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Eagles fail to complete comeback after slow start in loss to Buccaneers, 28 to 22

Too little, too late for the Birds.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-4 after losing at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. Final score: 28 to 22.

For the second week in a row, the Eagles got off to an incredibly slow start. The Birds had just 99 yards of offense entering the fourth quarter. The defense too often made things look entirely too easy for Tom Brady and company.

To their credit, the Eagles didn’t pack it in and fold. They did find a way to make it competitive at the end by cutting the lead to six points in the fourth quarter. But the Bucs closed it out and never gave Philly a chance to get the go-ahead score to complete the comeback.

Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.

FIRST QUARTER

  • The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer. The Bucs started with the ball and drove into the red zone with ease. Tom Brady floated a ball over Ryan Kerrigan to O.J. Howard for the first score. 75 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes, 34 seconds. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 7.
  • Jalen Hurts threw a little too wide of DeVonta Smith down the right sideline. On a 3rd-and-12, Hurts targeted Quez Watkins and the ball was tipped but Watkins made a great catch anyway for the conversion. Wow. Hurts aired it out to deep to Jalen Reagor and the ball was underthrown but the Bucs rightfully got called for pass interference. Good job by Reagor to draw the call, though the underthrow certainly helped a lot. Hurts to a wide open Zach Ertz from the 5-yard line tied the game. Shootout? EAGLES 7, BUCCANEERS 7.
  • The Bucs got the ball back and went 75 yards in nine plays and 5 minutes, 28 seconds. So easy yet again. EAGLES 7, BUCCANEERS 14.

SECOND QUARTER

  • The Eagles went three-and-out after Reagor dropped a pass on 3rd-and-3.
  • The Bucs got to 4th-and-2 from their own 42-yard line and originally lined up to go for it before quickly bringing the punt team on against the Eagles’ defense. But the Bucs called a timeout for some reason and that allowed Philly to get their punt return team out there. Nice gift from Bruce Arians to have the Bucs not go for that.
  • Hurts missed a wide open Zach Ertz, who ran a sharp post route, on 3rd-and-5. Just too far out in front on what should be a routine throw. Punt instead of a first down.
  • The Bucs got to a 3rd-and-4 and Brady’s pass got tipped and picked off by a diving Marcus Epps! The play went under review ... and was overturned. Incomplete. Seemed to me like it was impossible to say with 100% certainty that it WASN’T a pick.
  • Hurts threw a pick on a deep attempt to Watkins. It looked like Watkins may have jumped a little too early? And/or it was an overthrow? Either way, not great.
  • Davion Taylor whiffed badly on an open field tackle attempt on Leonard Fournette as the Bucs drove to the 26-yard line. Tampa Bay moved to 3rd-and-1 from the 4-yard line and Fournette ran forward to set up 1st-and-goal. Fournette ran again for another Bucs touchdown. 72 yards in 11 plays. EAGLES 7, BUCCANEERS 21.
  • The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 1:56 remaining in the first half. Two-minute drill. Or not with Hurts overthrowing Kenneth Gainwell deep down the field after holding on to the ball for forever. Three-and-out.
  • The Bucs took over at their own 30-yard line (after a false start) with 1:24 remaining. Brady aired it out deep on 3rd-and-15 and it was easily picked by Anthony Harris. Arm punt.
  • The Eagles took over at their own 32-yard line with 0:57 on the clock and three timeouts to work with. Reagor couldn’t make a tough catch on a diving comeback with a defender all on him. Probably should’ve been pass interference. On 3rd-and-10, Hurts got pressured and ran out of bounds short of the sticks. Bad decision. Should’ve went down to at least make the Bucs burn one of their final two timeouts.
  • The Bucs took over at their own 22-yard line. They ran one play and ended the first half.

THIRD QUARTER

  • The Eagles started the second half by going three-and-out. A 2-yard rushing play (stopped by interior beast Vita Vea) and more inaccurate throws from Hurts. Punt.
  • The Bucs methodically moved the ball into goal-to-go territory. Darius Slay got called for pass interference in the end zone. Fournette punched it in for the Bucs’ fourth score. EAGLES 7, BUCCANEERS 28.
  • Hurts aired it out deep and Reagor drew another pass interference penalty. The Eagles ran on a 3rd-and-3 and Miles Sanders converted it for a first down. Philly fans responded with a standing ovation. No fans do a sarcastic cheer better. Watkins floated a ball in the back of the end zone to Watkins, who made hell of an effort to grab it with a defender on him but understandably couldn’t keep his feet in. Could’ve been pass interference but the Eagles weren’t getting that call all night. Hurts took off running on 4th-and-3 and had a wide open lane to the end zone. EAGLES 14, BUCCANEERS 28.
  • Avonte Maddox did a nice job of blowing up a WR screen to help force the Bucs into a three-and-out. Good stop by the defense.

FOURTH QUARTER

  • On 3rd-and-13, Hurts ran away from pressure and flung it to Watkins along the sideline. The play was ruled incomplete but Nick Sirianni challenged it and the replay showed Watkins dragged his foot for the catch! Big first down conversion. Hurts had time to stand in the pocket and deliver a 25-yard strike over the middle to DeVonta Smith. Good to see him work that area of the field. And, hey, maybe throw to that Smith more often! Sanders took a carry for 11 yards and another first. Hurts was very fortunate to have a potential pick-six dropped on what was supposed to be a screen pass. The Eagles got to 4th-and-10 from the Bucs’ 28-yard line and decided it was a good idea to kick a field goal for some reason. Because, you know, that’s how you beat the defending Super Bowl champs who have been carving you up. Jake Elliott missed the 46-yard field goal attempt. The Football Gods rightfully punished Sirianni’s cowardice.
  • The Bucs got to 4th-and-2 from the Eagles’ 45-yard line and went for it. Brady overthrew O.J. Howard for a turnover on downs.
  • The Eagles went to Sanders for a 6-yard reception. Then they ran him for 23 yards. Then they ran him for 14 yards. Just what everyone wanted! Running the ball! Hurts took off running to get to the 4-yard line. Sanders took a carry to set up 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Eagles dropped back to pass (WHY NO SNEAK?) and Watkins drew a defensive holding. Sanders was stuffed on a rushing attempt before Hurts ran it in himself for his second rushing score of the night. The Eagles went for two and Hurts completed to Watkins for the successful try! And somehow it it was a six-point game. EAGLES 22, BUCCANEERS 28.
  • The Eagles held Fournette to a 2-yard gain but then Genard Avery got called for a taunting penalty. We can talk about how the rule is dumb but how about don’t give the refs a chance to call it. With the Bucs at 3rd-and-7 from the Eagles’ 45-yard line, Brady hit Antonio Brown on a tight window for a big Tampa conversion. Marcus Epps was basically right there in coverage but the throw was too perfect. Tough. Brady snuck the ball to get to 1st-and-goal from the 6-yard line with 2:00 remaining and no more timeouts for Philly. The Bucs took three knees to end the game.

LINEUP NOTES

  • Davion Taylor got the start at linebacker.

INJURIES

  • Anthony Harris (hand) left the game after the Bucs’ first drive. He was ruled questionable to return. Marcus Epps came in to replace him. Harris returned to the field early in the second quarter.
  • Long snapper Rick Lovato was evaluated in the medical tent during the third quarter. He didn’t miss any time.
  • Javon Hargrave paid a trip to the medical tent in the fourth quarter but was able to finish the game.