Easy Work - 28 Immediate Takeaways from Eagles 25, Buccaneers 11
The Eagles weren’t going to lose to Baker Mayfield, right?
That was the best performance of the season, a defense-led, workmanlike win on the road, in the rain, against a 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. It wasn’t perfect, with red zone issues and a couple of Jalen Hurts mishaps through the air, but the Birds shrugged all of that off en route to a 14-point win to improve to 3-0 on the season. After three weeks, they’re one of just three unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL.
If you think about it, it was the perfect Philadelphia win. They won with relative ease but the QB didn’t look amazing, so fans and media have plenty to complain about as we put another one in the W column. Get ready to re-rack all of the columns that were written and all of the monologues that were spoken last week.
To the takeaways:
1) Mike Evans gifted the Birds a drop on a first possession. He was open, too, after a bit of a push off. Would have been a big gain.
2) Too many commercials. It’s an outrage! More football, fewer ads.
3) You gotta like the early catch and run for A.J. Brown coming out of the stupid nothing burger argument of Week 2. Same thing they did with Dallas Goedert the week prior. Hit your guy a couple of times early and put all of that nonsense to bed.
4) KICK THE FIELD GOAL AND TAKE THE POINTS. It’s the opening drive, you don’t need to give the ball to Kenny Gainwell on 4th and 2. If the tush push isn’t there, and it’s not some critical, late-stage moment, then just take the points. Bad call according to the flow chart:
5) GREAT bounce back game for Britain Covey after the near-disastrous fumble of two weeks ago. Three punt returns for 81 yards, one kick return for 30 yards.
6) Not sure why it bothers me so much, but we don’t need to know that the Bengals and Rams are coming up at 8:15 on another channel. We already know. We don’t give a shit about Aaron Donald. We are watching the Birds and we don’t need the constant upleft chyron reminder or the double box when the second game begins. Yea, I know a national audience might be coming in late or trying to find the second game, but Philly and Tampa fans aren’t leaving this channel, so I wish they’d find a way to geofence and leave those teaser graphics out of the broadcast in the local markets.
7) Mike Florio was probably FURIOUS when he saw this:
— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) September 25, 2023
Clean get off. Slow it down and watch when Kelce begins to move the ball.
8) Couple of easy third down conversions for Tampa where the outside corners were playing too soft. If you have concerns about Josh Jobe in press coverage, okay, but the alternative was giving up some easy first downs. There was even a second quarter sequence where James Bradberry was cheating over to Jobe’s soft side, but Mayfield read it and just threw inside for a big pickup instead.
9) There was a play where Jordan Davis basically just grabbed a dude’s head and pulled him down. He is a gargantuan man.
10) Sydney Brown saved a touchdown with a late left hand to break up what looked like a surefire Mike Evans catch. What a crucial play from the rookie to help the Eagles hold after giving up a 13-play drive that took more than six minutes off the clock.
Sydney Brown saves a TD for the @Eagles defense
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2023
11) Jalen Hurts did not play particularly well on the first couple of series (Schefter reported he had flu-like symptoms), but that first touchdown drive? He showed a lot of patience staying in the pocket, maybe got a bit lucky as well, but he found Zaccheus twice, once for a big first down and then again for a touchdown. Last week, we saw Minnesota flush him from the pocket with a rush 3/drop 8, and on the touchdown Tampa threw a spy in the mix, so he hung in there and waited for something to develop. Took a big hit as well but showed a ton of maturity on that sequence.
No, Jalen hasn’t been amazing through three games, but the signs are there. He just has to put it all together and he’ll be back to what he was in 2022.
12) I can’t get enough of the tush push.
13) For what it’s worth:
acceptable: “tush push” or “rugby scrum middle”
not acceptable: “push sneak” pic.twitter.com/oCEqBELJNy
— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) September 26, 2023
14) Just a total miscommunication on the first Hurts interception. Would have to see what he and Swift say about that after the game.
15) Jalen Carter, man. He is more than a beast. I think “behemoth” is a good word. After the Hurts interception, he helped blow up the first down play with a Chris Jones-esque push up the middle, then he forced the fumble and the Birds had the ball right back in Tampa territory.
Jalen Carter just made such an amazing play. Holy shit. Digging to the football right after the rush. I LOVE IT!! Tone setting shit.
— chris long (@JOEL9ONE) September 26, 2023
16) Lane Johnson got away with a false start right before halftime. Hurts changed the play call at the line and the cadence was off. He definitely jumped early. The thing that bothers me is that blue checks will circulate that play on Twitter with zero context. That was not how he typically sets.
17) Going away from D’Andre Swift, who was on 7.6 yards per carry, just to get Gainwell involved? Stay with the hot hand. Wish they’d stop with the mixing and matching. Just give the ball to the guy who is running it well. They did this twice in the game, once in the 2nd quarter and once in the 4th quarter. At the latter point, Swift only had 16 carries in a two-score game, so it wasn’t like they needed to conserve him for anything. Not like he was carrying Frank Gore mileage out there.
18) Ronde Barber can go straight to hell. Will never forgive him for the pick 6.
In his halftime @ProFootballHOF ring ceremony, Ronde Barber just said, “I appreciate all these Philly fans that have come down to help me celebrate my Hall of Fame.” Ha! (His pick-six sealed the Bucs’ victory in the 2002 NFC Championship against the Eagles)
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) September 26, 2023
19) Very satisfying to see the Eagles just tush push it right down Tampa throats on the goal line. Didn’t work the first time? Here it comes again! One of these days, they should do a drive where the only play call is the tush push.
20) Fletcher Cox is playing great through three games. Looks like he turned back the clock five years.
21) Not sure what Troy Aikman was talking about on that play where Baker launched it deep on 3rd and 7. Did he think Mayfield was going to outrun Nolan Smith for the first down?
22) The safety was the cherry on top of a brilliant defensive effort. Tampa had less than 25 rushing yards at that point in the game, then Nick Morrow jumped through the line for two points and an extra possession. Can’t say enough good things about Sean Desai’s unit.
23) Devon Allen got a kick return rep. He took it 17 yards.
24) D’Andre Swift with 130 yards on 16 carries. Two straight games at 100+. Howie Roseman traded a 4th and 7th for him.
25) That fake tush push was… uh… something else.
26) As good as the defense has been this year, have you heard Haason Reddick’s name?
27) Okay, that was a pretty sick one-handed grab from Mike Evans. Somehow stayed on his feet despite riding Reed Blankenship underneath him. He made all of the hard catches in this game and dropped the easy ones.
28) NFC East is there for the taking. Commies QB stinks, Giants are frauds, and Dallas is Dallas. Go Birds.