Eagles vs. Buccaneers Postgame Report: Five Observations from the Eagles 25-11 Win over Tampa Bay

Eagles vs. Buccaneers Postgame Report: Five Observations from the Eagles 25-11 Win over Tampa Bay Sep 25, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Eagles fans cheer after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports


In a battle of unbeatens, the Philadelphia Eagles put together their best defensive performance of the 2023-24 NFL regular season in Monday night’s 25-11 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game was a bit of a mixed bag for Gang Green despite the positive outcome.  The defense came to play but the offense was once again a bit frustrating.  But in the end, the Eagles improved to 3-0 on the season and that’s all that matters.


Here’s five observations from the Eagles vs. Buccaneers:

The Offense is (still) a Work in Progress

Glimpses of the 2022-23 Philadelphia Eagles offense returned on Monday night.  Case in point, Jalen Hurts’ 34-yard touchdown pass to Olamide Zaccheaus was, to borrow from WWE announcer Michael Cole, “vintage” Jalen Hurts.  Hurts bought time with his mobility and sailed a perfectly thrown pass to Zacchaeus for the score.  There were other signs too, Eagles’ OC Brian Johnson was able to get multiple receivers involved, seven to be exact, and obviously the running attack did its thing. 

However, anyone watching could see things are still not “clicking.” the way everyone has expected, especially in the passing game. Hurts’ first interception is a good example of the receiver and quarterback not being on the same page.  There have been a handful of plays in the passing game where Hurts is expecting X and the receiver does Y.  Hurts and the Eagles got lucky Tampa Bay LB Devin White wasn’t 100% because if he’s healthy that’s a pick-six. Whether it’s more “chalk talk” or just more reps, the Eagles need to fix this glaring problem before it costs them at a critical moment. 

Still, despite “not clicking,” the Eagles’ offense put up 472-yards and 25-points.  Just imagine what happens when things finally “click.”

Forcing the Deep Pass…Again!

Sticking with the offense for a second, EVERYONE loves explosive plays however the Eagles seem to be pushing the issue so far in 2023-24.  Last night was another example of not taking what the defense is giving you. I submit as evidence Tampa DB Dee Delaney’s interception of Hurts with 3:55 remaining in the 3rd quarter.  First, it was an incredible interception by Delaney. His closing speed is rather remarkable. So, give credit where credit is due however that ball shouldn’t have been thrown. DeVonta Smith, the intended receiver, was blanketed by two defensive backs.  It’s clear the play was designed to go there at all costs.  Hurts had a player (Dallas Goedert perhaps? Pending a coach’s film review) running a corner pattern at the 20-yard line with a step on the defensive player. 

Hurts is 3-for-13 with two touchdowns and two interceptions on 20-plus yard plays so far in 2023-24.  Both of the interceptions on 20-plus plays came when Hurts attempted to force the ball to the receiver.  Football 101 says the deep pass plays will open up as teams try to stop the Eagles rushing attack. There’s no reason to keep forcing (literally) the issue. 


Jalen Carter is THAT Dude!

Former Birds’ linebacker Seth Joyner has compared rookie defensive tackle Jalen Carter to the late, great Jerome Brown. Boy howdy, he’s exactly correct.  It was evident from Carter’s first snap in an Eagles uniform during the preseason and has become clearer in every game of the regular season. There’s a quickness and smoothness to Carter’s game that is rather remarkable. Everything is fast and finishes violently. Jerome played that way, so did Reggie White, Warren Sapp, and Aaron Donald.  Carter is THAT dude. Good luck trying to stop him.

A Punt Return!

The special teams unit not named Jake Elliott has been, well, not so great for the Philadelphia Eagles under head coach Nick Sirianni.  Things are seemingly turning the corner on the unit as the 2023-24 NFL regular season progresses. Case in point, the Birds unit had a punt return on Monday night! 

Britain Covey’s 52-yard punt return in the 1st quarter led to the Birds first points of the game, a 36-yard field goal by Elliott.  More importantly, it showed the rest of the league the Eagles actually have someone that can push a return every so often.  Covey had himself a nice night, four total returns for 111-yards total and he only got walloped once.  But seriously, the maligned unit has played well to start the season.  The punt return group is second in the NFL in return yards (113) behind Cincinnati with a 18.8 return average.  Of the six punt returns this season, three of the Eagles’ have gone over 20-yards and one over 40-yards.  The punt team has only allowed five returns for 40-yards on the season.  The kickoff team has been solid as well, only allowing 31-yards on two returns. 

“Ban the Tush Push”

Here are some more random thoughts from Eagles vs. Bucs:

  • Enough with the “ban the tush push” commentary.  I agree with Ross Tucker and others, either figure out how to stop it or make part of your offense.

    • On that point, why don’t other teams use it? It’s nearly unstoppable, use the damn play!
    • DeAndre Swift…wow! He’s earning himself a nice contract when he hits free agency after the season.
    • This offensive line…wow! When all is said and done, the groups (yes, multiple) anchored by Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson will go down as some of the best of all-time. Heck, they’re even making kids want to be offensive linemen!

  • Where has Haason Reddick been this year? He has one QB hit and one assisted tackle so far this season. That’s it. I get it, he’s coming off a preseason injury but he’s playing around 70% of the defensive snaps/game.  He needs to be better.
  • It’s time to see more of Nolan Smith if Reddick isn’t going to be effective.  The rookie, who was also banged up after the preseason, shares the same stat line as Reddick but has played around 11% of the defensive snaps on average.
  • Hey ESPN, enough with the split-screen! If I wanted to watch the LA Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals I would.
  • Kudos to the Birds’ fans that traveled down to Tampa.  Once again, a road game sounded like a home game.

  • A win is a win.  The Eagles are putting it together and putting the rest of the NFL on notice. They’re by far the best team in the NFC.
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