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Tampa Bay Buccaneers score early, often in Wild Card win over Philadelphia Eagles

gronkowski-20220116-getty-ftr (Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were hardly bothered in their 31-15 wild-card round win over the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Looking to overcome some early-game woes, the Buccaneers took control of the game from the very first drive and never looked back, scoring within the opening five minutes and going up by two touchdowns inside the opening quarter as the Eagles had no answers for the experience of Tom Brady and Co.

Philadelphia did manage to slow down the Bucs' offence a bit in the second quarter, limiting the hosts to a field goal during that 15-minute segment, but the game was broken open in the third as Brady engineered another pair of touchdown drives.

The game echoed the lone regular-season meeting between the two teams back in October, in which Tampa Bay jumped out to an early lead and held on with the Eagles scoring late to make things more respectable.

In the end the result was the same, with Brady (29-37, 271 yards and two TDs) adding another victory to his legendary playoff history.

DAZN News provided commentary and analysis as the game progressed. Here's how it went down.

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Game over

Philadelphia 15-31 Tampa Bay
This one was never in doubt.

Touchdown, Eagles

Where has this been?

Philadlephia scores again thanks to a 16-yard pass to Gainwell. That's followed up by an unreal catch by Smith for the two-point conversion.

Touchdown, Eagles

Philly breaks the shutout with a 35-yard, 40-second drive to the end zone.

It's probably too little, too late at this point.

End of third quarter

Philadelphia 0-31 Tampa Bay
This one's all but over.

Touchdown, Buccaneers

It took exactly one play for Brady to engineer a TD after that INT. Evans does well to dance past his defender before flipping into the end zone.

The extra point is good.

Another Buccaneers interception

Barrett picks the ball out of the air after Hurts lobs a ball towards Barrett on 4th and 3.

Whatever silver lining the Eagles were working on in the second quarter has all but evaporated in the third.

Touchdown, Buccaneers

Now it's Gronkowski's turn to get in on the action, scoring his 15th career postseason touchdown. This is one of the easiest for Gronk, who's the highest-scoring tight end in playoff history.

The extra point is good, and you have to think there's no way back for the Eagles now.

Eagles fumble a punt

Phildelphia does well to keep Brady and the Bucs' offence pinned deep in their own half for three downs, but on the punt Reagor mishandles the catch. That allows Cockrell to pounce in the ball at the 48, effectively advancing the ball for Tampa Bay and giving Brady another four downs to work with.

Second half starts

Can the Eagles battle back?

Halftime: Philadelphia 0-17 Tampa Bay

It looked like the Buccaneers were going to continue scoring at will, but after the first two touchdowns the Eagles' defence tightened up significantly. Brady's been sacked three times, which has blunted the Bucs' offence.

Still, it's a long way back for Philly against the defending Super Bowl champs.

Interception, Buccaneers

The Eagles finally worked their way to the Bucs' 20, and Hurts looks to hit a wide-open Smith in the end zone with a pass. Instead, Edwards speeds over and snags the ball, stopping that drive dead inside the Tampa end zone.

Eagles finally put together a drive

They move the ball 46 yards over 5:27, but still turn the ball over on downs after choosing not to go for a 60+-yard field goal.

Tom Brady is very experienced in the playoffs

Field Goal, Buccaneers

Brady is stopped from getting his team into the end zone for the first time today, but the Bucs still add to their lead as Succop nails the 34-yarder.

Another 3-and-out for the Eagles

A penalty and a sack combined to end that drive as quickly as it started, and the Bucs once again have the ball after a punt.

End of first quarter

Philadelphia 0-14 Tampa Bay

The slow starts that have been recentkly hampering the Bucs were no issue today, as they get to the end zone twice.

As for the Eagles, they only gained 17 total yards and will need to do much better if they want to keep this close.

Touchdown Buccaneers

It's another short run for a major, this time it's Vaughn who rumbles two yards into the end zone.

The extra point is good, and Philly has a big hole to dig out of already.

That didn't last long

The Eagles go three and out to start their day, and they're forced to punt.

Eagles' first drive starts now

Sanders runs the ball seven yards to start Philadelphia's opening possession.

Touchdown Buccaneers

Gio Bernard bowls in from two yards to give Tampa Bay the first score. That completes a 15-play, 60-yard drive for the Bucs.

The extra point is good and Tampa Bay leads 7-0.

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