Last time former college coaches Chip Kelly and Greg Schiano faced eachother, Kelly’s I-AA New Hampshire upset Schiano’s Rutgers, beating the Scarlet Knights 35-24 in 2004. In this week’s rematch, the result was nearly the same.
After a rocky few weeks to start out his NFL coaching career, Kelly now has the Eagles back at .500, putting Philadelphia at the top of the struggling NFC East. Meanwhile, the Bucs, thought to be potential playoff contender this year, are now 0-5 and look to be in contention for the first overall pick in next year’s draft.
Tampa Bay’s defense, which has failed to contain teams all season, struggled against the Eagles’ no huddle offence run by quarterback Nick Foles, making his first start of the season in place of the injured Michael Vick. Foles had a career day, completing 71-percent of his passes for 296 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown early in the first quarterback.
The rest of the Eagles offense also seemed to click with Foles under center. Fourth-year wide receiver Riley Cooper had four receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. DeSean Jackson added another six receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Running back LeSaun McCoy was also outstanding, carrying the ball 25 times for 116 yards and adding 55 yards in the passing game. The only mistake was a fumble by the running back was a fumble that was recovered by Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis, leading to a Tampa Bay field goal.
While the Eagles’ defense was not great, they did enough to win the game. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans had 12 tackles while cornerback Bradley Fletcher had a key interception, picking off Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon in the beginning of the third quarter. The Eagles’ defense all held Bucs running back Doug Martin to only 67 yards.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay kept up for most of the game, but like many of their losses this season, faded down the stretch. Tampa’s defense failed to stop the fast-paced Eagles offense, and while they put pressure on Foles with six quarterback hits, they ultimately only sacked the second-year quarterback once. The secondary, still a major issue for Tampa Bay even after trading for Revis, only had one pass deflection.
On offense, rookie third-round quarterback Mike Glennon, making just his second NFL start, was much better than in his debut. Glennon threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns, outscoring the Eagles 17-14 in the first half. However, he also threw a key interception in the first drive of the second half that lead to an Eagles touchdown. Tampa Bay would never lead again. Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson was a bright spot for the team with 114 yards and two touchdowns receiving. These were the first touchdowns for Jackson this season.