a man possessed. On a side note I think our bucs have the league record for getting caught at the 5 yard line after a big play.
Jameis was outstanding and I saw on other sites , people were worried how he would react as tonight shows that abomination of a movie. As a noles fan I’ve seen this from him time and again. When the chips are down , he plays his best.
It was great having Vincent back and his impact on this team can’t be stated by stats. That’s why I think it’s imperative we bring him back next year.
Now for my plate of crow, great game by McCoy and Lovie really has this defense playing well. Lights out actually and it’s impressive. Lavonte has played like the lavonte of old these past two weeks and we’ll need him with the Kwon situation.
Even when Sanchez had time the coverage was pretty good. This team is built right guys and Lovie is doing a much better job.
Beats has been playing outstanding as well.
On a final side note, I’ve been watching football for about 25 years, how in the hell was that a fumble by smith? I saw two knees and an elbow down.
This team has got to be regretting that Washington game about now. That’s the best I’ve seen the bucs look in years!
Danmit!!! There goes a high quality draft pick. (I assume there is still sarcasm in FL) That 4th throw, before the half, in between under/over coverage to an average height Simms…that was special.
Not even an often delusional Bucs fan like me saw that coming. I must say, after the Eagles were on the receiving of that gift from the officials on Jack Smith’s re-fumble and went down to score, I thought that would make them a tad over-confident. The look on their collective faces was like the E-Trade baby’s “shocked look”. What I liked is how none of our players flinched and proceeded to do what they’d come to do; as Sapp would say, “Opened up a can of whoop ass.” Best game I’ve witnessed in years and now on my brand new 65″ big ass TV. Life is good in Scubog World.
I was worried there too scubog…the difference with this team now to the teams we’ve had recently…IMO…is JW….he didn’t get phased by the blown call and Phily TD…he marched the team back and got his own TD….this kid is showing some fantastic resiliency and leadership that we haven’t had for quite some time. Awesome!
We have never had an offensive coordinator that has the imagination and ability to call games like this. Lovie smith hasn’t either! It’s only been 10 games but its hard nnot to say that we have nwver had a great quarterback like thw one we drafted this year! Mixed with the great surprise of our offensive line, running back and our ability to now be able to draft! We are on our way bucs fans and you cant help but be excited for the rest of whats to come! Go Bucs!
Fun to watch. Nice to see a game where they put everything together finally. I’m not so crazy as to expect to see the same team to show up every game and know there can be let downs, but I knew they would get better as the season progressed. Now if they can become more consistent…
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