TAMPA, Fla. — A day after Tom Brady logs 400-plus yards and five touchdowns against the Dolphins, wide receiver Mike Evans was still in awe.
"What he does is crazy, especially at his age and with the level of play that he has been able to sustain for such a long time," Evans, who caught two touchdowns on Sunday, said. "It’s unreal and I don’t think we will ever see it again.”
Since the start of the season, this Bucs offensive players felt like they left a lot of plays on the field, but when you score 45 points and total nearly 560 yards, it is tough to imagine it gets any better than that.
"Every week, you’re not going to have games like that where that’s the outcome from a yardage standpoint, but just the way we approach it, the way we attack it, that’s the way we see the game of football," offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said.
What is even crazier about that performance is Brady injured his thumb in the second quarter after smacking it on a Dolphins helmet.
Brady was limited in practice for a couple of days, but his status for Thursday is not in doubt.
"The fact that it's your throwing hand, there's not many things that are that important to a quarterback, other than probably your right shoulder, your right elbow and your right hand," Brady said with his hand wrapped. "So, any time you get banged on one of those it could be an issue, but like I said I think it's…there's nothing, no serious injury at all. It's more of discomfort but I think that should be fine in the next day or two."
Brady and company are hoping for a better performance in primetime than last year in Chicago. The GOAT is hoping to provide less material for the internet, too. It is a quick turnaround for Tampa Bay facing Philadelphia, one of the best passing defenses in the league.
“You wish you can make the day 30 hours," Leftwich said. "You wish you can have a few 30-hour days. I think the most important part is the preparation standpoint of it. Have a good idea of who we’re playing against. Don’t allow the short week to be an excuse."
Brady added, "It's like cramming for an exam, you know? You just kind of put everything else to the side and just focus on the game."
The Eagles are going to have a difficult time running the ball against Tampa Bay considering the Bucs have only given up 229 yards on 79 attempts. It will be intriguing to see how defensive coordinator Todd Bowles schemes for quarterback Jalen Hurts. He is the leading rusher on the team.
"Well, it’s tough because he keeps you honest – anybody that can throw like a pro quarterback and run like a running back. He has elusiveness, as well, and he’s very bright and he’s very tough to bring down," Bowles said. "If you try to attack him too much, he’s going to hurt you down the field and if you don’t attack him enough, he’s going to hurt you with his legs. He keeps you very honest and that’s a great thing."
Bowles will not have Lavonte David or Antoine Winfield Jr. in this contest. Tight end Rob Gronkowski will also miss his third consecutive game with a ribs injury.
10 Tampa Bay sports director Evan Closky and James Yarcho of Locked on Bucs take a look back at that dominating performance against the Dolphins and prepare you for what is to come against Philadelphia.