The Eagles lost the coin toss but the Buccaneers elected to defer. Mark Sanchez took the field to decent applause from the Philly faithful. The Eagles ran the ball with DeMarco Murary on third down and he fumbled. But then the Buccaneers fumbled it for an Eagles recovery. Lucky break for the Eagles since it looked like the Buccaneers defender was down. The Eagles capitalized on their good fortune by putting a touchdown drive together. After rushing for a first down, Sanchez hit Josh Huff over the middle for a 39-yard score. Great run after the catch by Huff on the play.
Jameis Winston, who grew up an Eagles fan, received loud boos from Eagles fans as the Buccaneers offense first took the field. The Bucs moved the ball with some success before E.J. Biggers broke up a deep pass intended for Mike Evans and forced Tampa Bay to punt. Darren Sproles absolutely laid out Bobby Rainey on the punt return to make sure the Bucs couldn't down the ball.
The Eagles stopped the Bucs' second drive on 3rd-and-6. But then a Brandon Graham offside penalty made it 3rd-and-1 and Tampa Bay capitalized with a 58-yard run by Doug Martin. Very costly mistake by Graham. A few players later, Winston hit Evans on the fade route in the end zone for a game-tying touchdown. Great catch.
Philadelphia got the ball back but couldn't get anything going. Sanchez put the ball a little too far in front of a wide open Brent Celek on second down before sailing a pass over Zach Ertz's head on third down.
The Buccaneers put together another scoring drive by going 59 yards in five plays for the score. After some more Eagles offensive ineptitude, the Buccaneers put together another scoring drive sparked by an 84-yard Martin run. Malcolm Jenkins had a chance to prevent points by picking off a Winston pass but he dropped it. On the next play, Winston hit former Eagles receiver Russell Shepard for the touchdown.
The Eagles didn't give up. They answered back with a score of their own when Sanchez found Sproles on a screen pass for a 35-yard touchdown. It's almost like good things happen when Sproles touches the ball. Matt Tobin had a good block on the play.
But then the Bucs scored again. Philadelphia's defense couldn't get much of a pass rush and Winston had all day tom move Tampa Bay into scoring position. Connor Barwin had a chance to pick off Winston but he dropped the interception. Winston hit Charles Sims on an impressive pass for a touchdown on the next play. Byron Maxwell had a chance to make a play on the ball but didn't come up with it.
Sanchez ended the first half of this terrible game by throwing a ball into double coverage. To no surprise, it was intercepted.
The Buccaneers started with the ball on offense to start the second half. They went 80 yards to score a touchdown in a span of nine minutes and 47 seconds. It was Winston's fifth touchdown pass of the day. The Bucs scored a field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Sanchez threw another interception with 10 minutes left in the game. The Eagles replaced Jason Peters, who didn't appear to be hurt, with Lane Johnson at left tackle and Dennis Kelly at right tackle.
Caleb Sturgis absolutely NAILED a 43-yard attempt as the team was down 38-14 with 5:14 remaining in the game. Very useful.
Sanchez threw his third interception of the day and it was returned for a Buccaneers touchdown. Then the Bucs eventually ran out the clock.
Stay tuned for much more Eagles-Buccaneers post-game coverage. I guess.