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Where were you when the Bucs won the 2002 NFC Championship?  XML
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Joined: 23/10/2018 02:09:46
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It was a cold Authentic Ryan Smith Jersey , January day during my freshman year in high school. My friends and I grew up in the country fields of Lebanon, TN during our younger years, so we were always outside despite the temperatures or conditions in general. We were out exploring my buddy’s woods, feet crunching in the snow and breath as visible as the sun, when I realized what time it was. “Oh shit,” I exclaimed to my friends as I looked at my digital, Wal-Mart bought (don’t hate!) watch that was cracked almost to the point where I couldn’t even tell the time, “the Bucs game comes on in five minutes!”Being from Tennessee - especially after the Titans’ official arrival - it was hard to get anyone to give even a whiff of attention towards the Bucs. My friends just stared at me blankly, wondering why I was so excited for yet another Eagles playoff rematch. “You know they’re just going to get their asses kicked again, right?” one friend asked. The other just laughed and told me I better get going. We had hiked for about 20 minutes already to the point where we were deep off in the woods. I’d never ran so fast in my life. I got into my friend’s living room and in front of their big-screen TV just in time to see the end of the Eagles’ first drive. Donovan McNabb was one of the best quarterbacks in the league during his primePhoto by Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesWithin seconds, I was wishing I was back in the woods. It took the Eagles less than a minute to score a touchdown on the opening drive of the game after Brian Mitchell returned the kickoff for 70 yards inside the Bucs’ 30-yard line. At least my friends weren’t around to say “I told you so”. The Bucs drove down and scored a field goal on the following drive before the teams traded out possessions a few times. It seemed like things were going to go the usual route with the Eagles until Joe Jurevicius hauled in a 71-yard catch-and-run pass from Brad Johnson that put the Bucs on their feet. Tampa Bay would punch it in with Mike Alstott and take the lead from the Eagles, 10-7.From that point forward Youth Justin Evans Jersey , the Bucs were able to pretty much take control of the game. They held a 20-10 lead entering the fourth quarter and things looked good. But in typical Eagles fashion, Donovan McNabb and co. weren’t anywhere close to done. With under seven minutes to play in the game, McNabb drove the Eagles down inside the Bucs’ 20. The Eagles had ran just one play in Tampa Bay territory during the second half until this moment and McNabb was on fire during the drive, throwing for 65 yards on five completions.What was even more alarming was watching the heralded Bucs’ defense get picked apart late in the game - something that didn’t happen often in 2002. But the theme of the defense was always bend, don’t break. And that’s exactly what happened. McNabb dropped back to pass from the Bucs’ 10-yard line and looked to his left for wide receiver Antonio Freeman. McNabb let it rip and Bucs’ cornerback Ronde Barber beautifully, gracefully, magnificently - whatever you want to call it - stepped in front of the pass for a perfect pick-six in Veterans Stadium. Barber previously halted one of the Eagles’ drives in the second half when he strip-sacked McNabb at the 50-yard line for an Ellis Wyms recovery. He was all over the place that day. I remember jumping off of my friends’ couch in pure elation and running around his living room screaming, “WE ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!! WE ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!” over and over again until my face was redder than my hair. The stadium was dead. Philadelphia was dead. The Eagles - were dead. My friends and his family came running into the room - they didn’t even watch the game with me - upon hearing my excitement with a look of confused excitement on their faces. “WE ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL AND WE ARE GOING TO WIN!”, I shouted before getting my dig in like they had with me out in the woods, “WE CAN AT LEAST GET A YARD!”Ronde shut down the Vet and the Bucs went to the Super Bowl. Happy days.Bucs vs Eagles: Five keys to victory Tampa Bay shocked everyone in week one with its performance. The Buccaneers exploded on offense, defeating New Orleans, 48-40. Ryan Fitzpatrick was simply magical in the win http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chris-godwin-jersey , possibly playing his best game ever in his 13 years of professional football. The 35-year-old finished with 417 passing yards and four scores. Though the defense as a whole didn’t look good against New Orleans, the defensive line looks like it could become formidable as the season continues. The Buccaneers need to get healthy across the front-four, if they do, watch out.Tampa Bay enters the second of three games without starting quarterback Jameis Winston. It will be no easy task when the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, travel to Raymond James Stadium for the Bucs home opener.1. Can Fitzpatrick stay hot?Everyone has the same question as the Buccaneers prepare for the Eagles. Can Fitzpatrick stay hot?While I don’t think we’re in for another 400+ yard performance, I expect Fitzpatrick to stay relatively consistent. Going against one of the top defenses in the league, the former Harvard star is once again going to need his receivers to make plays.They were excellent at doing that a week ago as Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson combined for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries look like the perfect second fiddles to the duo of Evans and Jackson.If Fitzpatrick can make plays against this Philadelphia defense, Tampa Bay will likely improve to 2-0 for the first time in eight years.2. Bucs offensive line vs Eagles defensive lineThe revamped offensive front was a highlight of this offense a week ago. Tampa Bay didn’t allow a sack and gave up just four tackles for loss all game.That’s a far cry from where this unit was a year ago as the Buccaneers gave up 40 sacks in 2017. The Eagles have one of the top defensive fronts in the NFL, especially on the interior with Fletcher Cox and Haloti Ngata. They sacked Matt Ryan four times in their season-opener and hit him a whopping 15 times. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Bucs can’t allow to happen to Fitzpatrick on Sunday.I think the key aspect here is opening up the run game. If Tampa Bay can improve its success on the ground (112 yards on 31 carries in week one), they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.Likewise, if the Eagles shut it down O. J. Howard Jersey , it could be a long Sunday. 3. Increasing pass-rushing successThe Bucs front-seven was excellent against New Orleans when it came to pressuring Drew Brees. Obviously, the future hall-of-famer lit up Tampa Bay regardless of that pressure.In week two, I want to see the Buccaneers generate more success when it comes to rushing the quarterback. What exactly is success in this context? Sacks, quarterback hits, and tackles for loss.Tampa Bay ranked dead LAST in the NFL in 2017 with just 22 total sacks. That’s simply awful and it’s one of the many reasons this defense has struggled. The Buccaneers had one sack and five QB hits in week one, they’re going to need to up the ante against Philadelphia. That’ll be a little more complicated with Vita Vea out and Jason Pierre-Paul limited in practice.4. Limiting the success of Nick FolesDespite what he did a year ago after Carson Wentz tore his ACL, Nick Foles isn’t some prodigal savior. He got hot at the right time, but with Foles at the helm, Philadelphia is more beatable than they’d be if Wentz was back and healthy. The former Arizona star finished just 19/34 for 117 yards and an interception a week ago. Missing top receiver Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles offense wasn’t very explosive against Atlanta. Foles longest pass went for 18 yards and the rushing attack wasn’t much better, its biggest play being a 21-yard scamper from Corey Clement. Philadelphia doesn’t have an offensive player that can take over a game like Alvin Kamara or Michael Thomas. If Tampa Bay can make them earn every yard, Philadelphia will struggle. The Buccaneers have to stayed glued to guys like Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles (if he’s available) in coverage to limit big plays Authentic Chandler Catanzaro Jersey , which is easier said than done.5. Forcing three and outsWith Tampa Bay likely fielding a short-handed defense that’ll be without both starting cornerbacks against Philadelphia, it’s vital for them to get the Eagles off the field as fast as possible.The weather is going to be a factor on Sunday afternoon. We know how Florida is. Hot, humid, and unforgiving. It’s the type of weather that can wear a team down, especially when they’re missing important players like Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves.It doesn’t help with Vea out. And it’s not any better than JPP missed Wednesday’s practice and was limited Thursday.Tampa Bay forced New Orleans into just two three and outs over 11 drives in week one. On the other side, Philadelphia had three three and outs over 11 drives in its win against Atlanta. It all comes down to what’s highlighted above. If the Bucs can bring consistent pressure to make Foles uncomfortable and limit what his playmakers bring to the table to force them behind the chains, I like their odds on Sunday.
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