At 44 years old, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is retired from professional boxing and Vince Carter is retired from professional basketball. Also 44 years old, John Cena and Brock Lesnar are no longer full-time professional wrestlers, making part-time appearances. On the football field in this week’s Thursday Night Football game, we saw Tom Brady at 44 years old dueling it out with a quarterback who was born when Brady was in college. Brady won the battle against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles and is still out there performing at an elite level in the NFL. Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady went out there on the national stage and methodically let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their 5th win of the season.
In a game with one of the highest expected point totals of the week, many expected this game to be a back-and-forth slugfest. In the first half, it looked like we were headed that direction with the Buccaneers scoring first after a 10 play, 75-yard drive that was capped off with an OJ Howard touchdown. The Philadelphia Eagles answered that with their own 75-yard touchdown drive that also ended in a tight end touchdown with Zach Ertz finding the end zone to tie the game at 7. After that though, the Buccaneers took control of the game, answering back with a 9 play, 75-yard drive and an Antonio Brown touchdown and shut down the Eagles offense for the rest of the half. In fact, the other Philly drives in the first half were four “3 and out’s” ending in punts, and an interception mixed in. The Buccaneers added a Leonard Fournette rushing touchdown and took a 21-7 lead into halftime.
Jalen Hurts looked off his game in the first half, missing his receivers badly on several throws and failing to get much going offensively. In what is becoming a common theme, Philadelphia did not run the ball and the Buccaneers defense locked down the RPO offense that Hurts runs. They shut down Hurts on the ground and in the air and it was looking like an ugly night for Hurts in the first half. Thankfully for him and his fantasy managers, he picked it up in the second half and ran in two touchdowns. Hurts finished the game 12 for 26 with 115 passing yard and added 10 carries for 44 rushing yards as well. He had 1 passing touchdown, 2 rushing touchdowns and an interception.
Tom Brady’s final stat line was a 34 for 42 passing line while throwing for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. Brady didn’t look to have any lingering effects from the hand injury that he suffered last week. Brady led the Bucs to 4 touchdown drives on smooth, crisp, long drives where he was poised in the pocket like usual and was connecting with all his offensive weapons with ease.
Leonard Fournette once again led the Buccaneers backfield and had an exceptional game. Fournette ran 22 times for 81 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He also added 6 receptions for 46 yards out of the backfield. This was the third consecutive game that Fournette went over 100 combined yards, and he is looking like a lock and load starting running back for your fantasy lineups every week.
Antonio Brown was the receiver who led the Buccaneers trio with a 9 catch, 93-yard effort and a touchdown in the second quarter. Chris Godwin chipped in with 5 catches for 43 yards and Mike Evans had a quiet night only catching 2 passes for 27 yards.
OJ Howard was the second leading receiver for the Bucs this week and he caught 6 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. He is getting healthier every week after last year’s season-ending injury and he is proving to be valuable when Rob Gronkowski is not on the field.
On the Philadelphia side, Zach Ertz was the leading pass catcher with the tight end catching 4 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. He played a more significant role this week with Dallas Goedert missing this game on the reserve Covid-19 list. The wide receiver group was largely non-existent with Quez Watkins catching 3 passes for 44 yards, DeVonta Smith catching 2 for 31 yards and Jalen Reagor not catching a single pass. It was a rough night for the Philadelphia offense as a whole and better days will come for them.
Richard Sherman left the game early with a hamstring injury and did not return. This will be something to monitor as the Buccaneers signed Sherman a few weeks ago because they were already thin at the cornerback position.
Jake Elliott missed his lone field goal attempt and Ryan Succop didn’t even get to try one. It was a quiet day for kickers this week.
The Buccaneers’ defense recorded 2 sacks, had 7 pass deflections and an interception.
That will do it for the week 6 Thursday Night Football Wrap Up. Make sure you head over to Razzball.com and check out Rudy Gamble’s Pigskinator as you get ready to set the rest of your week 6 lineup. You are always invited to follow me on Twitter @FantasyCoachJB and ask me any questions you may have. Good luck in your upcoming matchups!