Here are some observations and ruminations about Sunday's Eagles-Buccaneers game:
TAMPA, Fla. - Nick Foles will get most of the credit, and rightly so. But his receivers bailed out the Eagles' rookie quarterback on a number of throws Sunday.
Jason Avant was spectacular, catching seven passes for 133 yards. His one-handed grab in the first half was as good as they come.
Jeremy Maclin had his best game of the season. The fourth-year wide receiver caught nine passes for 104 yards, but it was his 1-yard, game-winning grab as time expired that will be remembered most.
Clay Harbor, meanwhile, stepped in for the injured Brent Celek, who suffered a concussion on the first play of the game, and made a number of big receptions, including an 11-yard score that kicked off the Eagles' comeback. The tight end caught all six of Foles' targeted throws for 52 yards.
- Jeff McLane
Alex Henery kicked what would have been a team-record 23d consecutive field goal at the end of the first half when he nailed a 53-yarder.
But the whistle blew just as the ball was snapped.
The Eagles were flagged for a false start, forcing Henery to kick again, this time from 58 yards. But that kick sailed to the left, so Henery's consecutive field-goal string ended because of a careless and preventable penalty.
- Zach Berman
Slow but effective
You could have clocked Foles' first career rushing touchdown with a sundial, but the Eagles' only trip into the end zone in the first half was an impressive example of improvisation.
The play was a designed screen pass to running back Dion Lewis, but the Buccaneers blew it up. Foles then took a deep drop as the offensive line did a good job of staying home and not running upfield.
Foles briefly had Maclin open, but he didn't see him and scrambled toward the right pylon. Maclin then switched from receiver to blocker, and Foles ran 10 yards in slow motion for the score.
Damaris Johnson's inconsistent season continued when he muffed a punt early in the third quarter.
Johnson had called for a fair catch, except he struggled on the "catch" part. The ball tipped his fingers, trickled away, and Tampa Bay linebacker Dekoda Watson recovered at the 5-yard line. The Bucs scored three plays later.
It was a costly fumble, and fumbling has been an issue with Johnson since the preseason.
Bad day for Brown
Bryce Brown had great success running outside the tackles in his first two starts. The Eagles running back gained 347 yards, with many coming when he broke through on the outside.
But there was little room for Brown to rush when the Eagles called for runs outside against the Bucs in the first half. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg kept calling for stretch plays, and Tampa Bay's defense just wouldn't bend.
Brown, who also tried to bounce it outside several times too many, gained only 5 yards on 10 carries before the break and ended with just 6 yards on 12 carries.
In his two previous games, Brown had gained 236 yards in the first half alone.
DRC is better
Andy Reid said he spoke to cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie about tackling this week, and there was a noticeable difference on Sunday.
Rodgers-Cromartie was more aggressive, helping in run support and showing a willingness to make big sticks. He put a big hit on Bucs tight end Dallas Clark and also stopped running back Doug Martin on a run.
On the other hand, Rodgers-Cromartie made a weak tackling attempt on the Bucs' second touchdown when quarterback Josh Freeman hit Vincent Jackson for a 13-yard score.
Heat was on
Foles had all sorts of time last week against the Cowboys. Brown's success on the ground and the cohesion on the offensive line were big reasons.
But Dallas didn't blitz the rookie that often, which didn't make sense because the Redskins two weeks before were able to rattle Foles when they sent extra pass rushers. The Buccaneers, who haven't generated much pressure all season, were able to get to Foles with their blitz and a steady dose of stunts from their linemen.
Tackle King Dunlap, in particular, struggled early on. But Foles held on to a few too long and was sacked three times before the half and six times overall. Tampa Bay entered the game 30th in the league in sacks with only 18.