Eagles GM Howie Roseman has a type. He likes his players big, strong and mean, and the Eagles have plenty of them on both lines.
The Eagles' defense was fantastic in Monday night's 25-11 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which pushed Philly's record to 3-0. They took away practically everything the Bucs' offense wanted to do. The run game was slammed shut all night, ensuring the Buccaneers were in second-and-long and third-and-long most of the game. Tampa Bay gained just 174 yards. It had fewer than 100 yards of offense before a 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter after the game was already decided. Tampa Bay had just 2.4 yards per rush and didn't do much more through the air.
Philadelphia has a lot of stars and playmakers, but success for the Eagles starts up front — on both sides of the ball.
Eagles build roster from inside out
The Eagles' philosophy was exemplified by the Jalen Carter draft pick back in April.
The Eagles were coming off a season in which they had four different players record 10 or more sacks, an NFL record. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave left in free agency, but it's not like the Eagles were lacking on the defensive line without him. And yet, Roseman traded up when Carter, a supremely talented defensive tackle from Georgia, fell to the ninth pick of the draft. Carter is the early favorite to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. On Monday night, he had two forced fumbles and was a big part of the Eagles shutting down the Buccaneers offense. The Eagles didn't take their defensive line for granted in the offseason, and the addition of Carter is paying off.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 26, 2023
The Buccaneers came into the game with a 2-0 record, but the outcome Monday never really seemed in doubt. Philadelphia outgained the Bucs 228 to 86 in the first half. A failed fourth down early in the game and a Jalen Hurts interception in Tampa Bay territory helped keep the score a relatively close 13-3 at halftime. Even though it was only a 10-point game, it seemed like the Buccaneers would have a huge challenge coming back.
The Eagles made it even harder to start the second half. They went on a 13-play, 75-yard drive to start the third quarter. Hurts got in the end zone on one of the Eagles' trademark tush push sneaks, and they had a 20-3 lead.
Given how the Eagles' defense was playing, the game was practically over.
Buccaneers offense gets shut down
There are still things the Eagles will want to clean up, despite moving to 3-0. Unlike last season when everything was clicking, it still seems like the 2023 Eagles haven't played a complete game yet. It speaks to the reputation they have that a 3-0 start seems a bit underwhelming.
At some point it will all come together. The Eagles still have a devastating run game, and D'Andre Swift looks like he's going to have a monster season. The passing game will be fine, it was just limited a bit on Monday night by the rain and the fact that the Eagles didn't need to pass it much in a one-sided game. The defense played its best game of the season Monday, which is a good sign.
In the third quarter, Hurts threw an interception, and it ended up being bad thing for the Buccaneers. Dee Delaney made a great catch on the interception, but he was out at the 1-yard line. On the very next play, the Buccaneers ran it up the middle — why Tampa Bay thought that was a good idea with how much it had struggled to run it to that point is a mystery — and Rachaad White was swarmed in the end zone for a safety. That's how it was all night for the Buccaneers' offense until the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter and Tampa Bay got some meaningless yards and a touchdown by Mike Evans.
The Eagles have not played poorly this season. They just haven't had a truly clean game yet. It's coming. They have endless ways to win, starting with the NFL's best offensive line and one of the league's best defensive lines as well.