What started as a potential opportunity to prove some of the doubters wrong quickly turned into a humbling on national television. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were outmatched and outclassed by the Philadelphia Eagles, with just about everything going wrong that possibly could.
The game didn't get off to the worst start, but the Bucs failed to capitalize on early momentum before simply handing it back to the Eagles with countless mistakes and miscues. Mike Evans dropped a touchdown pass that would have given the Bucs a 7-3 lead, Devin White's groin injury prevented him from potentially having a pick-six, and Baker Mayfield committed his first turnover of the season.
It was an overall bad night for the Bucs, but no unit had it worse than the run game.
Tampa Bay's rushing attack managed just 41 yards against the Eagles but the failure goes beyond the box score. Rachaad White fumbled the ball with under a minute left in the second quarter right after the Bucs had secured a critical turnover that could have helped get points on the board before halftime. White was also stuffed for a safety on a bizarre playcall that had him running out of his own endzone and into a sea of white Eagles uniforms that had eaten the Bucs offensive line alive.
Blame deserves to be passed around the entire team but most criticism will begin with what happened in the run game on Monday night -- including from Todd Bowles.
Todd Bowles calls out Bucs run game after Week 3 loss to Eagles
After the game Bowles spoke to the media and was pretty candid about what he thought about the run game.
"I'm not going to sit here and sugarcoat it," Bowles said. "We own what we have."
That pretty much sums it up, and it's perhaps the most troubling thing about the loss.
Last year the Bucs owned the league's worst rushing attack and it doesn't seem like things have gotten much better. Dave Canales was hired to try and fix things and he brought over Skip Peete from Dallas to help him, but through three weeks the run game looks putrid.
Nothing could get going in the Week 1 win over the Vikings and the only thing that helped grease the wheel last week was how historically bad the Bears are. We were given a heavy dose of reality on Monday night when the Bucs were faced with a good run defense and the result was pitiful.
Bad play calling and even worse execution combined for one of the most demoralizing nights we've seen out of the run game in a while. It was one thing to see this sort of performance last year but it stings on an entirely different level to see it still happening when things were supposed to start getting better.