The Eagles dropped to 2-4 on the season after a demoralizing 28-22 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
The offense again struggled to get going early on. After their opening 75-yard drive resulted in a touchdown including a 45 yard pass interference penalty, the next 5 drives ended in 4 punts and a gross interception by Jalen Hurts.
Philadelphia trailed 21-7 at the half.
They were unable to create the same magic that led them to a comeback win last week in the second half, but they did make things interesting with two second half touchdowns to bring the deficit within one touchdown.
Overall, it was a poor showing from both the head coach and quarterback, who finished with 115 passing yards, 3 total touchdowns, and an interception.
Make no mistake about it, Jalen Hurts was bad on Thursday night. He struggled with accuracy, decision making, and going through progressions. As a result, the offense was stagnant for much of the 1st half. So much so, that they were only able to muster 73 yards of offense through 2 quarters.
The Eagles offense was dominated in time of possession (39:56 – 20:04), they were out-gained in total yards (399 – 213) and Tampa Bay picked up 27 first downs to the Eagles 16.
The Eagles defense was again able to come up with an interception, but outside of the second quarter turnover, they were unable to contain Tampa Bay’s weapons. Tom Brady completed 34 of 42 passes for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brady wasn’t sacked once.
Leonard Fournette ran 22 times (the Eagles ran the ball 19 total times with their running backs) for 81 yards and 2 scores.
Jonathan Gannon once again called a conservative defensive game, staying in soft coverage shells for majority of the matchup. The personnel obviously isn’t to his liking for what he wants to do, but that’s no excuse for watching his unit get gashed play after play and rarely adjusting.
But, at the same time, the personnel or lack thereof is an indictment on the man who assembled this roster and his devaluing of one of the most crucial positions within Gannon’s scheme.
The Eagles offense didn’t hit the 100 yard mark as a team until the 4th quarter. They barely ran the ball up until the 4th quarter. Miles Sanders, the team’s RB1 had 1 (single, uno) carry at halftime. The offense was anemic and stagnant for most of the night.
Horrendous play-calling and an over reliance on RPOs doomed the Eagles because once Todd Bowles’ defense took that away, the offense literally could not move the ball.
The overarching message that this game leaves is that the QB and head coach must get on the same page. Yes, the quarterback must improve his play, but the head coach must do his part in helping his 2nd year quarterback.
Does it make sense to have a limited 2nd year quarterback as the Eagles do, and run the ball as rarely as this Eagles team does? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
And I get it, they played the league’s number one rushing defense, but that doesn’t mean you become one dimensional and abandon the run altogether. With what they want to do offensively (be a heavy RPO team, even though that isn’t sustainable) the running game should be a staple of this offense, but it isn’t.
The bottom line is right now, this offense isn’t good enough. They can’t sustain drives, they can’t move the ball vertically at a consistent rate, and they don’t seem to have any type of flow or feel for what they want to do.
Through 6 games, what can you point to and say: this is what the Eagles offense under Nick Sirianni does well?
This offense more so resembles a high school offense that is throwing things at the wall in an effort to see what sticks. Things look bleak for Philadelphia currently and it’s an indictment on everyone in the organization.
I’ll leave you with a bit of optimism.
In addition to the points made above, one of the biggest things we learned in this game is the fight in this Eagles team. As stated, Philadelphia trailed 21-7 at the half. They fought all the way back to make it 22-28. For the second week in a row, this team was able to find its footing and fight.
The only difference being, this week they faced Tom Brady vs. last week when they faced Sam Darnold.
The Eagles will be back in action next Sunday in Las Vegas.
Cover Image Credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images