The Eagles offensive and defensive units seemed to stop and start at times today, but the result of the game was never really in doubt. The Eagles controlled the game from start to finish, harassed Bucs' QB Josh Johnson all day, and lived off the big play on offense.
Today marked the coming out party of rookie WR Jeremy Maclin, who finally showed the big play ability that he became so well known for in college. The kid caught 6 passes for 142 yards and 2 TDs averaging almost 24 yards a catch. Tampa's plan seemed to be to take Desean Jackson out of the game with double coverage, but Maclin made them pay. At least the plan did do the job of taking Jackson out of the game. The Eagles #1 was held to one catch for one yard...
That said, teams will now think twice about doubling Jackson with Maclin running down the other side of the field.
The defense had an interesting day. They held Tampa to just 14 points, forced 3 turnovers, and racked up 3 sacks. The biggest problem was penalties. On at least 3rd and long plays they bailed out the Bucs offense with a stupid penalty that resulted in a first down. They were able to get away with these mistakes because Tampa is a very bad team with a young QB prone to mistakes, but those kind of errors won't fly against the Giants.
Headlines after the jump
Josh Johnson: Enigma?
What do you think of Josh Johnson after this game? I'm finding that a tough question to answer after this game. He was sacked 3 times, threw three picks, fumbled twice, and had to have at least 5 passed tipped at the line. Certainly seemed pretty terrible by the stats, but he did stand in there and make some good throws against one all out blitz after the other. In the end, it was obvious that Sean McDermott's plan was to throw everything at Johnson and dare him to make plays... for the most part he did not. His offensive line did him no favors as he was running for his life most of the game, nor did his WRs who had several key drops.
The Eagles offense was another interesting case today. Donovan McNabb posted a nearly perfect QB rating of 157.2 today thanks to 3 TDs and completing 76% of his passes. However, it seemed that the offense either scored on a spectacular big play or went three out and out. The run game struggled posting just 76 total yards, 30 of which came on two scrambles from McNabb. In total, the backs had just 36 yards rushing.
Again, the offense blew out the Bucs today... but there are certainly things that will need to be corrected against the better teams in the league.
Penalties continue to be a problem
The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 111 yards today with most coming on special teams and defense. Again, I repeat what I've said a few times... they can get away with that against the Bucs, but maybe not when the schedule gets tougher. The penalties that prolong drives on 3rd down and on special teams that affect field position could be very costly.
Still can't cover a TE
9 rec 102 yards 2 TDs for Kellen Winslow. The tight end continues to be an achilles heel for the Eagles' D.
Run defense stout
That the Bucs didn't have many rush yards in this game is not a huge surprise. They were playing from pretty far behind for most of the game and obviously were going to have to throw... but the fact that the Eagles held early comeback player of the year favorite Cadillac Williams to just 8 yards on 10 carries is a job well done.