Well, that sure was something. Stop me if you've heard this before, but the Philadelphia Eagles needed to win their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for several reasons. Most importantly, they needed a win to stay alive in the NFC East and get the bad taste of the Miami Dolphins loss out of their collective mouths. But they also needed a win to prove that they deserve to be in the playoff hunt.
But instead of come out and take it to a mediocre Bucs team at home, the Eagles laid their biggest egg of the season. The defense was a seive, and allowed rookie quarterback Jameis Winston and running back Doug Martin to have career days.
No loss is pretty, but it's going to take some time for the Eagles to wash off the stink from this performance. Fortunately, they have a short week, as they'll be traveling to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.
Let's take a look at how each unit performed:
Overall grade: F
In a season full of gut-wrenching losses, this one may have been the worst. Tampa Bay hit season highs in passing and rushing yards Sunday, and the Bucs defense held Mark Sanchez and company to 17 points. Oh, and speaking of Sanchez, he threw three interceptions, including a pick six.
The Eagles put up virtually no fight after halftime, and the game felt over pretty much as soon as the Bucs started their first drive of the second half (you know, the one that ate nearly ten minutes off the clock). The result was yet another sloppy loss full of self-inflicted wounds and uninspired coaching.
Earlier on Sunday, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Mark Sanchez had a chance to win the Eagles' starting quarterback job with a string of strong performances. Odds are good that offer is now off the table. Sanchez finished the day 26-of-41 for 261 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The silver lining? One of those picks went for a touchdown, so you could kind of say he threw three scores!
With the Eagles down early, there was no real chance to get the run game going. DeMarco Murray had a respectable 64 yards on 13 carries, and Kenjon Barner and Darren Sproles combined for 13 carries. Interestingly, in a week in which Sproles complained about a lack of touches, the understudy Barner ended up with more carries (7) than Sproles (6).
Defense: See me after class
There's not much to say about this performance. Calling it the defense's worst game of the season doesn't do enough justice to the absolute slopfest we saw Sunday afternoon. Jameis Winston looked like a Hall of Famer, Doug Martin ran for 235 yards, and the defense was able to completely stymie the Philadelphia offense.
The first overall pick in last year's NFL Draft completed 19 passes for 246 yards and five touchdowns. That ties a rookie record for most passing scores in a game. Maybe the most amazing thing about Wintson's day was that he threw five touchdowns on only 19 completions. That's basically one touchdown every four passes.
And the Eagles' normally stout rush defense had by far its worst performance of the year. In his last three games, Martin ran for a combined 165 yards. In this game, he picked up 70 more yards. Woof.
Special teams: C
Not much to report here. Donnie Jones had a couple nice punts, but it was an otherwise unmemorable day for the special teams. Huff had a couple questionable returns when he took the ball out of the end zone despite good coverage. And later in the game he and Riley Cooper had some miscommunication that resulted in Cooper fielding a return. At least Caleb Sturgis hit his only field goal attempt of the game - in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were already down 24.