Eagles-Buccaneers Up-Down Drill
The Philadelphia Inquirer Blog - Eagles
Eagles-Buccaneers Up-Down Drill
Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
TAMPA, Fla. -- The highs and lows from the Eagles' first win in over two months -- a 23-21 victory over the Buccaneers:
↑ The kid can play. Can he be next year’s starter? The fact that Foles has gotten better with each of his four starts suggests that he could be. It should be noted that the Buccaneers entered with and will likely continue to have the worst passing defense in the league. But Foles should enjoy his first NFL victory.
↓ For all of his skill, Johnson is starting to lose a little confidence that he can be placed in a big spot. The rookie muffed his second punt of the season, and this one rejuvenated a dormant Tampa after they turned the turnover into seven points.
↓ Tampa has one of the best run defenses in the NFL, if not the best, and the barrage of stretch plays certainly didn’t help in the early going, but Brown fell back to earth. The Eagles rookie running back was held to just six yards on 12 carries and looked mortal. Minor victory: He didn’t fumble.
↑ He’s had a slew of one-handed grabs in a notable career, but when Avant plucked a high throw from Foles out of the air in the first half it made the hair rise on backs across the Delaware Valley. The fact that he was able to stay in bounds was equally impressive. Avant finished with seven catches for 133 yards.
↑ He had a couple of cringe-worthy tackle attempts in the second half, but for the most part, Rodgers-Cromartie played his best game in weeks. The Eagles cornerback allowed very few catches and actually brought the hammer on a few plays.
↓ The Eagles cornerback fought back from a nasty looking back injury, but was a detriment in the secondary before and after he briefly left the game. Asomugha hasn’t been the worst free agent signing in Philly sports history, but his name deserves mention.
↑ McBriar’s 40-yard net was his third best output of the season, but considering that he had to punt seven times it was a strong number. As the Eagles offense took its time getting its act together, McBriar made sure the defense wasn’t on its heels. One caveat: It looked like his hold on Henery’s failed 31-yard field goal attempt had the laces the wrong way.
↑ He caught 9 of 13 passes thrown in his direction and finished with 104 yards receiving. Maclin’s 1-yard game-winning touchdown catch was a bright moment in a season full of many dark ones.
↓ Laces or no laces, Henery has to be able to connect from 31 yards out. The kicker saw his consecutive field goals made streak stop at 22 when he was left on a 58-yard try before the half. Henery got an unfortunate break when the Eagles false started and his successful 53-yarder was negated a play earlier.
Jim Washburn/Jason Babin
↓ All of the Eagles’ problems did not rest on the shoulders of the recently departed Wide Niners, but it can’t be a coincidence that the Birds finally won when both were gone.
↑ Some could say Anderson had nowhere to go but up when he had to fill in for the injured Kurt Coleman at safety. But he was active against the run, finished with six tackles and most important did not make any major errors.
↑ It’s been a rough two-plus months for the Big Guy. He deserves some praise for keeping his players together and still fighting.