The Philadelphia Eagles made an early playoff exit on Sunday with their 31-15 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa controlled this game from the opening kickoff to the end of the game. Philadelphia was shut out in this game up until the fourth quarter. The Eagles seemingly could not get anything going on the offensive side of the ball and struggled on the defensive side of the ball as they gave up a lot of points. This article will recap the Philadelphia Eagles’ Wild Card Game against the Tampa Buccaneers.
Jalen Hurts Struggled a lot of the game
Jalen Hurts did not have his best game against Tampa on Saturday. He was inaccurate throwing the ball for much of the game. He was missing a lot of his receivers high, and it just didn’t seem like he was comfortable throwing the ball. Furthermore, his inaccuracy throwing the ball cost him a couple of interceptions.
One interception was a deep pass into the end zone, which safety Mike Edwards jumped in front the DeVonta Smith and had an easy interception. This was due to Jalen Hurts holding on to the ball for too long. If he would have thrown the ball a few seconds faster, it could have been an Eagles touchdown. His other interception was again because he held on to the ball for too long and tried to force the pass down field and Shaq Barrett tip the ball and intercepted the pass. Hurts did not get a lot of power into the throw because he threw while avoiding defenders. Hurts needed to just throw the ball away in that situation. He ended up passing for 258 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Eagles gave up running the Ball
Another aspect of this game that very well could of cost them a shot of winning was Philadelphia giving up on the rushing attack. The Eagles had a total of 95 yards rushing during this game. Miles Sanders had seven carries for 16 yards. This was also his first game back since he got injured which could have contributed to the lack of production.
One of the more bothersome facts in this game was that Boston Scott got one carry the entire game. Besides Sanders, he has been one of the Eagles’ most productive rushers. He had a great game against Washington in Week 17 where he two touchdowns rushing and receiving. His only touch of this game was a 34-yard touchdown run, which is even more complexing as to why the Eagles did not use him earlier in the game. Another haunting fact is that Hurts had the most rushing yards, but he also had very minimal attempts. The Eagles have depth at the running back position but did not use any of it.
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Dallas Goedert was by far the Eagles best pass catcher in this game. He always seemed to bail the Eagles out with a big play when it looked bleak. Goedert would have had a bigger day if some of his pass completions were not taken back because of penalties. He had 92 yards receiving during this game. Devonta Smith also saw action as he was the second leading receiver for 60 yards. His route running was excellent, and he found ways to get open.
As for Quez Watkins, He had a big completion in this game that took the Eagles near the red zone. He has been clutch for the Eagles as of late and should be dangerous weapon in the Eagles arsenal for as long as they can keep him. Kenneth Gainwell got the only passing touchdown in this game. Gainwell is a running back, but the Eagles utilized him as a receiver in this game. He had 49 yards and one touchdown.
The defense did not have a lot of answers for Tom Brady. He picked them apart the whole game. He had passes to wide-open receivers. There was one play where the Philadelphia just forgot about Rob Gronkowski, he caught what could have been the easiest touchdown of his career.
Tampa just didn’t do it through the air, but they also ran the ball efficiently. The first drive of the game the Buccaneers just ran the ball against the Eagles at will. They capped the drive off with a touchdown. The Eagles do deserve some credit pressuring Tom Brady. They sacked him four times in this game, which was probably one of the best aspects for Philadelphia. Ryan Kerrigan led the way for the Eagles in sacks with one and a half. He really stepped up for the Eagles in this game and it was nice see a veteran of his caliber have a great day. Other players who got sacks were Alex Singleton, Javon Hargrave and Derek Barnett. Singleton also led the teams in tackles with 16. He has become of the one the better linebackers in the league.
In conclusion, it was an all-around lack luster day for Philadelphia. The biggest loser coming out of this game is Jalen Hurts. He needed a good playoff game to solidify himself as a starter next year. Now, the Eagles could be looking at taking a quarterback in the upcoming draft or even give Gardner Minshew an opportunity. He will be in a battle during the offseason. This is not to take anything away from Hurts, he led the Eagles to the playoffs in a year where most of the fans and analysts had the Eagles winning very few games. People need to give him credit for that and even though he made his life harder, he should still be the front runner for the starting job next season. This concludes the Philadelphia Eagles’ recap of their Wild Card game.