As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare for the biggest game of their season, the team might have already made its first mistake.
So far the stars have been aligning for the Bucs, with A.J. Brown already having been ruled out and Jalen Hurts coming into the game banged up. Philly is a good team but they're a shell of the one that showed up back in Week 3, and the Bucs are being given more of a chance than some initially expected.
Of course, one thing we've seen the BUcs perfect this season is getting in their own way. It happened countless times during the 1-6 slump in the middle of the season and it might have happened again in the lead-up to Monday's game.
Todd Bowles might have tipped the Eagles off with comments about Baker Mayfield injury
While speaking to the media ahead of Monday's Wild Card game, Todd Bowles gave an update on Baker Mayfield and might have accidentally given the Eagles some inside information.
"Obviously, he hasn’t been hit yet so we’re going to try to keep him clean. He’s feeling good, he’s ready to go," Bowles said, before saying the quiet part out loud. "If he gets hit, it’ll probably affect his throw."
It's not the first time this year Bowles might have said the wrong thing at the podium. Earlier this year the Bucs got into hot water over the handling of Devin White's injury status ahead of Week 15's win over the Packers.
Bowles gave a little too much detail, revealing that the Bucs knew on Saturday that White wasn't going to play, rather than in the lead up to his surprise inactive status. If that had been true, it would have meant the team violated league rules in reporting injuries which led to an investigation being launched.
All of it happened because Bowles said more than he needed to at the podium, which he might have done here too. Saying Baker hasn't been hit yet is fine, but going as far as to say his rhythm might get thrown off if he's hit is telegraphing to the Eagles that they need to get him on the ground as much as possible one way or another.
Philly was going to bring pressure anyway, but Bowles saying what he did might make them pin their ears back even more. Of course maybe it's 4D chess and Bowles is trying to goad the Ealges into bringing pressure to aid whatever offensive strategy the Bucs have.
We won't find out until Monday.
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