Philadelphia's "Brotherly Shove" is as close to a guaranteed thing as there is in football.
The Eagles ran it to a 93.5% success rate in 2022 and maintained a rate of better than 90% for the 2023 season entering Monday's playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But there, at a critical juncture, it failed. It was a sign of things to come in a 32-9 Bucs win.
After a slow start, Philadelphia's offense woke up late in the second quarter with a 55-yard pass from Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith that set up its first touchdown of the day. A Tampa Bay penalty on the extra point put Philadelphia at the 1-yard line, setting up one of the easier decisions of the postseason.
Head coach Nick Sirianni sent out his offense for a 2-point conversion attempt. Philadelphia lined up in its traditional tightly bunched formation with everyone in the football world aware of what was coming. Jason Kelce would snap the ball to Hurts, who would drive his powerful legs with the aid of all 10 of his Eagles teammates on the field toward the end zone.
Opponents face it every week knowing what's coming and fail to stop it. But this time the Bucs found the answer. Hurts came up short of the goal line, and Philadelphia walked away with six points from the touchdown instead of eight. The Bucs carried a 16-9 lead into halftime.
— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2024
How did Bucs stop it?
Bucs defensive lineman Greg Gaines beat Kelce off the line and got lower than the Eagles center to give the Bucs defensive linemen leverage. A pile of Bucs defenders, including 347-pound Vita Vea, then piled on. Then at the end, linebacker K.J. Britt got away with one.
missed face mask at the end
no call pic.twitter.com/XpqBkhvzjv
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 16, 2024
Britt grabbed a hold of Hurts' facemask and pulled Hurts away from the end zone. The Bucs appeared to have Hurts stopped with or without the facemask transgression, but officials missed an obvious penalty that would have given the Eagles another chance.
The result of the play stood, and some much-needed momentum for the Eagles took a hit.