Refocused, NFL Week 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Philadelphia Eagles 21
PFF’s ReFocused series this season features immediate takeaways and a key to the victory from two Senior Analysts who graded the performance, watching every player, on every play of the game. For more data and analysis from the game, utilize our Premium Stats 2.0 dashboard to expand your knowledge on the key players, signature stats and much more.
Former Eagles WR DeSean Jackson showed up ready to perform against his old team and on the very first offensive play, Jackson snagged a post route from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, running past Jalen Mills for a 75-yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick also connected with TE O.J. Howard on a seam route where he was able to break tackles by both LB Jordan Hicks and DB Ronald Darby for another 75-yard touchdown.
While the ground game failed to get anything going, Fitzpatrick more than made up for that with his accuracy. His interception at the end of the first quarter was a well-placed ‘in’ route that Howard was unable to collect and ended up in the waiting hands of Darby.
The Bucs got up big and their defense held on for the second week in a row. Ryan Smith was fantastic in coverage causing several pass breakups and incompletions via close coverage on passes thrown his way. The Bucs defensive line used “stunts” on almost every play and this helped put pressure on Eagles QB Nick Foles paving the way for a few sacks with Gerald McCoy and Kwon Alexander getting in on the action.
Philadephia’s offense failed to find a rhythm despite Nick Foles finishing with over 300 yards through the air. Foles was hit quite a bit by the Bucs defensive line, sometimes via breakdowns in pass protection while others were because Foles held the ball too long. Foles best moment came via a corner route for a touchdown to late in the fourth quarter, threading the ball in between two Buccaneer defenders.
Philadelphia’s offensive line had some mixed results although Jason Kelce played well from his center position with some nice reach blocks on zone plays.
Edge defenders Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett both made a handful of plays defeating Tampa Bay block attempts to either disrupt, force a cut or shut down rushing attempts entirely. Including Fletcher Cox, any attempts at implementing the four-minute drill by the Bucs in the second half were shut down by the trio of superstars. Cox’ best rep came in the four quarter when he easily defeated the block of Caleb Benenoch.
Keys to the game
Tampa Bay: The Bucs defense through three quarters of the game played fast, did not miss tackles and pressured Foles, causing turnovers and doing enough to win the game.
Philadelphia: The inability to move the ball on the ground will rear its ugly head soon enough but, for today, the “Fitzmagic” overwhelmed an Eagles secondary playing on the road.