The Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep losing key players and stockpiling victories.
Tom Brady on Thursday threw two touchdown passes and Leonard Fournette ran for two scores as the Buccaneers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22.
Defending Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers (5-1) lost another cornerback when three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, but their depleted defense held on after Jalen Hurts rallied the Eagles from a 28-7 deficit.
Photo: Eric Hartline-USA Today
“It’s tough to win on the road,” Brady said. “Obviously, we didn’t play our best, so we have to get back to work... We got to get better.”
Playing with an injured thumb, Brady came out firing. The 44-year-old, seven-time Super Bowl champion tossed touchdown passes on Tampa Bay’s first two drives while going 11 of 12 for 121 yards.
His best play came after Hurts’ second touchdown run and a two-point conversion pulled Philadelphia within six points with 3 minutes, 5 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Facing a third-and-seven from Philadelphia’s 45, Brady rolled away from pressure and threw a perfect pass to Antonio Brown for a 27-yard gain to extend the drive and the Bucs ran out the clock.
“It was a great route, hell of a throw as Tom got out of the pocket,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said. “Couple times this year he slipped out of the pocket to the right and made a big play down the field.”
Brady finished 34 of 42 for 297 yards and an interception.
He insisted his thumb, which was taped, is fine.
“I feel great, awesome,” he said. “It’s football season. I feel good.”
The Eagles (2-4) are winless in three home games under rookie coach Nick Sirianni. They heard boos at halftime, but fought back to make it close.
“We were bad in the first half. Put that one on me,” Sirianni said. “There’s no doubt our offense needs to be better to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Brady’s two-yard touchdown pass to O.J. Howard gave the Buccaneers a 7-0 lead.
The Eagles answered on Hurts’ five-yard scoring pass to Zach Ertz.
Brady then hit Brown for a 23-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7.
After two straight three-and-out series, Brady led the Bucs on another scoring drive, with Fournette running in from the two to extend the lead to 21-7.
Tampa increased their lead to 28-7 when Fournette walked in from the one in the third quarter.
Fournette ran for 81 yards and caught six passes for 46 yards.
“Having that year under my belt makes a big difference understanding it,” said Fournette, who signed with Tampa Bay shortly before last season. “The sky’s the limit for me.”
Brady was 19 of 22 before missing three straight passes late in the second quarter, including a deep ball intercepted by Anthony Harris that ended his streak of 227 passes without a pick.
Hurts struggled throwing the ball. He was 12 of 26 for 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
“I haven’t executed enough to win, clearly,” Hurts said. “The ball is in my hands every play, and I enjoy that and I like that. I have to be better. I’m not doing enough to win. I’m not doing enough to start fast. I will be better.”
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