Alrighty, Philly fans, the Philadelphia Eagles season has officially come to end after losing in the wild card round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-15. After a lot of hope of this game being at least competitive, the Eagles came out as flat as one could've thought. Both offense and defense struggled heavily through the first half of the game.
After a mostly disastrous first half, Philly's defense was able to get a beat on the Bucs' offense and the Birds' offensive line was driving down the field until disaster struck when Hurts threw a late pass to DeVonta Smith that was intercepted, ending the half being down by 17.
Would like to say the rest of the game went better, but after drops, penalties, and terrible special teams performances, the Eagles ultimately lost. Now that the game is over, let's get into some of the major takeaways of this wild-card matchup.
1. Hurts had one of the worst games of his career.
Not going to sugarcoat this, in his first playoff start ever, Jalen Hurts played awful. All of his issues that were concerns throughout the season came out on full display. Hurts struggled to get off his first read, pocket awareness was non-existing, and his timing was all over the place.
The Buccaneers defense did a good job showing different coverages and sending different blitz packages that ultimately disrupted Hurts. Not often does the young QB look lost, but in this matchup, he looked like a deer in the headlights. All in all, I think Hurts has earned himself another year, but we will see what Howie Roseman and company do in the offseason.
As stated earlier, Hurts did not play well, but he had some help.
2. Sirianni's offensive game plan was a huge downfall of this game.
Sirianni has had some bad game plans during his first year as a head coach, but this may have been one of the worst he had all year and of course, it came during the playoffs. The lack of targets to their star receiver, DeVonta Smith, is just criminal.
Accordingly, Sirianni stated that they practiced all-new running concepts during the last two weeks and honestly they must have left those concepts back in Philly because the run game was awful. The thing that really hurt was the lack of adjustment when Tampa Bay was selling out to stop the run.
Slow starts were once again a problem with a team. It just truly seemed like this offense was not prepared for this game.
3. Reagor has no business being on this team and that blame falls on this staff as well.
Honestly, if Reagor is still on this team in the 2022 season, It will be an even bigger black eye than the drafting of him. He had not one, but two muffed punts and was a major reason for giving the Eagles terrible field position and giving the Bucs great field position. He contributes almost nothing to this team.
He needs to go.
4. Gannon gets blame and praise at the same time.
Coming into this game, it was universally understood that the Eagles' defense had to be aggressive if they had a shot at being in this game. How did this team come out? By calling soft zone coverage, which Brady picked apart, and also did not have their best CB in Slay traveling with their best receiver in Mike Evans.
The coverage was too predictable and Brady took everything that this secondary was giving them and just torched the Eagles. Brady was 29 of 37, 271 yards, and two touchdowns on the day and was missing multiple offensive weapons.
However, Gannon will get some praise because he for the most part kept the Birds somewhat in this game. After a few injuries on the Bucs offensive line and some different looks, the defensive line was able to generate enough pressure to get Brady off the field.
5. Even being short-handed, this defensive front showed up big.
With the news of defensive end Josh Sweat being unable to play, there was so major concern on how well this defensive front was going to do. Turns out, they were the ones keeping this game even in hopes in reach. The d-line finished with 8 tackles for a loss, 6 QB hits, 4 sacks, 1.5 them coming from Ryan Kerrigan (shocking I know)
Ultimately it was all for not. The Bucs were able to put up almost 300 passing yards and over 100 rushing yards as they put up 31 points on this defense.
6. Don't let this game erase all of the good that came from this season and remember, this team is young.
Regardless of this outcome, this fanbase and team can hold their heads up high. This team was pegged as one of the worst rosters in the league, with a 4-5 win cap. They ended up being one of the best offenses in the league, going 9-8, and headed to playoffs.
It is easy to call out a bunch of issues, including Hurts, but fans most remember :
- They have 3 first-round picks
-A good amount of cap space
-Solid young players
-DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert
- A 23-year-old QB.
On to the off-season.