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In the third match-up of the season for a heated rivalry between Tampa Bay and New Orleans, the Bucs were able to come out victorious and clinch a spot in the NFC Championship against Green Bay for next week. Tampa Bay’s win came in large part due to their defense, including an interception from Sean Murphy-Bunting in the second quarter on a pass intended for Michael Thomas that ultimately led to a touchdown and the Bucs’ first lead of the night.

The rivalry has seen a number of back-and-forth moments, whether that be a fight between receiver Mike Evans and cornerback Marshon Lattimore in 2017, comments made about left tackle Donovan Smith and the Bucs’ fan base from edge rusher Cam Jordan or, most recently, pre-game stare downs from receiver Michael Thomas on Sunday night.

Murphy-Bunting was asked about how it felt for him and his fellow defensive backs to hold the two-time All-Pro Thomas without a catch in Sunday’s game and he paused for a moment.

“We just played ball,” Murphy-Bunting said with a smile. “We just played ball, man. I’m not the type to be doing the back-and-forth, he said, she said thing.

“But I took it to heart when I’m in pregame and I’m sitting on the bench and he’s walking down the sideline mean-mugging me three or four times. I don’t say much, but when you do something like that it’s like you’re trying me as a man. Now with all that taunting stuff that he does, all that muscles up and all that, he didn’t do it one time this game. I’m not going to sit here and trash talk anybody because he’s a really, really good receiver, a really good catch radius, he’s very talented. But at the end of the day you’re not going to try me as a man, you’re not going to try any of my guys as a man. We’re going to battle and that’s it.”

The Bucs held Thomas to zero catches on four targets on Sunday night, locking down the Saints star receiver for the third time this season. Unlike the first two games, this time the strategy added a victory to the result.

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About the Author: Taylor Jenkins

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BigSombrero
8 months ago

Great play by 23 tonight. 45 was great as well. Bucs defense deserves credit for this victory alone. They were amazing. Special teams sucked early and Brady was his usual self against decent teams.

Great job D. Build on this momentum and get the “goat” another championship like his previous defenses did!!

RW
RW
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

Can you do us a favor and substitute your hat for a large plastic bag that ties tight at the bottom? We would all certainly appreciate it!

NaplesFan2.0
Reply to  RW
8 months ago

Lmao. What a troll

Last edited 8 months ago by NaplesFan2.0
Spitfire
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

We get it bro, you don’t like Brady, at least 50% of the reason we are even here. We get it, you are one of “those” people that claim to be fans but are just miserable in their lives and try to bring everyone else down so you aren’t alone down there. Go get a therapist or start crocheting… something that will make you less miserable…

Roladin
Reply to  BigSombrero
8 months ago

As the Bucs beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game in 2003, the greatest win in franchise history at this point, you were complaining about Gruden winning with Dungy’s team, I’m pretty sure.
I feel sorry for you …

Buc76
8 months ago

None of this would be happening without Brady. This team never would have gotten this far. The guy has changed the team. 40 touchdowns, 2 playoff wins. You’re crazy if you think otherwise

PissedOffBuc1988
Reply to  Buc76
8 months ago

Absolutely. And I want to apologise for anything negative I’ve said towards you. We all love the bucs. All I’ve ever wanted and the reason I joined pewter report was because I just wanted to enjoy the bucs with other bucs fans. I hope you enjoy tonight. Work isn’t done, but as fans, we can enjoy this night indeed.

Spitfire
8 months ago

I Love it! Our Defense is at its best when it’s fired up and let loose! They did it against the Packers earlier this year and they did it tonight! They have had their ups and downs this year but they have held strong, but they are at their best when Bowles sends them out there to play tight and play hard and it lights a fire in them and they go get at it and it’s so much fun to watch. I hope they stay hungry for their Packers rematch and bring this thing back home!

scubog
8 months ago

Looked like SMB got his mojo back.

MikeJ813
8 months ago

No lie the secondary was pissin me off early but boy did the young guys step up. Winfield jr DROY cemented, SMB, Carlton, Devin white is the stud we all knew he would be. Just have to string together 2 more games #GoBucs

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