TAMPA, FLORIDA – The Philadelphia Eagles crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road in Week 3’s lone matchup between two unblemished teams.
The Eagles’ defense shut down the Buccaneers in a 25-11 victory Monday night. Philadelphia displayed their offensive strengths as well, highlighted by running back D’Andre Swift’s second consecutive game with 100 yards on the ground.
Eagles of Philadelphia (3-0)
On a night when quarterback Jalen Hurts was not feeling well, the Eagles produced their most spectacular victory of the short season.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Hurts had flu-like symptoms just before the game. He had an up-and-down game against the Bucs, scoring on the ground and via the air but also throwing two interceptions. He completed 23 of 37 passes for 277 yards.
The defense had two interceptions, and the Eagles’ rushing attack carried for 201 yards against a run defense that was ranked fourth before Monday, allowing just 54 yards per game. A.J. Brown had his best game of the season in terms of yards (131) and catches (nine).
Hurts and the Eagles haven’t played their greatest ball yet, but they’re one of just three undefeated teams remaining.
Promising trend: The Eagles entered as the NFL’s No. 2 rushing offense (178 yards per game), and they dominated on the ground once again. Swift followed up a career-high 175-yard run against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 with another monstrous effort, gaining 130 yards on 16 attempts. After two touches in the season opener, he has firmly emerged as Philadelphia’s lead back.
Rookies Jalen Carter and Sydney Brown both made significant plays on the defensive side of the ball in crucial situations. Brown, an Illinois safety, erased what seemed to be an easy Mike Evans score halfway through the second quarter by closing on the ball and forcing an incompletion in the end zone corner. Carter’s strong start to the season continued when he stripped an unwary Rachaad White after making a grab over the middle later in the quarter. Carter is making an early case for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and the draft class as a whole is producing early results.
Hurts now has the most running touchdowns in a quarterback’s first 50 career games (29), surpassing Cam Newton (28) in his 48th game on Monday.
The next game is against the Washington Commanders on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on Fox.
Buccaneers of Tampa Bay (2-1)
On a night when the Buccaneers had an opportunity to give the reigning Super Bowl champions their first setback and establish that they are no fluke, they failed miserably.
The Bucs’ defense had two interceptions and repeated red zone stops, but the offense couldn’t keep up its half of the bargain.
"We've got to get ready for New Orleans. We've got to get nursed up… we've got a division game this week."
With 3:46 remaining in the third quarter, backup cornerback Dee Delaney, filling in for an injured Jamel Dean, intercepted Jalen Hurts at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line. One play later, running back Rachaad White was jammed up the gut for a safety, and two plays later, on the Tampa Bay 37-yard line, Rachaad White fumbled after Devin White intercepted Hurts.
It was a night like that for the Bucs, who were outgained 472 to 174 in total yards.
Baker Mayfield and his receivers battled for most of the night. Mike Evans and tight end Cade Otton both dropped early passes, and safety Sydney Brown made a fantastic diving play to get the ball out of Evans’ hands in the end zone. Mayfield then threw his first interception of the season on a throw intended for Chris Godwin shortly before halftime. Mayfield and Evans would pick up the pace in the fourth quarter, hitting on 24- and 22-yard throws before Evans pulled in a 1-yard score, his third in three games. Mayfield finished 15 for 25 for 146 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Worrying trend: The Bucs’ worst-ranked running game from 2022 isn’t improving, with just 41 rushing yards on 17 rushes for an average of 2.1 yards per carry.
The defense is a silver lining. With White out with a groin injury, Dean out with a shoulder injury, and cornerback Carlton Davis out with a toe injury, the unit kept the Eagles, who had scored five red zone touchdowns entering Week 3, to one touchdown in five visits to the red zone.
Next game: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET on Fox, against the New Orleans Saints.