The injury bug showed no mercy to the Birds today. Already without Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffrey, Darren Sproles was ruled out before the game after suffering a hamstring injury during the week.
During the game, the team lost Jason Peters, Jay Ajayi, and Mike Wallace early in the game. Three important cogs in an already shorthanded offense were taken out of play quickly, leaving the team really reeling early on.
When Kamar Aiken has to have a prominent role in the offense after being signed off the street earlier in the week, and Wendell Smallwood sees significant snaps, you know the offense is in for a rough day. Ajayi was able to return in the second half, but the damage was done.
Defensively, the Eagles didn’t have any kind of answer for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tampa offense. The Bucs lit up the defense for two 75-yard touchdowns, one to DeSean Jackson, another to O.J. Howard.
They couldn’t generate a consistent pass rush on Ryan Fitzpatrick. They couldn’t get off of the field on third downs. Ugly showing for this group. When the team needed a stop at the end of the game, they couldn’t get it done. A critical second and long completion to Jackson cost the offense an opportunity to win the game at the end.
Fitzpatrick let the defense up for over 400 yards and four scores. That’s just not acceptable.
- I thought Nick Foles played a pretty good game, all things considered. When you think about the lack of a supporting cast around him, this was not an easy spot to be in. However, Foles made good decisions for most of the day, and gave the team a chance to at least stay in the game.
- Great catch in the back of the endzone by Nelson Agholor on a fourth and goal play that kept the Eagles in the game.
- I thought the Eagles managed the clock poorly late in the fourth quarter. They didn’t get their plays in quickly enough, and three straight unsuccessful runs by Jay Ajayi kept the clock moving, costing the team about a minute and a half off of the clock.
- Where the heck is Dallas Goedert? I didn’t notice him on the field at all. Josh Perkins seemed to be on the field quite a bit more. With the lack of wide receiver talent available, why wasn’t the rookie worked more into the attack?
- The Eagles last-gasp play at the end of the game seemed to be designed similarly to the Music City Miracle play from the Tennessee Titans in 1999, with Nick Foles playing the role of Frank Wycheck, trying to fire across the field to Wendell Smallwood.
- Corey Clement played a big game in place of Jay Ajayi, but took a nasty hit towards the end of the game, likely suffering a concussion.
- I don’t understand why the Eagles would allow Jalen Mills to be matched up against DeSean Jackson without planned help over the top. Mills’ struggles against the deep ball are well known, and he’s an ideal matchup for a burner like Jackson, who always has big games against his former team. Terrible scheme there by Jim Schwartz.
- Mills was also flagged for a holding penalty on Mike Evans late in the fourth quarter that extended a drive.
- Nigel Bradham returned to the defense after serving his suspension, and registered a sack late in the game.
- Fletcher Cox picked up another sack, continuing to be a force in the middle of the team’s defense.
- Great hit by Rodney McLeod to knock a ball into the air and into the arms of Ronald Darby for an interception in the first half.
- Michael Bennett has been almost a complete non-factor through the first two games.
- Is Cameron Johnston the Eagles’ MVP through two games? He’s been absolutely fantastic, averaging over 50 yards a punt, and helping the team gain field position.
- Terrible miss by Jake Elliot on a field goal before the end of the half. Those are critical points that can’t slip away.
- Avonte Maddox made a nice open-field tackle to keep the Bucs pinned deep in the first half.
Well, the Eagles sure ran into a buzzsaw today.
The barrage of injuries that this team suffered finally caught up with them. The offense in its current state just doesn’t have the firepower to come back from a major hole like the one they were in.
Excuses aside, this was a bad game to lose. Taking a loss to a conference opponent is going to hurt this team’s chances of securing home field, which was so valuable to helping them complete their Super Bowl run a year ago.