For the second week in a row, the Philadelphia Eagles played dreadfully the majority of the game, until one single flash of hope changed everything and inspired a second win. Here’s everything you need to know from the 28-22 loss to Tampa Bay.
Not good enough
The Bucs may have a vaunted run defense but Miles Sanders receiving a single carry until the heart of the fourth quarter is unacceptable. When he did finally get the rock, he broke off a huge 23-yard gain and was met with a roar from the fans in attendance. Sanders ended up with 56 carries on 9 yards, but the majority came on that one drive.
There is no reason to have your lead running back sat on the sideline twiddling his thumbs while watching Leonard Fournette gracefully mow down every Eagle in front of him. The gameplan from Nick Sirianni was abysmal for the most part tonight and it absolutely cannot continue.
The Eagles did nothing but call RPO’s and comebacks for the majority of the evening and it didn’t take Tampa Bay long to figure out the formula. Once sussed out, it was simply a case of rinsing and repeating getting pressure on Jalen Hurts and forcing him to scramble into pressure.
There is no way that DeVonta Smith should have one reception for six yards.
Sirianni has to do better.
Quick shoutout to Quez Watkins for looking like a baller all night though. Easily the team’s best player tonight.
As for Jalen…
Jalen Hurts seems to have two modes: 1) Ultimate game manager with wheels. 2) Skittish mobile QB who scrambles into pressure and a lack of control when throwing the ball deep. We were treated to the second persona for three quarters tonight.
Hurts does have the potential to be great in this league and the right mindset and leadership traits to build that base on. But he can’t go up against the 32nd ranked pass defense and miss that many throws that badly. There has to be a sense of patience and I understand that, but there should also be some visible growth in his game. All I’ve seen through five weeks is the same quarterback flashing the same elite potential and then promptly undoing his hard work by showing he’s not quite ready to take on all the throws in the playbook.
Jalen Hurts isn’t solely responsible for the lack of offensive success, but he’s definitely a big cog. It’s okay to admit he isn’t there yet, and it’s okay to admit the coaching staff and offensive line need to be better. They’re not mutually exclusive.
Fire me out of a Gannon
In all fairness, stopping a Bucs offense that powerful was always going to be a challenge. We perhaps didn’t expect Bruce Arians to draw up a Leonard Fournette masterclass in a bid to expose Gannon’s run defense though, and it worked.
The linebackers struggled throughout and while there were some nice flashes, it was all too easy in the early goings for Tom Brady to pick apart an extremely soft defensive shell. The Bucs would motion a player across the line and if it was obvious that the defense was sat in zone, you could pretty much guarantee a first-down was on the horizon.
The defense seemed to pick up steam late in the game after Tampa Bay tried to massively disrespect them by going for it on 4th down in the final quarter when leading by two scores. This failed and arguably sparked the desire to fight back that the Eagles needed.
Say what you want, but this Eagles team has heart and lots of it. In every game this season, they’ve fought until the final whistle. They responded to a mark of disrespect by Brady’s Bucs by forcing an incompletion on that fourth down and marching back down the field to give themselves a chance. Ultimately, it was too little, too late, but the effort was there.
All you can ask for from a team in this stage of a rebuild is that they compete. That they don’t throw in the towel against the big dogs and that they grind it out and learn from their mistakes. At the very, very least, the players can be proud of their effort levels. The execution….not so much, but the effort and hunger is clearly there and that has to count for something.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire