This Philadelphia Eagles team is not THAT Eagles team. Raise your hand if you've heard that. If not, think back to Week 3. THAT Eagles team made us smile. Now, we’re deliriously hanging on to shreds of false hope that could lead to some scenario where Philly doesn't get bounced from the playoffs in the first round.
That’s why we’re here. That’s why YOU’RE here: We still have hope. But, is there any way this team can get a win in the Wild Card Round of the 2024 playoffs? Let's hope history repeats itself.
The Eagles played their most complete game from start to finish in Week 3. That seems so long ago, doesn't it?
The Eagles dominated in Week 3. There are no two ways about it. The final score was 25-11, but that isn't indicative of how lopsided the game was. Philly outgained the Bucs by a 472-yard to 174-yard margin. Calling this game competitive is a stretch.
The 472 yards gained by the Birds were actually the third most yards that Philadelphia had tallied since the beginning of the 2022 season. 500 yards versus Green Bay in 2022 and 486 versus Minnesota this season were the most. 201 of the yards in the game versus the Vikings came on the ground. 130 yards of that total came courtesy of D’Andre Swift.
Swift was simply outstanding. He hit every hole he was given, which wasn’t necessarily hard to do because the offensive line gave him lanes comparable in size to the Grand Canyon. Still, once he found those holes, he found his burst and made life a living hell for the second level of the Buccaneers’ defense.
A.J. Brown began a historic streak in this one, six consecutive games where he eclipsed 125 yards receiving in this one. He racked up nine catches for 131 yards. Whenever he had the ball in his hands, we saw some classic stuff. He was clean. He was smooth, and he imposed his will on Tampa's defense.
The one area we could criticize would be Philly's red zone offense. They were terrible, scoring just one touchdown despite four trips inside the Bucs' 20-yard line. Three Jake Elliot Field goals were a nice consolation prize, but the Eagles' offense left 12 points on the field.
One bright spot that's been consistent this season has been Britain Covey. He went off in Week 3 to the tune of three returns for 81 yards. His night was highlighted by a 52-yard punt return. He’s had juice all season and this was a great game for him.
This game also saw one of Jalen Hurts' best throws of the year. Despite a collapsing pocket and taking a big hit, he delivered a missile to Olamide Zaccheaus. Hurts somehow threw O.Z. open for a 34-yard touchdown with a perfect ball. *Chef's Kiss*
The defense played great in that game too. I would give up my sense of smell for the rest of my life to see the defense play half as well as this game for an entire season. Reed Blankenship hauled in a great-looking interception off of a late throw by Baker Mayfield. This one doubled as Baker’s first turnover of the season).
Jalen Carter made his impression felt. He punched the ball out of Raschaad White’s hands with a force that would kill most people. In the process, he established himself as a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
Nick Morrow shined too. He tallied THREE sacks, one of which was for a safety. This was easily Morrow's best game of the season (and maybe the best game of his career).
The Buccaneers could NOT run the ball. 17 rushing attempts produced just 41 yards. Much of that was due to Jordan Davis swallowing every running lane that was in his zip code.
If there was anything that actually worked for Tampa Bay, it was Mike Evans. He only had five catches on ten targets, resulting in 60 yards.
A handful of those incompletions, however, were catchable for a player of his caliber, but that has kind of been his M.O. for the past couple of seasons.
The notable thing about Evans’ production and usage, was that he was thrown to on 55% of the Buccaneers’ third down attempts. We know that third and long scenarios are converted at a HEAVY clip against the Eagles’ defense. Let's hope this isn't an issue come Monday night.
If the Eagles can somehow muster the energy they displayed early in this Week 3 game and if somehow the Bucs aid them with another awful offensive game plan, they can win this game. How’s that for positivity?