Wrap up: Eagles 23, Buccaneers 21

December, 9, 2012
12/09/12
4:49
PM ET
A few thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles' last-second comeback victory Sunday over the Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla.

What it means: In the 2012 picture, not a lot for the Eagles, whose season was already lost. But it means the end of an eight-game winning streak, the team's first victory since September and a chance for the Eagles and their fans to feel good for a few days. (They play again Thursday.) It also showed the kind of toughness a lot of people have been accusing the Eagles of not having, as they recovered from a 21-10 deficit in the final four minutes to win.

The kid: This was the chance for rookie quarterback Nick Foles to look his best against the worst pass defense in the league, and Foles looked very good indeed. He was 32-for-51 for 381 yards and two touchdowns, including the last-second game winner to Jeremy Maclin, and he also ran for a 10-yard touchdown. He was sacked six times, but he did not throw an interception, and he looked especially in control in the waning minutes as the team was moving the ball down the field in its comeback effort. As the Eagles use this final month to evaluate Foles as the potential answer for them at quarterback next season and beyond, this game stands as his best tape to date.

The defense: In the first game since the firing of defensive line coach Jim Washburn, the Eagles got sacks from defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Cullen Jenkins, seemed to ditch the much-maligned "Wide 9" alignment Washburn instituted last year and held Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman to 189 yards on 14-of-34 passing. They didn't create any turnovers, and it was their seventh game in a row without an interception, but the big guys up front and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did a much better job this week of limiting the opposing team's passing attack. And even once the Bucs appeared to figure things out in the second half, they couldn't get far enough ahead to hold off the comeback.

What's next: The Eagles host the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. Cincinnati's playoff hopes took a hit Sunday with a last-second loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but they come into the game with a 7-6 record and one of the best defenses in the league.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

NFL SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 11/20
Sunday, 11/23
Monday, 11/24
WEEKLY LEADERS