3 big things we learned in Eagles’ demolition of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Commanders vs Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles’ D’Andre Swift (0) tries to get past Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) and Dee Delaney (30) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

For just the third time in franchise history, the Philadelphia Eagles have started back-to-back seasons at 3-0. This year’s team might take the cake over all of the other teams though.

A 25-11 victory on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t tell the whole story. Philadelphia’s defense suffocated Baker Mayfield and Tampa’s rushing attack while the offense totaled over 400 yards for the second straight week. Jalen Hurts and the offense gashed a strong defensive front, and the defensive line was as dominant a group as Philly fans have ever seen.

As 14-point victories go, the score did not show how dominant a performance the team actually had. Luckily, today we go through the biggest takeaways from Monday’s win here.

Sean Desai eagles
CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 21: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai looks on during a preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills on August 21, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

Sean Desai for Mayor of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is banged up in several key defensive areas. They had two safeties go down to injury on Monday, they don’t have their starting linebacker, and they are on their fourth slot cornerback.

Of course, you couldn’t tell based on the way the defense played. Philadelphia disguised coverages beautifully and the pass rush kept applying key pressure throughout the game. Through three weeks, they are the best defense against the run and have forced two turnovers in every single game.

Give it up for Sean Desai ladies and gentlemen.

When Desai came to Philadelphia, he took over for a coordinator in Jonathan Gannon who refused to blitz, played soft coverage, and wasn’t very aggressive. Through three weeks, the numbers may not be the same, but the effectiveness of the defense is even greater than last year.

Having an aggressive defensive coordinator is something the city of Philadelphia always wants. They have another great one now.

Brian Johnson is Improving

While Desai has been the talk of the town recently for his solid group play, the same cannot be said for new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. The Eagles offense continues to find themselves in sticky situations due to poor play calling and it seems they are all still trying to gel together.

The positive? For the second straight week, we have seen some major improvements from the coaching staff on offense.

Philadelphia Eagles’ D’Andre Swift (0) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ryan Neal (23) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Sequencing as a play-caller has improved, and the team continues to take what the defense gave them. Yes, Hurts had another two turnovers, but when you’re up by three scores and still trying to figure things out as a group, there is no reason to worry just yet.

Improvements are coming for the Eagles offense. It may not be happening as quickly as people like, but the offense seems to be right on schedule.

2023 squad mirrors 2017 team more than the previous year

In 2022, the Eagles were considered a top team in football despite a poor run defense and slow adjustments in the second half. Like the Super Bowl team in 2017, those concerns didn’t matter because they were ahead in so many games throughout the year.

Yet for all the success the 2022 squad had, it’s this current roster that seems to mirror the title team more than any other.

In 2017, the Eagles’ offense seemed to be stuck in the mud at times as they tried to figure things out as an overall offense. Their run defense was superb, and they used that defensive line to overwhelm opponents.

That is, essentially, what the 2023 Eagles are all about. The offense is putting up a lot of yards despite their flaws early, the defensive line is winning games on their own, and the secondary might be even better despite the injuries they have sustained.

It’s, of course, still early. A couple more injuries or ineffective play may change the tune here a little bit. But the fact of the matter is that the Eagles are already showing how they can beat teams in a number of different ways. It’s not perfect, but this group is one of the most talented in football.

And that should scare the rest of the league right now.

For more Philadelphia Eagles news, turn to the PhillySportsNetwork.com

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara