Eagles

Eagles suffer playoff exit after humiliating loss to Buccaneers

The Philadelphia Eagles needed a fast start to hang with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their NFL Playoffs opener on Sunday afternoon, but did exactly the opposite in what ended up being an early exit from postseason play.

Nick Sirianni’s bunch fell down early and never recovered in a 31-15 Wild Card Weekend loss to Tom Brady and his Buccaneers teammates at Raymond James Stadium. Jalen Hurts threw two interceptions in the defeat, while the Eagles could not cope with Tampa’s balanced offense under head coach Bruce Arians.

It didn’t take Tampa Bay long to break the deadlock, scoring just five minutes into the first quarter. Giovanni Bernard’s two-yard touchdown run handed the Bucs an early 7-0 lead and put early pressure on the visitors to answer back.

Hurts and the offense were forced into three-consecutive punts to start the afternoon and Tampa Bay did not let the Eagles hang around for long. Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s one-yard touchdown with 0:25 left in the opening quarter extended the Buccaneers advantage to 14-0.

Not long after a 34-yard field goal from Ryan Succop, the Eagles failed on two-straight offensive drives to end the half. Jalen Reagor could not haul in a fourth down pass from Hurts, turning the ball over on downs for the Eagles offense.

Mike Edwards also added an interception on Hurts’ late passing attempt in the quarter, bringing an end to a dismal opening 30 minutes for the Eagles.

Things didn’t get any better for the Eagles after halftime as Brady tossed the first of his two touchdowns early in the third quarter. Brady connected with tight end Rob Gronkowski for a two-yard score, extending the Bucs advantage to 24-0 and keeping the Eagles in a major hole.

Shaq Barrett’s interception on Hurts on the ensuing Eagles drive handed Tampa Bay great field position, allowing Brady to hook up with star wide receiver Mike Evans for a 36-yard touchdown. Evans finished the game as the first Buccaneers wideout to register over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in a single playoff game.

Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell added consolation scores for the Eagles late in the fourth quarter, but ultimately the visitors season came to an abrupt end in Florida. The Eagles only finished with 95 yards rushing, led by Hurts’ 39 on the ground.

Brady registered 271 passing yards on 29-of-37 passing, finishing with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Tampa Bay also rushed for 106 yards on 31 carries as a team.

The Eagles will now head into a busy offseason, knowing roster moves will be expected after a disappointing playoff exit. In addition the team has three first round draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, with all three coming in the opening 21 selections of the first round.


You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at lhenry1919@gmail.com.

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