By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Eagles entered the half down big against the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
The Eagles showed some fight late, but down 21 and with continued stalls on offense, the hole they dug garnering a single score and countless three and outs in the first half proved too much.
Had Sirianni and Hurts managed to put literally any single drive beyond the first one in the first half, this would have been a real ball game. Instead, the pair continued to show extended stretches of total incompetence that doomed the team against a superior team they otherwise had a chance to beat.
Unfortunately, it looks like this is a trend fans should expect for the rest of this season with only a few wins making their way in when the team decides to put together a full-game effort.
Who else? This guy is the offensive MVP every week. He's the real deal. Not only did he lose out on a no-call for pass interference that prevented a touchdown, but even more impressive is he fought through enormous contact, came up with the ball and even managed to get one foot down with no room available. He's the real deal folks and what is perhaps the most impressive is that his top attribute is speed and the Eagles really haven't utilized that because he's never hit in stride deep or across the middle. The only time he's hit in stride is when he's going out of bounds and has to make a good play to drag his feet to make sure the catch registers.
Sure Harris had an INT, but that was a poor pass and not much that Harris did. Instead, it was Maddox who appeared most impressive in this matchup, seemingly not allowing any major catches to be completed while also making quite a few plays in the run game to shut down screens that likely would have been first downs without strong tackles. Maddox has shown great improvement moving to the slot this season and that might be good news for the Eagles as he could be a building block for this team, but also slot corners tend to be signed for less in free agency, so he shouldn't break the bank if they retain him.
- One rush in the first half? I don't care if it's the top run defense in the league. In fact, I don't care if you're running at a literal brick wall, there is no reason to run so few times. The record really shouldn't matter that much; if you continue to make the same stupid decision week after week, particularly when you're called out on it week after week.
- I really don't know why Hurts waits so long for deep passes, particularly when they're all underthrown. If he throws it sooner, maybe he can hit these guys in stride instead of them need to stop running to make the catch. It's probably one of the relatively easier ways that Hurts could improve.
- Much of this game, particularly the first half, felt like I was watching Carson Wentz last season. Hurts continues to miss so many easy passes of 5-8 yards to open receivers in addition to the deep balls. The good news is that Hurts isn't taking the sacks Wentz did, but
- I don't understand the Alex Singleton hate by so many fans. Is he the best, no. His tackles are sloppy, but he makes them. When we see nearly every other defender on the team who's not on the defensive line get trucked week after week, why are you targeting the one guy who at least makes sure the tackle gets made at some point?
- Somehow, Gannon was able to get his defense going a bit in the second half, but it's amazing how the receivers were all so open early on with only four rushers and a single linebacker covering the middle of the field. If there's two receivers open on every play, what are the six guys that are supposed to be covering three doing?
- On the positive side, the two-point conversion was actually a wise move (one of the few Sirianni has made in multiple months here) and was good to see even if we hadn't gotten to see Hurts and Watkins combine on a great play.
- Free Miles Sanders! The man can run, where could we find a coach with eyes to notice this?
- The refs in this game were so indecisive. They couldn't even agree with each other on the calls they were making and that's not something you see every day.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles – October 14, 2021