After an 11-day layoff, the Eagles played their much anticipated comeback game in Tampa, Florida, and the wait was well worth it. They showed dominance over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night in the stifling Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won with a final score of 25-11, displaying a strong defensive effort, noteworthy special teams work, and a flexible offense that accumulated a total of 472 net yards.
An outstanding team effort was displayed in front of a sizable group of Eagles supporters who had descended into Tampa. Here are some important lessons learned from this road victory, which was quarterback Jalen Hurts’ 20th triumph in his previous 21 starts during the regular season, including nine triumphs in a row:
1. Explosive Offense: Late in the second quarter, the Eagles executed a five-play, 84-yard drive that featured many big plays. Hurts was instrumental in extending the Eagles’ lead to 10-3 by completing 5 of 6 throws for 80 yards, including a touchdown pass of 34 yards to Olamide Zaccheaus.
2. Defense’s Takeaway Surge: The defense stepped up in response to the offensive momentum, with safety Reed Blankenship making a vital interception. By utilizing the error, the Eagles took control at the Tampa Bay 37-yard line. The Eagles eventually committed a turnover, but the defense promptly answered with another interception. Running back Rachaad White was stripped of the ball by defensive tackle Jalen Carter, and cornerback James Bradberry recovered it at the 34-yard line for Tampa Bay. Due to Carter’s strong presence, two fumbles occurred in back-to-back plays, which ultimately led to Jake Elliott’s 38-yard field goal and a 13-3 advantage at the half.
3. Depth and Young Talent: The Eagles showed both the depth of their squad and the rise of young players. Three plays in particular stood out: cornerback Josh Jobe’s tight coverage, the sack by defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu, and the forceful tackle by safety Reed Blankenship.
4. “Never Quit on a Play”: Rookie safety Sydney Brown’s tenacious attempt to intercept a pass intended for wide receiver Mike Evans in the end zone demonstrated the significance of “Never Quit on a Play.” Brown’s perseverance led to a crucial missed pass that at first glance looked like a touchdown.
5. Dominant Defense: The Eagles’ defense put out an outstanding first-half effort, holding Tampa Bay to just 86 total net yards on 29 plays, averaging just 3.0 yards per play. On just 11 carries, Tampa Bay’s ground offense managed just 20 rushing yards. Baker Mayfield, the quarterback, had one interception and passed for 66 yards. In Tampa Bay’s opening eight possessions, the Eagles’ defense induced punts, got a safety, and produced two takeaways.
6. Outwitting Vita Vea: Tampa Bay’s imposing defensive tackle, Vita Vea, was successfully neutralized by the offensive line’s ingenious maneuver. Vea was handled by the guards and center in turns, who used combination blocks to cause him to go laterally. Vea’s inability to close the gap on the ball carriers was taken advantage of by the Eagles’ running strategy.
7. Balanced Offensive Drive: The second half’s first drive showed off a well-balanced offensive strategy. In 13 plays, the Eagles covered 75 yards, taking over 6 minutes out of the game. Hurts completed the drive by scoring from one yard out on the fourth down, bringing the Eagles’ advantage to 20-3.
8. Important Jalen Carter: Jalen Carter contributed with a half-sack, two forced fumbles, a quarterback hit, and two tackles in a spectacular performance. His adaptability and capacity to influence the game were both clear.
9. Slay’s Coverage: Cornerback Darius Slay showed outstanding defensive play against one of the NFL’s top wide receivers by limiting Mike Evans to just two catches for 13 yards through three quarters.
10. Safety’s Safety: Linebacker Nicholas Morrow made an important play, stopping Rachaad White in the end zone to guarantee a safety. The Eagles’ third-quarter lead increased to 22-3 thanks to this outstanding defensive play.
11. Britain Covey’s Contributions: Covey excelled in the punt return game, averaging 27 yards on three attempts and displaying explosive potential.
12. The Eagles will be keeping an eye on any updates on injuries in the upcoming week due to Boston Scott’s concussion, Quez Watkins’ hamstring, Justin Evans’ neck, Sydney Brown’s thigh, and Landon Dickerson’s knee contusion.
13. Swift’s Stellar Performance: D’Andre Swift continued to shine, amassing 130 yards on 16 carries and solidifying his position as a major player.
14. Receiving prowess: Dallas Goedert and A.J. Brown were instrumental in the offense, racking up big catches and yardage.
15. Special Teams Solidity: Jake Elliott maintained his precision with three successful field goals and two PATs, and new punter Braden Mann impressed with a well-placed punt.