It’s too bad the Philadelphia Eagles 23-21 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t a home game, because there was a lot of cheer about if you’re an Eagles fan. The Eagles ended a dreadful 8 game losing streak, the defense played it’s best game since the firing of Juan Castillo and Nick Foles shut a lot of the doubters up.
Eagles fans know there team isn’t making the playoffs, but they can take some satisfaction out of knocking other teams out of the playoffs. With today’s loss, Tampa Bay will be two games out of either wildcard spot with just three games left in regular season. It was fitting that on the day Tampa Bay honored their 2002 championship team that knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs, the Eagles may have done the same thing.
There is going to be a lot of talk about how all the defensive issues were all on ex-defensive line coach Jim Washburn. At this point the wide-9 scheme deserves a lot of the blame. The safeties weren’t looking back at the backfield for fear of the front seven getting blow out against the run. It has been a long time since the Eagles held a quarterback to a rating under 120. This week the defense held Josh Freeman to a rating under 80. It’s hard to argue with those results.
But this day wasn’t about playing the spoiler or the change in the defensive line’s scheme. No, today was all about Nick Foles and his bright, bright future with the Philadelphia Eagles. Foles lead the Eagles to 13 unanswered points in the final seven minutes after they fell behind 21-10.
Foles led the Eagles back despite getting zero help from the running game, his offensive line, DeSean Jackson who is out for the season and he did it all on the road. History isn’t on Foles side because he wasn’t a first round draft pick, but it may be in another key stat. He is only the second rookie in the Super Bowl era to throw for over 380 yards, at least 2 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The only other rookie to do that was Andrew Luck.
Two more things that really stuck out from Foles clutch performance. He was able to hustle his team up to spike the ball with just 2 seconds left before that final play and he made the play call on the game winning touchdown play to Jeremy Maclin as time expired.
Eagles fans aren’t going to have a division title to brag about or a playoff game to look forward to, but the future is really bright for Philadelphia. Remember, Nick Foles was supposed to be a project quarterback who wouldn’t sniff the field this season. Now is an impressive rookie whose football mind is way ahead of the game right now. Now all they need to do is find a coach this winter.