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Play of the Game: How Mike Edwards Secured Buccaneers Win Over Eagles

How a backup safety made ‘the’ play to catapult Tampa Bay to the next round

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NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoffs-Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of players walked off the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers feeling pretty good on Sunday.

Defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 31-15, the Bucs punched their ticket to another home playoff game, and several big names contributed to the winning effort.

It was a lesser-known name, however, who had the biggest play in the win.

“He had a heck of a ball game,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said of Edwards and the interception. “Mike’s a baller. He’s going to be out there and you know when he’s out there, he’s going to make a play. That was a huge play.”

At the time, Tampa Bay was leading 17-0 in the final moments of the first half. With Philadelphia in possession of the ball and looking to put together its first scoring drive of the game, a touchdown would have been a big swing as the team was also set to receive the second-half kickoff.

Two plays prior to this one, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts found wide receiver Quez Watkins for a 35-yard gain, getting the ball down to the Bucs’ 27-yard line.

Momentum was building a bit for Philly, and a late first-half touchdown would have tarnished an otherwise dominant start to the game for the Buccaneers.

“DeVonta (Smith) got open on the play,” Hurts told media when discussing the turnover after the game. “I was expecting a look – the safety to come off the hash. I couldn’t get it up as soon as I wanted to, got it up there a little late and the safety made a good catch on it on the sideline.”

That safety was Edwards, but as Hurts said, the play came open originally thanks to an ankle-breaking move by rookie DeVonta Smith who was matched up against Bucs cornerback Jamel Dean.

As Dean ended up down on the Raymond James Stadium grass in what could have been a big lowlight for the defensive back, his teammate came flying into the screen, to save the day.

“I owe Mike [Edwards] a steak dinner,” Dean said after the game.

Hopefully, Edwards gets that steak after saving his teammate and making the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ play of the game.

For more on this story and all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers, follow us here at Bucs Nation and listen to James Yarcho and David Harrison on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!

Poll

Which play from Sunday is your play of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Mike Edwards Interception
    (91 votes)
  • 6%
    Mike Evans Touchdown Catch
    (12 votes)
  • 21%
    Shaq Barrett Interception
    (40 votes)
  • 22%
    Scotty Miller Forced Fumble, Recovered by Ross Cockrell
    (41 votes)
184 votes total Vote Now