Needing to win out to keep their playoff hopes alive, Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans watched as the Bucs fell just short of what they needed to accomplish against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, a result that frustrated fans of a team that has shown bright spots so often during the season.
Over at Bucs Nation, the review was detailed, as the bloggers picked out just a few plays that could have gone the other way to possibly help Tampa Bay salvage the seemingly winnable game against the Eagles on a day that the 2002 Super Bowl champion Buccaneers team was honored.
It almost turned into a very different story. One where an inconsistent Josh Freeman redeemed himself for a terrible first half. One where Doug Martin churned out yards on the ground to beat the Eagles. One where Danny Gorrer caught a last-second interception rather than dropping it. ... Alas, it was not to be.
Simply, the Buccaneers secondary needed to only step up late and hold the Eagles from scoring in the final seven minutes of play, but the secondary was unable to limit Foles and the Eagles.
And yet, they allowed completion after completion, as Foles went 6 of 7 for 76 yards and a touchdown on an eight-play drive. All they had to do then was run out the game with Doug Martin, who had gone over 100 yards in the game, the first rusher to do so against the Eagles this season.
The game finished for Buccaneers fans in this frustrating fashion, clearly one of the more infuriating outcomes of the season for the Bucs faithful.
To be fair, these Philadelphia Eagles looked nothing like the Eagles I had seen on film. ... They had an opportunity to stay in the playoff race, and they blew it. That's the story of this 2012 Tampa Bay team: competitive play, but coming up just short in the end.