The Buccaneers got a number of key defensive players back in the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Eagles and their return helped spur the unit to a big day.
Shaq Barrett returned from injury to record one of the team’s two interceptions and the team recorded two sacks while hitting Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts 10 times over the course of the afternoon. The Eagles didn’t score any points until the fourth quarter of a 31-15 Bucs win that tight end Rob Gronkowski said was fueled by the defense.
“Just the level of intensity that the defense came out with, it was just exceptional,” Gronkowski said, via the team’s website. “We just had to match them on the offensive side of the ball, and we did at times for sure. Just overall, we played some complementary football — offensive, defensive and special teams. We all contributed. We all played off each other and that’s how you win playoff games. You’ve got to bring it in all three phases at all times.”
The Bucs will be back at home in the divisional round against the winner of Monday night’s game between the Cardinals and Rams. A repeat of Sunday’s defensive outing would be a welcome addition to their chances of advancing against either team.