The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered last night’s Monday Night Football doubleheader in unexpected territory. An undefeated record wasn’t what people anticipated for the Bucs after an offseason that showed roster weaknesses and a troubling quarterback situation. But wins against the underwhelming Vikings and faltering Bears put Tampa Bay at a 2-0 record heading into its first test against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Buccaneers (2-1) fell to the Eagles (3-0) 25-11 in lackluster fashion Monday night. Tampa Bay was unable to get a start on offense all night until finding the end zone in the fourth quarter.
How It Happened
The Bucs’ offense was practically nonexistent for most of the game. They finished with 174 yards of total offense and just one touchdown scored after the team picked up momentum too little, too late on a closing drive. The other portion of Tampa Bay’s 11 total points came from a field goal in the second quarter. The highlight of the night for the home crowd was an unbelievable catch from wide receiver Mike Evans.
Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled mightily against the Eagles defense. Mayfield went 15-25 for 146 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The performance has reignited conversations about Mayfield’s standing as the Bucs’ starter. Former Florida Gators QB Kyle Trask currently sits behind Mayfield on the bench.
The Eagles were clicking on the other side, to Tampa Bay’s dismay. Jalen Hurts went 23-37 with 277 yards and a touchdown through the ground and air. The offense wasn’t perfect, as Hurts did throw two picks, but it was more than enough the get the job done. Philly established its presence on the defensive end as well, dominating the Buccaneers physically and even forcing a safety.
What It Means
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 26, 2023
Nobody was expecting this team to compete for much this year, but losing that nice zero in the loss column definitely brings the team back to Earth. It’s very early, but the Buccaneers have some serious reflection to do on what they want to accomplish this season. More difficult to solve is how they’ll do it.
For the Eagles, it’s another win and keep climbing. No champagne corks or cigar butts were left behind in the away locker room last night. Philly has the seventh-strongest remaining schedule and aspirations for another shot at the Lombardi trophy. Those two things are a tough mix, but for now there hasn’t been a Super Bowl hangover for the Eagles.