Nick Foles lead the Philadelphia Eagles down the field late in the fourth quarter to snatch a victory from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Foles took the snap with two seconds left in the game, rolled right, and hit Jeremy Maclin in the endzone to win the game 23-21. The jubilation on the Eagles sideline was evident. Coach Andy Reid was celebrating like he won a playoff game. He needed this victory and so did the team. The Eagles played with a sense of urgency and effort that had been missing for much of the 70 day losing streak.
Eagles rookie running back Bryce Brown had been on a tear over the last two games, but the staunch Bucs defense limited him to just six yards rushing. This was not a surprise as the Bucs have the number one rated rush defense in the NFL. Their pass defense leaves something to be desired though, they rank dead last in that category. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles was able to expose their pass defense as he had a career day going 32/51 for 381 yards and two touchdowns. Foles also used his legs to pick up multiple key first downs. Foles showed why the fans and the organization believe he is the future. Lets not overreact to the rookie's big day because it did come against a pathetic pass defense, but it is a step in the right direction.
The defense responded to the challenge as well. The pass rush was rejuvenated by the change in defensive line coaches. They brought Josh Freeman down twice and hurried many of his throws. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie responded to the recent criticism by blanketing receivers and tackling. He did dodge one tackle, but the intensity and effort were there for the most part. That is what great players do, they answer the bell and DRC certainly did that yesterday. His counter part Nhamdi Asomugha struggled mightily though. Nhamdi went out of the game for a little but after falling awkwardly. Nhamdi did return to the game after being cleared by trainers. However, his replacement Curtis Marsh, showed some potential breaking up a jump ball intended for Mike Williams. Coach Andy Reid has hinted that a change may be coming at corner and the game yesterday only solidified the feelings that Nhamdi has lost some of his ability.
Overall this win was much needed for the birds. Their season is still a bitter disappointment, but the players and coaches understand that their futures are on the line. It will be important to see how the younger players develop the rest of the season as many offseason moves are on the horizon.
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