The Eagles faced the Buccaneers on September 25 in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season. Here are takeaways and highlights from the game.
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Final Score: Eagles 25, Buccaneers 11
The Eagles and the Buccaneers entered this matchup looking to establish dominance as two of the remaining unbeatens in the NFC. Philadelphia was coming off a 34-28 victory against the Minnesota Vikings in which D’Andre Swift posted a career high in rushing yards (175). Tampa Bay enjoyed a 27-17 win over the Chicago Bears, where Shaquil Barrett sealed the game with a late pick six.
Swift had another excellent game, finishing with 130 yards on the ground. Swift’s most exciting run of the evening came in the third quarter when he darted up the middle and leapt over Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. The Eagles’ offense finished the drive with their cheat-code short-yardage play, the QB sneak. Jalen Hurts’ one-yard touchdown run made the score 20-3 with 9:12 remaining in the third quarter.
Hurts totaled 277 passing yards for the game on 37 attempts with one touchdown and two interceptions. His lone passing touchdown came on a 34-yard deep shot to Olamide Zaccheaus. The Eagles put together another scoring drive to end the first half with a Jake Elliott 38-yard field goal, putting Philadelphia ahead 13-3 at the half.
The Buccaneers struggled to move the ball for most of the game. It appeared that Tampa Bay may have had some fresh life breathed into them when Dee Delaney grabbed an unbelievable interception near the goal line with 3:48 left in the third quarter. However, with the Bucs backed up on their ensuing possession, Eagles linebacker Nicholas Morrow and the rest of the defense stuffed running back Rachaad White in the backfield for a safety.
Baker Mayfield, who finished the game 15 of 25 for 146 yards, led one scoring drive in the fourth quarter, highlighted by two amazing catches by Mike Evans. Mayfield also successfully converted a two-point try to Chris Godwin to make the score 25-11 with 9:22 remaining. Unfortunately for the Bucs, it was not enough to overcome the massive hole they found themselves in.
The Eagles continue to pick up where they left off from 2022 and are now 3-0 for consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992-93. The Bucs fall to 2-1 but remain in the mix in the NFC South, which currently features a three-way tie for the lead.
Swifties will love this run.
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2023
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 26, 2023
WHAT AN INTERCEPTION BY DEE DELANEY!
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2023
WHAT. A. CATCH.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 26, 2023
Through three games, the Eagles appear to be the team to beat in the NFC. With the re-emergence of D’Andre Swift, the Eagles have a running game to complement Jalen Hurts and their receiving corps. Philadelphia’s defense also remains solid, as they are currently tied for ninth in the NFL in points allowed per game (19.7). Since the Eagles have an easy schedule in the next few weeks, expect them to easily advance to 6-0 before they square off against the Dolphins in Week 7. Also, go ahead and circle Dec. 3 on your calendar; Eagles vs. 49ers could very likely be one of the best regular-season games of the year.
The Eagles will play their first divisional game of 2023 next week at home against the Commanders, another previously unbeaten team who got trampled by the Bills in Week 3, 37-3.
Many believed the 2-0 Buccaneers were imposters after beating the Vikings and the Bears. Following Monday night’s loss to the Eagles, the Bucs will have another chance to prove the doubters wrong next week in their first divisional matchup in the seemingly wide-open NFC South. While Baker Mayfield has performed well with his new team, he owes a lot of credit to Mike Evans, who currently ranks seventh in the league in receiving yards (297). The Buccaneers will need to get other weapons involved down the stretch if they hope to win against the NFL’s top defenses.
The Buccaneers will travel to New Orleans in Week 4 to face the Saints, who just lost a nail-biter to the Packers, 18-17.
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