Tampa Bay Sports Day

PREVIEW: Fitzpatrick Led Bucs Face Super Bowl Champs

TAMPA BAY – The National Football League announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. The Bucs are coming off a 48-40 win at New Orleans to open the NFL season.  

In his 14th season out of Harvard, Fitzpatrick had the best game of his career against New Orleans, going 21-of-28 for 417 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Buccaneers opened their season in record-setting fashion, totaling 529 yards and scoring 48 points in the win over New Orleans. The 48 points matched a franchise record, while the 529 yards of offense were the second-most in a single game in team history.

Peyton Barber led team with 69 rush yards. De Sean Jackson had five receptions for 146 yards and tied a career high with two touchdowns. 

Mike Evans had 7 receptions for 147 yards  and a TD. Chris Godwin also caught a touchdown pass. 

Tampa Bay plays Philadelphia this week.  The Eagles were an 18-12 winner over Atlanta in their regular season debut.

EAGLES THIS WEEK

QB Nick Foles has 677 pass yards with five TDs in two career starts versus Tampa Bay. Jay Ajayi rushed for 62 yards and two TDs against the Falcons. 

Since 2016, the Eagles rank 6th in NFL with 2,207 rush yards.

In 2015, Tampa Bay posted a 45-17 victory at Philadelphia, setting a franchise record for rushing yards. Prior to that Buccaneers victory, the Eagles had won the previous three meetings: 33-14 in 2009, 23-21 in 2012 and 31-20 in 2013.

The Eagles lead the all-time regular season series 8-6. The teams first met in 1977 in Philadelphia, a 13-3 Eagles win. Philadelphia also grabbed victories in 1981 (20-10 in Philadelphia), 1988 (41-14 in Tampa) and in the 2001 regular season finale in Tampa, one week before the two teams met in the NFC Wild Card game in Philadelphia.

The Eagles also defeated Tampa Bay in the 2002 regular season with a 20-10 victory at the Vet in October. The Bucs recorded their first win over Philadelphia in Tampa in 1991 with a 14-13 victory and also earned a 21-6 win in Philadelphia in 1995 and a 19-5 victory at the Vet in 1999. In the inaugural game played at Lincoln Financial Field, Tampa Bay took a 17-0 season-opening win at Philadelphia on Monday Night Football. The Bucs scored another victory in 2006, winning 23-21 at home.

The two teams are familiar foes in the playoffs, having met four times. Three of those four meetings occurred between 2000-02, with Tampa Bay advancing to its first Super Bowl with a 27-10 victory in the NFC Championship Game in 2002. Philadelphia ended Tampa Bay’s season at Veterans Stadium following both the 2000 and 2001 regular seasons. The Eagles downed the Bucs, 21-3, in a Wild Card game in 2000 and again the following year in a 31-9 win. Tampa Bay notched a 24-17 victory in an NFC Divisional playoff at Tampa in 1979, the first postseason game in franchise history.

BUCS ROSTER MOVES

The club has signed cornerback Marcus Williams and released offensive lineman Adam Gettis.

Williams (5-11, 196) has played in 49 career games, with 14 starts, totaling 105 tackles (three for loss), 27 passes defensed, 10 interceptions (returned 62 yards), 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

A native of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Williams played collegiately at North Dakota State. He entered the NFL as a college free agent with the Houston Texans in 2014, spending that offseason and preseason with Houston before being waived. He played with the New York Jets from 2014-17. In 2015 Williams recorded a career-best six interceptions, which led the Jets and ranked fifth in the NFL. After being waived by New York in 2017, he re-joined the Texans. He spent time this past offseason with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints.

The Buccaneers also announced that cornerback Jeff Richards has been signed to the practice squad and linebacker Azeem Victor has been released from the practice squad. In addition, linebacker Devante Bond, linebacker Riley Bullough and cornerback De’Vante Harris have all be waived (injury settlement) from Injured Reserve.

Richards (6-2, 200) spent the 2017 season on the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad and was with the team this past offseason and preseason. A native of Del City, Oklahoma, Ricahrds played collegiately at Emporia State (Emporia, Kansas). He spent time with the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League (2015) and the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League (2015-16). He spent the 2017 offseason and preseason with the Carolina Panthers before being signed to the Chargers’ practice squad.