Paul Domowitch offers up grades for all the position groups. Read, and tell us what you think below.
- Buccaneers 27, Eagles 21: Ryan Fitzpatrick, DeSean Jackson use big plays to haunt team marred by injuries
- Eagles’ Doug Pederson has no regrets about decision to go for it on fourth-and-4 in loss to Bucs
- Among lessons of Eagles’ loss to Buccaneers: Jason Peters is more effective as a player than a coach
The fact that Nick Foles tied for the team high in rushing first downs (3) tells you all you need to know. With tackle Jason Peters going down early with a quad injury and Jay Ajayi missing much of the first half with a back issue, the Eagles averaged just 3.8 yards per carry. Corey Clement had a nice 15-yard second-quarter touchdown run, but it was the Eagles' only double-digit-yard gain on the ground the entire game.
>> READ MORE: Who's up, who's down after Eagles' loss | Jeff McLane
After losing their biggest vertical threat, Mike Wallace, to an ankle injury on the second possession, and already missing Alshon Jeffery, it was mainly a dink-and-dunk day for Nick Foles and the offense. He completed 35 of 48 attempts, but the only Eagles receiver who averaged more than 11.0 yards per catch was third-string tight end Joshua Perkins (4 catches for 57 yards). Zach Ertz had 11 catches, but only one of them was longer than 11 yards. He came up a yard short on a critical fourth-and-four early in the second half.
The Eagles gave up a pair of nine-yard runs to Shaun Wilson and Peyton Barber on the Bucs' first two rushing attempts, then shut the door, holding them to 25 yards on 21 carries the rest of the game. The Eagles allowed just one rushing first down. Ten of the Bucs' rushing attempts gained zero or negative yards.
One of the Eagles' top priorities going into the game was to limit the Bucs' number of 20-plus yard pass plays. That plan went to hell pretty early, when they gave up two 75-yard touchdown passes to DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard. After shutting down four-time Pro Bowler Matt Ryan last week, they gave up 402 yards and four TDs to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not a good day for cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby. Mills gave up the first long touchdown to DeSean Jackson, then gave up a 17-yarder to him on a critical second-and-13 late in the game when the Eagles desperately needed to get the ball back.
>> READ MORE: Eagles secondary has brutal afternoon | David Murphy
The usually reliable Jake Elliott hit the right upright with a 42-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half. Those missing three points played a role in Doug Pederson's decision making during much of the second half. With Darren Sproles out (hamstring), replacements Corey Clement and Nelson Agholor averaged just 4.3 yards on three returns. Punter Cam Johnston had another big game, averaging 56.0 yards on five games, including a 46.2 net average.
>> READ MORE: What they're saying about Bucs-Eagles
Yes, the Bucs have one of the NFL's top receiving groups. But you can't be giving up 400 yards and four TD passes to Ryan Fitzpatrick, no matter who he's throwing the ball to. Carson Wentz likely will be back next week. But with Mike Wallace sidelined with an ankle injury and Alshon Jeffery still on the shelf, he's going to be just as hard-pressed as Nick Foles has been to have any downfield success.
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