Jameis Winston entered the NFL with plenty of fanfare, and the Eagles got a firsthand glimpse at why he has the makings of something they are desperately searching for - a potential franchise quarterback.
While quarterback play was just one of the numerous problems for the Eagles defense during Sunday's dispirited 45-17 loss to the visiting Bucs, Tampa Bay fans can't be blamed for being giddy about their future.
That's because the prize from a 2-14 season last year was the first pick in the NFL draft. And Winston carved up the Eagles in the signature game of his rookie season.
The 6-foot-4, 231-pound Winston completed 19 of 29 passes for 246 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions, giving him a 131.6 passer rating.
"He wasn't a No. 1 pick for no reason," Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said.
Winston's five touchdown passes tied a modern-day NFL rookie record set by Detroit's Matthew Stafford in 2009. It's that same Stafford the Eagles (4-6) face next on Thanksgiving during a season that is spiraling out of control.
In addition, Tampa Bay (5-5) has won consecutive games for the first time since winning three in a row in November 2013.
It was also the most touchdown passes allowed in a game by the Eagles, something that has been done 10 previous times.
"This is definitely a dream come true for me," Winston said. "To play here, I always wanted to play here my whole life."
Even though Winston is from Alabama, he has frequently told the story of being an Eagles fan when he was young. A favorite player and one whom he has studied through the years on tape is former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham.
"I always wanted to be an Eagle," he said. "I was even singing the fight song out there on the field."
When he wasn't singing, he was slinging, hitting five different players with touchdown passes.
"He made a couple of throws that were really impressive to the sideline," Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell said.
The Eagles were also impressed with Winston's football IQ.
"He was making checks at the line, and he was making some good calls," Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham said.
It helped that Winston had use of a potent running game. If the Eagles are wondering how to alternate backs, Tampa's use of Doug Martin and Charles Sims was spot-on.
Martin gained 235 yards on 27 carries, while Sims added 43 on 10 carries in addition to three receptions for 26 yards and a leaping, 14-yard touchdown.
The Bucs committed nine penalties for 82 yards, but Winston bailed them out with several big-time throws.
"He made the necessary throws when he had to on some of those third-and-long situations," Eagles safety Walter Thurmond said. "Even on first and second and long when they got penalties and got backed up, he was able to move the chains."
Winston was sacked just once as his unheralded offensive line kept him pretty much upright. The line was also dominating in the run game.
"Hats off to the offensive linemen and Doug Martin," he said. "When you establish that running game like that, it's hard to defend us."
Winston entered the game with 10 touchdown passes and nine interceptions.