After dropping a heartbreaker by one point to Miami last week, the Philadelphia Eagles suffered their most embarrassing loss of the season, falling to Tampa Bay at home, 45-17. The Eagles allowed Jameis Winston to throw five touchdown passes and for Doug Martin to rush for 235 yards.
The Eagles (4-6) remain just one game behind the Giants (5-5) for first place in the NFC East, but was Sunday pretty much the end of the 2015 season for Philly?
“It’s actually starting to look that way,” former Eagle and current 94.1 WIP radio host Hollis “Tank” Thomas said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Somebody lit the fuse. I think what kind of lit the fuse was them not holding Sam Bradford accountable for his play and (making the excuse), ‘He just got there.’ Everybody else, you have to play. You have to play up to what they’re paying you, and he hasn’t been doing that – at all.”
Bradford, who has 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season, missed Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury. Mark Sanchez wasn’t much better in Bradford’s absence, throwing for 261 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Thomas feels Sanchez simply hasn’t gotten enough reps with the starters throughout the season and doesn’t have the continuity he needs with receivers to be successful, especially in this offense.
Still, the defense was the No. 1 problem Sunday.
“I don’t really like the defense,” Thomas said. “There’s no way I let a rookie quarterback come into my crib and don’t hit him up. (I would send) every blitz that he can imagine and some that he can’t imagine. There’s no way I would have played the defense the way they played it. I think they sit back too much. They’re not aggressive enough to me. You can’t continue to give up 13- and 12-play drives. You got to realize your offense . . . is predicted on rhythm and having the ball, and you guys are sitting over there for five or six minutes. Everybody’s talking about how good the defense is playing, but all Tampa Bay did was line up and (run) smash-mouth right at us.”
The Eagles rank 25th in the league in total defense (374.4 yards allowed) and 28th in rush defense (128.5). Thomas expects Chip Kelly to be back next season but doesn’t think defensive coordinator Bill Davis has a prayer, saying, “I don’t now what other job you can (keep) being close to last in the league your first three years.”
Thomas, who played defensive tackle for the Eagles from 1996 to 2005, was asked if he was embarrassed by Sunday’s performance.
“I get a little embarrassed,” he said, “but it kind of hurts your heart too because you see the guys out there and they gave up. They got their asses kicked on their own front porch, and as they was hitting the pavement, their grandma and their mom came out and saw it. You ain’t never supposed to lose a fight in front of your grandma or your mama and on your front porch – and you did all three.”