Honestly, it’s a bit of a relief that it’s finally over. Watching this team lately has just not been fun. Crazy to say about a team that was once 10-1 with hopes of going back to the Super Bowl. But seeing them go 1-5 in their final six regular season games was miserable. Getting blown out by the Bucs on Monday night is ultimately a merciful ending.
Of course, there are now many questions what happens with the Eagles from here. It’s hard to believe Nick Sirianni is back after overseeing such an epic collapse to end the season ... right? “Three straight years in the playoffs” sounds a lot better when you gloss over how two of those years involved getting dominated by the Bucs in the wild card round. And how can one believe he has answers to fix this?
The coaching staff is obviously just one part of the puzzle. There are many personnel decisions that will need to made ... and not all by the team. Did we just see the last of Jason Kelce? Brandon Graham? Lane Johnson? Fletcher Cox? How will Howie Roseman fix his mistakes, notably on the defensive side of the ball?
The future is uncertain.
For now, a frustrating 2023 Eagles season is over.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show.
- Jalen Hurts talked to ESPN about his finger injury.
More Jalen Hurts on his finger injury, via @saltersl:— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 16, 2024
“I’m not going to lie to you, it’s very annoying to have this going on. I’m not sure how it’s going to go.”
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer (per usual), putting the Bucs on offense first. Baker Mayfield sailed his first pass for an incompletion. His next pass was a completion over the middle to Cade Otton for a first down with Avonte Maddox trailing. Then he found a wide open Mike Evans open the middle for a gain into Eagles territory. Two Rachaad White carries combined for another first down. Facing 3rd-and-3 after a Mayfield misfire, James Bradberry and Bradley Roby had a chance to tackle White short of the sticks after a short catch ... instead, poor tackling resulted in a Bucs first down. Terrible. Facing 3rd-and-3 after Otton dropped a touchdown pass (no call on Maddox pass interference), a Mayfield miscommunication resulted in an Eagles stop! Nothing short of a miracle that the Eagles somehow forced two third downs and ultimately prevented a touchdown. Of course, they were aided by the Bucs’ miscues. And the cowardice of Todd Bowles, who easily should’ve went for it against this defense. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 3.
- Hurts removed the glove that he warmed up with on his throwing hand. The Eagles started by running the ball with D’Andre Swift, exactly like they should have. Two runs, one first down. Then they went empty backfield and Hurts’ first pass attempt was to Julio Jones for a short gain. Another short completion to Dallas Goedert gained more than it could have with the tight end battling through contact after a bit of a hospital ball. Facing 3rd-and-2, the Bucs brought the blitz and Hurts aired it out to two targets in the same area (what kinda spacing is that?) and had his pass knocked down. Why not just Brotherly Shove it? If you don’t get it on third down, you can do it again on 4th-and-1. The Eagles punted from their 44-yard line.
Bucs blitz, Eagles have vertical routes down the field. ♻️— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) January 16, 2024
- Bad punt from Braden Mann only went 35 yards to the Bucs’ 21-yard line. Mayfield to David Moore went for 22 yards, plus another 15 for a Zach Cunningham face mask penalty. Mayfield took a deep shot to Mike Evans, who cooked Bradberry but dropped the potential touchdown pass. Big break for the Birds. The fortune did not last with two Eagles defenders running into each other, leaving Moore wide open for a catch-and-run into the end zone with the Eagles unable to make a tackle. Downright pathetic. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 10.
Demoting Sean Desai for Matt Patricia was such a predictably awful move. Incredibly embarrassing look for whoever decided to do that.#Eagles— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 16, 2024
Nice punt by Nick Sirianni on 4th-and-2. You could totally trust the Eagles’ defense to play well and not give up a TD.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 16, 2024
Nick keeps coaching like his defense will turn it on at some point. But they could not have more clearly quit.— Brent Cohen (@EaglesRewind) January 16, 2024
And he’s gonna get fired cause of it.
- Facing 3rd-and-2, the Bucs blitzed again and Hurts’ short pass to a tightly-covered Goedert was thrown slightly too wide of the target. Three-and-out. Again, you can just Brotherly Shove it twice on 3rd-and-2. Or run the ball!?
- The Bucs drove to the Eagles’ 33-yard line to end the first quarter.
- Josh Sweat picked up his first sack since Week 9 to knock the Bucs back. Facing 3rd-and-13, Cunningham dropped an interception over the middle. Chase McLaughlin came in for the 54-yard field goal attempt and drilled it. Three possessions, three scores for the Bucs. EAGLES 0, BUCCANEERS 13.
- The Bucs blitzed on first down and a rushed Hurts throw to DeVonta Smith was off target and incomplete. The next play, Hurts hit DeVonta for a 31-yard catch-and-run into Bucs territory. DeVonta broke some tackles after a short catch for another first down. Facing 3rd-and-7 after a short pass and a Hurts run for no gain (so, a sack) after he hesitated instead of committing to taking off downfiel, the Bucs blitzed and Hurts’ pass was high and incomplete. Sirianni brought Jake Elliott in for the 47-yard field goal make. Hey, didn’t get shut out in the first half this week! EAGLES 3, BUCCANEERS 13.
- Mayfield just barely overthrew downfield to Evans, who got his hands on the ball but couldn’t make the grab. Facing 3rd-and-6, Mayfield took off running to move the chains. More poor tackling from the Eagles allowed another first down with yards after the catch. Otton dropped another pass in stride from Mayfield. Facing 3rd-and-1, the Eagles defense stuffed White short of the marker. Todd Bowles (wisely) kept the offense back on the field ... and a toss play resulted in a first down. Facing 3rd-and-5, Mayfield threw behind his target and Cunningham was able to break up the pass. The Bucs attempted a 48-yard field goal and made it. EAGLES 3, BUCCANEERS 16.
- The Eagles attempted a shitty screen play where they couldn’t even execute it right and had an ineligible man downfield penalty. Hurts to Julio Jones went for a first down with the wide receiver hurt after the play. He fumbled but was able to recover the ball underneath him. Hurts aired it out deep to DeVonta, who made the catch for 55 yards. Next play, Hurts to a crossing Goedert wide open for the score. And it was a game. The Bucs jumped offside on the PAT kick and the Eagles accepted the penalty to go for two from the 1-yard line. Brotherly Shove attempted was ... STOPPED. Wow. Right call to go for it, just didn’t work out. Also, missed face mask call on K.J. Britt who was basically trying to rip Hurts’ head off in the pile. EAGLES 9, BUCCANEERS 16.
The Eagles are now 17/18 on Brotherly Shoves this season. Vita Vea is the only known entity on this planet to have stopped it. pic.twitter.com/DGUDuhBI8t— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) October 24, 2023
- The Bucs took over at their own 25 with 3:06 on the clock and three timeouts to work with. The Bucs got to the Eagles’ 45-yard line at the two-minute warning. Facing 3rd-and-10 with the clock stopped, the Eagles called a timeout to avoid a penalty with Eli Ricks late to get off the field. Facing 3rd-and-10 for real, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox combined to sack Mayfield. Cox and Luke Goedeke got into it a bit after the play but no flags. A stop! The Eagles forced punt! It’s a miracle!
- Britain Covey was able to recover his muffed punt to have the Eagles take over at their own 9-yard line with 1:32 on the clock and just one timeout to work with. Screen pass to Kenny Gainwell for nine yards and then Gainwell stumbled on a run to only pick up one for a first down. Not efficient time-wise. A completion to DeVonta for a first down at the Eagles own’ 32-yard line forced the Eagles’ final timeout with 0:32 left. DeVonta almost made a crazy leaping back-shoulder catch down the right sideline but could only get one foot down with the throw being high. Facing 3rd-and-8 with 0:22 on the clock, a screen pass to Quez Watkins resulted in him being tackled in-bounds and the clock running out. Poor two-minute drill to not even at least get a Hail Mary attempt there.
Quez screen in bounds with no timeouts and 25 yards outside field goal range, you have to respect their consistency at driving their ship straight into that iceberg no matter what— Matt Carey (@RealMattCarey) January 16, 2024
- The Eagles began the second half with a Swift run for a one-yard loss. Then the Bucs blitzed and Hurts threw it off his backfield to a tightly-covered Quez Watkins, who wanted a flag but didn’t get one. Hurts was sacked on third down for a three-and-out. Awesome drive.
- Mayfield had all day to throw and overthrew an open White for what would’ve been a big play. Facing 3rd-and-7, Nolan Smith beat the Bucs’ right tackle to combine with Fletcher Cox for a sack. Nice to see a splash play from the rookie first-round pick.
Nolan Smith off the edge!! Smith and Cox split the sack. Smith celebrating with BG makes me so happy. pic.twitter.com/0en4ZEqIcW— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) January 16, 2024
- The Eagles took over at their own 13-yard line. Hurts took off running and took a shot to the head while going down but that call was offset with Cam Jurgens’ holding penalty. Hurts quick throw to DeVonta in the flat was tackled for a five-yard loss, never had a chance of working. Facing 3rd-and-9, Goedert couldn’t grab the ball that would’ve been caught short of the sticks anyway ... but a late flag came in for DPI and a first down. Two straight Swift runs brought up another third down. Facing 3rd-and-6, the Bucs brought the blitz and a quick throw to Gainwell in the flat went for a single yard. The offense makes it just so easy for the defense.
You would like to see more fire from Eagles players after their QB gets illegally hit.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 16, 2024
- The Bucs drove to the Eagles’ 36-yard line in five plays. Facing 3rd-and-1, Milton Williams came up big to sack Mayfield for a nine-yard loss to knock Tampa out of field goal range. Third straight punt forced by the Eagles’ defense?!
- Gainwell danced around in the backfield for a loss of six yards. Why not Swift? Hurts throwing from his own end zone to Goedert brought up third down. Facing 3rd-and-6, Hurts dropped his eyes against pressure and was called for intentional grounding in his own end zone for a safety. Terrible. Can’t happen. Back to a two-possession game. EAGLES 9, BUCCANEERS 18.
Imagine taking a safety on a play that started at the 14 yard line pic.twitter.com/RwLFQ41HH8— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) January 16, 2024
Wasn't a third down blitz that got Jalen Hurts to take a safety. Todd Bowles rushed just four on that play. The #Eagles QB didn't appear to have anyone open, but he obviously can't take the sack there in the end zone.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 16, 2024
- The Bucs took over at their own 38-yard line after the safety free kick. Two plays later, Trey Palmer took a short pass to the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown. Bradberry missed the initial tackle and Kevin Byard whiffed instead of being able to clean it up. More terrible tackling. Game. EAGLES 9, BUCCANEERS 25.
- The Eagles drove to 1st-and-10 at the Bucs’ 22-yard line and then had two straight OL penalties (Jurgens illegally downfield, Jordan Mailata false start) to get knocked back to 2nd-and-22. Facing 3rd-and-21 after a short pass to Swift, Hurts checked down to Swift. Down 16 points facing 4th-and-10, Sirianni brought in Elliott for a 40-yard field goal. The Bucs were called offside and the Eagles decided to send the offense back out. Facing 4th-and-5, Hurts’ pass went through the hands of both Carlton Davis and DeVonta for a turnover on downs.
Sirianni’s job is very realistically on the line and he chose to kick a FG down 16 from the 22 in the 4th quarter - I don’t care if it’s 4th and goal from there, turning a 2 possession game into a 2 possession game with this defense is pointless. It really feels like he’s done.— Dan (@snaxonly) January 16, 2024
If I ever put a QB through what Philly is putting Jalen through , I apologize. Pick up a blitz !— Jay Gruden (@Coach_JayGruden) January 16, 2024
Frustration on the Eagles sideline— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 16, 2024
- The Bucs took over at their own 17-yard line with 11:57 left. They drove just outside of the red zone. Facing 3rd-and-7 at the Eagles’ 23-yard line, Mayfield threw off his back foot to find Chris Godwin for a touchdown to erase any remaining doubt. EAGLES 9, BUCCANEERS 32.
- The Eagles took over with 5:42 remaining. Five plays, 15 yards, turnover on downs.
- The Bucs ran the clock out.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES LOSE, 32 to 9
EAGLES LINEUP NOTES
- Avonte Maddox started at safety with Reed Blankenship out.
- James Bradberry seemingly got benched for Kelee Ringo.
EAGLES INJURY NEWS
- Julio Jones got banged up late in the second quarter. He was evaluated in the concussion protocol and ruled out.
- Darius Slay got hurt late in the game. He was carted off the field.
- Dallas Goedert went down late in the game.