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Week 2 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 21, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
What you need to know
The Eagles found their offensive rhythm through the air against the Buccaneers, producing more than 400 total yards. However, the ambiguity of the passing game and especially running back is pronounced after Week 2. Nick Foles
played a quality game, but Carson Wentz
has already been cleared to return and has been announced as the starter for Week 3. The backfield turned into a three-headed murky mess as Jay Ajayi
, Corey Clement
, and Wendell Smallwood
all saw meaningful snaps and touches. Finally, Alshon Jeffery
is still out, Mike Wallace
was injured in Week 2 and stands to miss a chunk of the season, and there are major question marks outside of Nelson Agholor
and Zach Ertz
being peppered with short-range targets.
Kwon Alexander strip-sacked Nick Foles
in the first half, and Carlton Davis recovered. Lavonte David recovered a fumbled lateral as the Eagles desperately pitched the ball around after time expired. Chandler Catanzaro
missed one extra point attempt and did not attempt any field goals.
|QB Nick Foles, 79 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 48 - 334 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0|
In what set up as a get well game against the Buccaneers on paper turned into a road loss despite the Eaglesí offense playing better than a week ago. Foles took a number of hits in the first half, both as a passer and uncharacteristically as a runner. Foles added a third down scramble, absorbing a huge hit to convert. Despite being down by 20 points by the mid-third quarter, Foles had highlight throws already in the game, including a deep out to Nelson Agholor
on third-and-long and a Zach Ertz
high-point play late in the first half. In overall trend was facing too many long-yardage situations and lacking a run game presence as the deficit extended in the second half. Foles was a contributing factor to the comeback, however, with extending plays for big gains. Specifically, Foles eluded pressure and found ancillary tight end Joshua Perkins deep to move into field goal range and later a highlight reel throw-and-catch to Nelson Agholor
on a well-covered corner route on fourth-and-goal in the end zone for the Eagles to stay in the game. After a concerning Week 1, Nick Foles
rebounded with a solid game, his last before Carson Wentz
returns to the lineup.
|RB Corey Clement, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 30 - 1, Rec: 5 - 55 - 0 (6 targets)|
From Week 1, Clement was the significant uptick player with Darren Sproles
out of the lineup against Tampa Bay. Clementís 11 touches led the Eagles backfield and showed the best combination of power, elusiveness, and hands of the group. A heavy majority of Clementís yardage was concentrated on three touches. Clement was outstanding in the screen game, gaining more than 30 yards total on two catches including eluding a defender. Clement showed a little bit of everything from perimeter runs to receiving and a power run to convert on short yardage. Beyond the box score Clement had a chunk run where he ran over a defender called back by a holding penalty. With Jay Ajayi
ís usage and snaps being heavily managed, Clement is becoming more impactful to the Eagles backfield by the week.
|RB Jay Ajayi, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 23 - 1, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)|
For a second straight week, Ajayiís usage was heavily managed. In Week 2, Ajayi dominated snaps on the opening drive, but sparsely played until the second half. While Ajayi managed a goal line touchdown, his snaps were low and he was seen on the sideline working on his lower body between touches at times. Outside of the touchdown, Ajayiís lone impact was a huge hole for 20 yards, most of his production for the game, early in the second half. Even with Darren Sproles
out, Ajayi had minimal use in the passing game with a single target and Corey Clement
being the clear preferred pass-catcher for the position.
|WR Nelson Agholor, 72 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 8 - 88 - 1 (12 targets)|
After a running back-like receiving stat line is Week 1, rarely venturing more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, Agholor expanded his role against Tampa Bay in Week 2. Mike Wallace
missed the rest of the game after a first quarter injury, putting pressure on Agholor to step up. Agholor had success on a variety of routes, including a deep out, crosser for 50 yards, and a highlight fourth-and-goal corner route, making a contested play to stay in the game in the closing minutes. Agholor also had a deep out reception called back by penalty and added a drop. With Alshon Jeffery
still working back from a shoulder injury, Agholor projects as the dominant top receiver heading into Carson Wentz
ís return to the lineup against the Colts.
Wallace fractured his fibula against the Buccaneers and stands to miss multiple months with the possibility of returning in 2018. He was injured on a slot screen in the mid-first quarter, which was called back by penalty. Without Wallace, Nelson Agholor
and Zach Ertz
combined for 52% of the team targets in the game.
|TE Zach Ertz, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 94 - 0 (13 targets)|
Despite not seeing a target until the second quarter against the Buccaneers, Ertz was peppered with a team-high 13 targets. Ertz had a well-rounded portfolio of routes, including a long high-point reception, crossing route, and variety of quick out and in-cut opportunities. His big game could have been much greater; however, as Ertz collected two defensive pass interference penalties, nearly hauled in a one-handed end zone target, was tackled at the one-yard-line on another occasion, and was tackled short of a fourth down conversion. With Alshon Jeffery
(projected) and Mike Wallace
out next week, Ertz projects as a high-target option with Carson Wentz
returning to the lineup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 33 - 402 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0|
The Fitzmagic continues as Tampa Bay's offense dialed up huge chunk plays on the Eagles defense. Fitzpatrick opened the game up with a 75 yard bomb to Desean Jackson. The offense came out in what looked like a run formation with one WR to either side of the formation, and Fitzpatrick faked a handoff before launching the ball to Jackson for the touchdown. Fitzpatrick's second touchdown was an amazing effort by tight end OJ Howard, who caught a crossing pattern and juked a defender out of his cleats before turning up the left sideline for a 75 yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick orchestrated the two minute offense beautifully at the end of the first half, peppering Mike Evans
and Chris Godwin
with targets as Godwin sealed the drive with a touchdown. On the score, Fitzpatrick had great protection and stood in the pocket as Godwin worked his way open in the back corner of the end zone. Evans was the recipient of Fitzpatrick's final touchdown pass of the day in the 3rd quarter. With the offense deep in the Philadelphia red zone, Evans split out wide right of the formation and beat his man with a slant route. Fitzpatrick threw the pass high enough that only Evans would have a chance at it.
Fitzpatrick's only threw 6 incompletions, and the interception was no fault of his, as he hit a wide open OJ Howard with a perfect pass that the tight end bobbled near the end of the 1st quarter. Mike Evans
also had a bad drop on what would have a been a big gain in the second quarter.
|RB Peyton Barber, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 22 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)|
The Tampa Bay running game didn't contribute much other than keeping the Philadelphia defense honest on play action passes. Barber, who averaged less than 2 yards a carry, is the clear lead in the backfield, but there just isn't much room to run right now. Barber picked up a couple of targets in the passing game, securing an out route to pick up a first down in the first half.
|RB Jacquizz Rodgers, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 13 - 0, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (3 targets)|
Rodgers backed Barber up and had some work in the passing game catching check down passes from Fitzpatrick He caught a short pass on third and long early in the first, picking up 13 yards but missing the first down marker.
Wilson carried the ball once early in the first quarter for a nice gain off right tackle. He saw a couple more snaps on offense but did not touch the ball again, primarily playing special teams.
|WR Mike Evans, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 83 - 1 (12 targets)|
Evans was a target hog, drawing 12 targets(twice as many as any other receiver) and converting 10 of them into catches. He wasn't able to connect with Fitzpatrick on the long ball in week 2, but Evans made the tough, physical catches in the short and medium passing game that kept the chains moving. Fitzpatrick connected with Evans several times during the two minute drive at the end of the first half. Evans had a bad drop on a wide open comeback route that would have picked up a big gain in the 2nd quarter. Evans split out wide right in the Philadelphia red zone in the 3rd quarter, beating his defender on a slant for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick threw it high enough that Evans was the only one with a chance at the ball. Evans lost a fumble in the 4th quarter after catching a curl route. He was fighting hard for extra yards but did not secure the ball well, and a defender punched it out.
|WR Chris Godwin, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 56 - 1 (6 targets)|
Godwin scored for the second week in a row as he rotated in with Evans, Jackson, and Humphries. He was targeted 6 total times, second only to Evans. Godwin had a nice catch on a deep curl route up the seam early in the second quarter, pushing a pile of defenders down the field for extra yards at the end of the play. Fitzpatrick hit Godwin on a skinny post for a 17 yard pickup at the end of the second quarter, and the two connected at the end of the drive for a touchdown. Godwin worked his way wide open in the back corner of the end zone, making it easy for Fitzpatrick.
Jackson continued his week 1 tear, picking up more of the big chunk plays that he's known for. In addition to piling up yardage on big plays, Jackson is also being incredibly efficient, catching 4 of 4 targets in week 2 to put his season total at 9 of 9.
Jackson split out wide right of a run formation on the first offensive play of the game, easily burning his one defender on a deep ball from Fitzpatrick for a 75 yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick found him again down the left sideline in the third quarter for a huge gain. Jackson made a fantastic back shoulder catch on the play.
Humphries played his normal snap count, but just wasn't part of the game plan offensively. He was targeted twice and secured a bubble screen for a short gain in the 4th quarter.
|TE O.J. Howard, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 96 - 1 (4 targets)|
Howard posted a great stat line with a limited amount of looks. He was targeted four times, making it six targets on the season.
Fitzpatrick's interception was Howard's fault, as the tight end bobbled a perfect pass on a wide open crossing route near the end of the first quarter. Howard redeemed himself shortly after in the second quarter, hauling in an out route and housing it with an athletic scamper up the left sideline. Howard juked one defender out of his shoes after the catch and showed some serious speed as he outran the rest of the defense for a 75 yard touchdown. Howard made a beautiful diving grab on a deep post route later in the second quarter for a gain of 20 yards. Fellow tight end Cameron Brate
played but was not targeted.
Brate was shut out for the second week in a row, as OJ Howard drew all the tight end targets for Tampa Bay.