December 2, 2023

Encouraging — 5 observations from Eagles-Buccaneers a day later


Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Monday night was an extremely encouraging sign for the Eagles, as they beat down on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 25-11, to improve to 3-0 on the season in Florida, but it felt like Philadelphia south.

The Birds outgained the at-the-time undefeated Bucs by nearly 300 yards, held the ball for 39 minutes, and could have scored maybe 40 points with a better red-zone performance.

And that defense, whew.

The Eagles were impressive on all sides of the ball, even special teams. Here are five observations from the win a day later:

What were the Lions thinking?

For the 219th pick in the 2023 draft and a 2025 fourth-rounder, the Eagles acquired D’Andre Swift from the Detroit Lions.

Talk about a Howie Roseman fleece.

Swift followed his career-best 175-yard game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 with 130 yards on just sixteen carries Monday. For two weeks in a row now Swift has taken over the game with his booming inside runs behind the Eagles’ tremendous offensive line.

The passing game is obviously still a work in progress, even with the encouraging signs Monday night. But if they can run for 200 yards every game they can take the pressure off of Jalen Hurts’ arm and the passing game until it gets back to last season’s dominant form.

Better look for Hurts

Monday was another head-scratcher for Hurts.

The two interceptions were bad. He now has three in three games. Hurts has still yet to play a clean game. He had a fumble in the opener, a pick last week, and two Monday night. A mistake from Hurts was so hard to catch last season, now he is doing it on a weekly basis.

However, there were absolutely positives to come out of Hurts. He finally got A.J. Brown involved with 12 targets, seven catches, and 102 yards. Olamide Zaccheaus got involved too with a couple of catches for 58 yards, including a 34-yard TD. How about Dallas Goedert with four catches for 30 yards. That number still needs to grow.

Seven different receivers caught a pass, Hurts made some big-time passes in big moments including two huge ones in the final drive to seal the deal.

This defense

Monday was a dominating defensive showing on the road against an undefeated team on national television with a few important guys missing.

The Eagles applied pressure, stopped the run, covered their man, made tackles, and did what they had to do.

The Eagles had a big-time defensive performance against a team that was efficient in their first two games. They held the Bucs to 174 yards, forced two turnovers, allowed just 12 first downs, and held Tampa to 41 rushing yards.

The Eagles defense dominated all 60 minutes.

Jalen Carter, my goodness

Jalen Carter impacts the game in so many ways.

No one can run on Carter and he hits the quarterback. He forced two fumbles Monday night, one of those recovered by the Eagles. He picked up half a sack and now has 1.5 in his rookie season.

At 23 years old, Carter is already one of the best interior linemen in the NFL, and he is only going to get better.

He is an absolute monster.

Britain Covey?

Why do so many Eagles fans not like Britain Covey as the punt returner?

His rookie year showed his ability, outside of maybe his first half of the season. He really turned it around and looks really good this season.

The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder 2022 undrafted free agent Eagle gave the Birds a huge boost with his career-long 52-yard punt return Monday night. It was the Eagles’ longest punt return since Jalen Reagor’s 73-yard touchdown in Green Bay in 2020. Covey also had a 14-yard return as well.

Covey now has a career average of 11.1 yards per return.

If you do not appreciate Britain Covey, it is time to reconsider.

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