The score looks closer than the game really was. The Eagles were down 31 to 0 before the Birds picked up some garbage time production in the fourth quarter.
There was some truth to this game being “house money” for the Eagles. Not many expected them to get to this point. No one really expected them to go on a Super Bowl run.
But to be totally embarrassed like this? That much wasn’t expected. And it’s not easily forgivable.
Especially with Jalen Hurts, Nick Sirianni, and Jonathan Gannon all struggling in a big spot.
This loss doesn’t totally undo all the progress the Eagles made in 2021. But it does nothing to raise questions about Philly’s level of competition as they went on a second half run. This era of Eagles has yet to show they can actually beat a good team. Today, they didn’t even look like they could hang with one.
The Eagles are hardly hopeless moving forward. They have three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and, unlike last offseason, they’ll have some cap space to work with.
But the Eagles have some very big issues to figure out. Including one at the most important position: quarterback. Hurts’ performance in this loss was pretty troubling.
There’s a lot of work to be done. Can Howie Roseman push the right buttons?
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer. The Bucs opened the game by running the ball and gaining 17 yards. Inauspicious start. Derek Barnett got called for a roughing the passer penalty that was very generous to Tom Brady but, going into this game, it was known this officiating crew was prone to heavily calling those penalties a lot. The penalty wiped out what would’ve been a 3rd-and-10 for the Bucs.
Good nugget from @SeifertESPN: Referee Craig Wrolstad, who has Eagles-Bucs, tied for the second-most roughing the passer calls this year (12).— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) January 14, 2022
Something Eagles need to be mindful of going against one of the most respected (and protected) QBs in Tom Brady. https://t.co/UqwjGnqX7g
The Eagles missed chances to pick a couple of balls that bounced off Bucs’ players hands. That ended up being costly with the Bucs moving to 1st-and-goal from the 4-yard line. Giovani Bernard punched it in for a touchdown. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 7.
- The Eagles started with a 7-yard Miles Sanders run. Then they went three-and-out after the Bucs shut down a read handoff on 3rd-and-2. Arryn Siposs punted and it only went 27 friggin yards. This after he stunk against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18. Terrible.
- The Bucs took over at their own 43-yard line but went three-and-out after Tyler Johnson dropped a catch over the middle. Fortunate break.
- The Eagles went three-and-out again after Jalen Hurts’ third down while rolling left for Jalen Reagor was tipped and nearly picked.
Hurts wants Goedert turning at the sticks, but LB is playing trail with a safety on top.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) January 16, 2022
Hurts has to be able to throw over the top of that safety to the deep cross. He's looking right at it with a clean pocket. Gotta have it. https://t.co/hKL9HgvWfi pic.twitter.com/kpLqUtkqzZ
- The Bucs started at at their own 30-yard line after only a 36-yard punt from Siposs. Tampa methodically moved to the Ealges’ 1-yard line. They punched it in with a Ke’Shawn Vaughn touchdown run. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 10.
- The Eagles went three-and-out after Hurts was sacked on 3rd-and-8.
- The Bucs went 53 yards in 11 plays to get to 3rd-and-goal from the 9-yard line. In part due to a big tackle for loss by Ryan Kerrigan! Who would’ve thought. Barnett and Javon Hargrave combined to sack Brady on third down to force Tampa to a field goal. Big to hold Tampa to three there. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 17.
- The Eagles picked up their first first down of the game (!) with Hurts hitting Dallas Goedert over the middle on 3rd-and-7. Hurts took advantage of a clean pocket to work with. Hurts almost threw a pick after being pressured and trying to get the ball out to Goedert before the tight end was ready for the ball. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-4 and Hurts’ third down throw for Goedert down the field was off target. Nick Sirianni correctly decided to go for it on fourth down and his throw to Goedert was completed for a first down. Goedert beat Lavonte David on the play. Hurts did a nice job of navigating through pressure and getting a ball to Goedert but it went through his hands. Bad missed opportunity since Goedert had a lot of room to run after the catch. The Eagles got to a 3rd-and-11 and ran a screen to Sanders for one yard. Why that call in that spot? The Eagles went for it on 4th-and-10 ... and Hurts’ throw to Jalen Reagor (WHY IS HE THE TARGET?!) was short and nearly picked off by the Bucs. Turnover on downs.
- The Bucs went three-and-out after Ryan Kerrigan (WHAT!) sacked Brady to force another punt.
- A screen pass to Goedert went for 32 yards ... but it was called back for a really bullshit holding penalty on Jason Kelce. Really bad.
The Eagles FINALLY targeted DeVonta Smith for the first time with 1:55 left in the second quarter ... and, naturally, the play was called back due to a penalty on Quez Watkins. Great. The Eagles got knocked back to 1st-and-20 and got to 3rd-and-11 ... and Hurts found Watkins for a 35-yard gain into field goal range. Nice! Hurts rolled left and tried to throw to a wide open Smith in the front left corner of the end zone ... but the ball was picked off by backup safety Mike Edwards. Talk about a huge momentum killer. Eagles could’ve at least had a chance to make it a two score game.
- The Bucs went three-and-out after getting the ball back. Kerrigan came up with ANOTHER sack (?!) to force the stop. How is he suddenly playing great after doing nothing all season?
- The Eagles got the ball at their own 19-yard line with 11 seconds remaining. The field position was worse than it needed to be with Reagor letting the ball go over his head for some reason on punt return. A Hurts pass to Kenneth Gainwell in the flat ended up being the end of the first half. A real bad one for the Birds.
- Kelce had his second penalty of the day and his third of the season, a holding call while he was trying to block Vita Vea. Hurts threw left and bought time to find Goedert over the middle, who came back to the ball for a 28-yard gain. Hurts had a pick over the middle dropped. On 3rd-and-10, he couldn’t hit a covered Smith beyond the marker.
- Steve Nelson had a nice pass pass breakup to force another Bucs punt. Then Reagor muffed the punt return to allow the Bucs to get the ball back. Just cut this dude. NOW.
- The Bucs went 48 yards in five plays to pick up another touchdown. Game. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 24.
- The Eagles THREW TO REAGOR (why?!) for some reason. The Eagles got a 4th-and-3 and Hurts tried to loft a ball over the defense but Shaq Barrett tipped it and picked it off for the turnover.
- Brady hit Mike Evans for a 36-yard touchdown. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 31.
- Hurts overthrew a wide open Watkins speeding down the field for a would-be touchdown.
- Hurts hit Smith for the receiver’s second reception of the game and the catch-and-run went for 31 yards. Then Boston Scott broke off a run for a 34-yard touchdown. No shutout. EAGLES 7, BUCCANEERS 31.
- The Eagles forced another stop to have the Bucs punt from their own 39-yard line. Reagor muffed the ball AGAIN but recovered this time and ended up running back to where he originally touched the ball at the 7-yard line. The Eagles ended up going 93 yards in 10 plays to cap off the drive with a Kenneth Gainwell 16-yard catch-and-run. The Eagles went for two and Hurts made a play by rolling right and then coming all the way back left to throw into a tight window to DeVonta Smith, who made a great catch. EAGLES 15, BUCCANEERS 31.
- The Eagles went for an onside kick but Jake Elliott kicked the ball right to a Bucs player for an easy recovery. The Bucs ran clock before turning the ball over on downs and the game was over shortly after.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES LOSE, 31 to 15
- Ryan Kerrigan got the start at defensive end in place of Josh Sweat.
- Patrick Johnson got banged up in the second quarter.
- T.J. Edwards (forearm) got hurt in the second quarter. He was originally ruled questionable before being downgraded to out.
- Lane Johnson (knee) was replaced by Le’Raven Clark in the second half.
- Greg Ward (back) was ruled out late in the third quarter.