Eagles Reach New Low: Embarrassed, 45-17


In a must win game, the Philadelphia Eagles were utterly eviscerated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, dropping to 4-6 on the season. Here’s the recap:

The Eagles get the ball to start the game, as Josh Huff takes it out of the end zone and is tripped up around the 14. Mark Sanchez gets 2 quick completions to Agholor and Ertz, setting up a 3rd and short. DeMarco Murray takes the handoff and fumbles after a few steps. The Bucs recover, but fumble themselves and the ball is ultimately snatched up by the Eagles. After further review, the Eagles retain possession, but the it’s most definitely a questionable call by the officiating crew. With new life, the Eagles start to get into a rhythm. Sanchez takes a few short completions, and Murray finds some space for a gain of 10. Then, on 1st down, Sanchez hits Huff on an inward breaking route. Huff streaks across the field, makes a man miss, and cuts upfield on his way to a 39 yard touchdown. Awesome play by Huff, great timing and anticipation by Sanchez who distributed the ball very well that drive. 7-0, Eagles.

Tampa Bay takes over in hopes of finding an answer to the Eagles opening scoring drive. The Bucs approach midfield after Jameis Winston throws to the far sideline for a conversion. Winston again converts on 3rd and 5, driving the offense into Eagles territory. Facing 3rd long, Winston looks for Mike Evans down the far sideline, but EJ Biggers is tightly trailing the receiver and it falls incomplete. The ensuing punt bounces short of the end zone, but Darren Sproles blows up a player on the Bucs coverage unit, allowing the ball to roll in for a touchback. Heads up play by Sproles.

The Eagles regain possession and DeMarco Murray immediately knifes through the defense for a gain of 16. After Kenjon Barner checks in for a gain of 5, Zach Ertz drops a Sanchez pass that would’ve gone for a 1st. On 3rd and 5, the Bucs pass rush hits home as interior pressure folds the line and Gerald McCoy picks up a sack. Eagles punt.

On second down Bennie Logan sheds the center and hauls down Doug Martin for a loss. On 3rd and 5, a would be failed conversion attempt by Tampa Bay is nullified by a Brandon Graham offsides penalty, and it proves to be a costly one. Doug Martin takes the pitch and cuts upfield, outrunning the defense for a 58-yard gain. Then, on 2nd and goal, Winston throws a perfect fade to Mike Evans who does a great job of high pointing the football and getting his feet in for the TD. Questionable as to whether Evans’ left heel was in, but there’s insufficient evidence to support and incompletion and the call stands. 7-7.

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Josh Huff receives the kick and makes a poor decision taking it deep out of the end zone. Huff only makes it to the 8 yard line, and the Eagles offense sets up shop deep in its own territory. On 2nd and 5 Sanchez over shoots Celek (who should’ve come down with the ball), before missing Ertz who was wide open down the seam. Donnie Jones comes on for the punt, but Bucs ultimately get great field position near midfield.

The Eagles defense comes on and has another rough drive. Mychal Kendricks makes a nice play, coming up with a tackle for loss, but that’s the highlight of the drive for the defense. An odd delayed handoff to Charles Simms catches the front off balance, and the back picks up a nice gain. Winston threads a perfect pass to Evans who picks up another big conversion. Then, inside the Eagles red zone, Vincent Jackson gets the inside on a slant and Winston hits him in stride for the touchdown. Not a banner day thus far for the defense. 14-7, Bucs.

The Eagles offense has a quick 3 and out and punts back to Tampa Bay. Sproles had two touches for a total of 3, and Sanchez failed to connect with Agholor on 3rd down.

The Bucs again regain possession, and this time it’s an Eagle with a big play. Walter Thurmond bends the edge and strips Winston who’s cocking back to throw. Unfortunately, the Bucs are able to recover and retain possession, though they lose 8 in the process. The Bucs fortuitousness continues; Mychal Kendricks makes a tremendous play to strip Bobby Rainey as he’s diving towards the grass, but the ball tips off the heal of a lineman and lands in a Bucs player’s arms. Bucs are forced to punt.

Quick 3 and out for the Eagles. An obvious receiver screen loses yardage, and then Sanchez throws short of the sticks. Ertz catches the ball and attempts to hurdle a defender, and lands awkwardly on his head. Scary play but Ertz looks to be ok as he walks off the field.

Jameis Winston is back under center, and the Eagles defense is in trouble yet again. Doug Martin takes the handoff and squeaks through the line, bursting into the second and third levels practically unopposed. Martin streaks downfield with Nolan Carroll in pursuit, who slows the back down enough for Barwin to make the tackle short of the goal line. Huge run for the Bucs. Shortly after Winston finds a man in the back of the end zone for a sliding touchdown. Nolan Carroll was in coverage. Rough day for Carroll and the defense, who’ve had a very good year to this point. 21-7 all Bucs.

The Eagles offense shows life. A few short throws and a 10 yard run up the gut by Murray sets the Eagles up in Bucs territory. Then, the Eagles suck the Bucs in and Sproles catches the screen. Sproles cuts upfield in a hurry, follows a block, and slices into the end zone for 6. As ugly as things have been, the Eagles are now only down one score, 21-14.

Tampa Bay takes over and quickly cross midfield into Eagles territory. On 3rd and 5, there appears to be some miscommunication between Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond, who can’t get lined up properly. The two flip at the last minute, and Simms ends up wide open for the easy conversion. A 3rd down pass has Winston and the offense short of the sticks, but Lovie Smith elects to challenge the spot. Dumb challenge. Not sure what Lovie saw, but it’s pretty obvious that the ball was short. The Bucs offense stays on the field, and Martin easily dives through the line for the 1st. Winston hits his receiver on a crossed to put the Bucs inside the Eagles 15. Connor Barwin bats a pass into the ground, before nearly intercepting the following pass. Winston drops back on 3rd down, and lobs an ugly ball towards the goal line under pressure. Given how things have gone to this point, it’s no surprise that Kendricks doesn’t get turned around, and Byron Maxwell comes in a half beat late. Simms somehow comes down with the ball and backs in for the touchdown. More ugly plays and blown opportunities for the Eagles defense. 28-14, Bucs.

The Eagles regain possession with one minute on the clock, in hopes of getting something going. Sanchez finds Brent Celek over the middle for a nice gainer that puts the offense at midfield. Following a false start penalty on Jason Peters, Sanchez absorbs a late hit that draws a roughing the passer penalty. Now at the Tampa 35, Sanchez fails to connect on several short passes, before forcing a ball into coverage on 3rd and 10. The pass is intercepted by the Bucs. Awful decision by Sanchez who had Nelson Agholor wide open with a ton of open space. The Bucs go into halftime with a 2 touchdown lead.

The Bucs receive the ball to start the second half. More penalties and a series of plays move the Bucs to midfield. A nice stop on second down gives the Eagles defense an opportunity to get off the field, but they’re flagged yet again for having 12 men on the field. Now in Eagles territory, Fletcher Cox combines for a tackle for loss on 1st down. Then, following a false start, Cox gets penetration but can’t bring down Winston who narrowly tosses the ball in the direction of Martin. On 3rd and 16, Winston has all day and finds a wide open Vincent Jackson to put he Bucs in the red zone. Vinny Curry is down and in pain on the play, and the trainers come out to tend to him. The Bucs are hit for consecutive penalties for a net loss of 15, but Winston hits a beautiful seam pass to Cameron Brate for another conversion. The Bucs are chewing a ridiculous amount of clock, with 5:33 left in the 3rd and the Bucs inside the 10. Brate goes up in the end zone and brings the pass in for a touchdown. Kiko Alonso was in coverage. Disastrous day, 35-14.

The Eagles takeover with their hopes dwindling, down 3 scores. On 3rd and long Sanchez finds Cooper to extend the drive. That’s Cooper’s first catch in over 30 days. A few plays later, Sanchez faces another 3rd and long. Sanchez drops back and is under a ton of pressure; somehow he escapes but is forced to hurry his throw and it falls incomplete. Sanchez hasn’t been good, but the line has been a mess yet again today. Eagles punt rolls into the end zone for a touchback.

The Bucs get the football back, and, being up big, are content with chewing some clock. Several consecutive runs are good for another conversion, and then Winston threads the needle to Evans who goes up high to reel it in (Never mind about just chewing clock) . The pass rush is still nowhere to be found. A few more runs has the Bucs deep into Eagles territory (have they punted today?), and somehow Humphries drops a layup touchdown, bringing up 4th down. The Bucs hit the short field goal to go up 38-14.

The Eagles offense regains possession. Brent Celek gains some separation and Sanchez finds him over the middle for a solid gain. DeMarco Murray catches a screen and turns upfield, before being brought down by the ankle. The ball pops out, but Murray is clearly down, although the refs (surprise) fail to see it. The Bucs are momentarily awarded possession before a review gives the Eagles back the ball. It’s short lived, however, as Sanchez throws another awful pass a mile behind a well covered Riley Cooper, and into the arms of a defender.

The Bucs takeover on the interception, but quickly go 3 and out. Barwin and Carroll have batted balls on the series.

With about 8 minutes left the Eagles complete a few passes and move the ball into enemy territory. Celek, Cooper and others contribute, before Miles Austin drops a 3rd down pass. Shocking. Some will complain about Kelly kicking a field goal at this point, but seriously, what difference does it make? 38-17.

The Bucs go 3 and out again, and a good punt pins the Eagles inside the 10.

Sanchez comes out and immediately throws a pick six to Lavonte David on a screen to Sproles. There’s contention as to who was at fault, but it’s another hilariously awful miscue by the offense. By the way, there was an illegal substitution penalty on the offense. 45-17.

The Eagles run a few plays and then punt away, leading to the end of regulation.


Awful game across the board, with literally no bright spots to be had. Well, I guess Fletcher Cox is still pretty awesome, so there’s one thing.

Doug Martin ran for over 250 yards at over 10 ypc. Winston threw 5 touchdown passes. Sanchez threw 3 interceptions, including a pick six. This game was every bit as brutal as these stats suggest.

The Eagles still aren’t eliminated from playoff contention; not by a long shot in an ugly NFC East. But the way they played today it’s hard to imagine them being able to get wins against teams like New England, Buffalo, or Arizona. I would consider their season ostensibly over after today, but stranger things have happened. Hopefully the team can remain somewhat competitive down the stretch, and finish 2015 on a positive note. The Eagles next take on the Lions on Thanksgiving day.