“We screwed ourselves,” Mayfield told reporters after the loss. “We’re damn good when we do our jobs.”
The Bucs (2-1) didn’t do their jobs well, including Mayfield as he threw his first interception of the season plus his first fumble of 2023 as his squad fell 25-11 to the Eagles (3-0). The Bucs quarterback previously had 490 yards passing for three touchdowns in his first two starts — both victories.
“We just have to be better on offense as a whole. I’ve got to be better, taking advantage of different outlets,” Mayfield said. “They’re a great defensive front, so anytime we’d have an advantage in some of the pass options in the run game, we just need to take those and move down the road. We’ve just got to play better as a whole.”
Tampa Bay couldn’t get in the end zone during the first half, which marked the first time the Bucs couldn’t score a touchdown in the first half this season. Mayfield led the lone touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, capped by a one-yard pass to wide receiver Mike Evans.
“We got into a little tempo. Mike made a couple of great plays — an incredible catch right there,” Mayfield said about the drive.
The Bucs defense, which had two interceptions, couldn’t get the ball back to Mayfield and company as the Eagles ran out the clock. Mayfield finished with 15-25 passing for 146 yards and a touchdown versus an interception, and he took two sacks.
Bucs Skill Players Lacked Luster vs. Eagles
Evans had the best game receiving for the Bucs with five catches for 60 yards and touchdown. Wide receiver Chris Godwin caught three passes for 32 yards, and running back Rachaad White posted three receptions for 32 yards.
White also rushed for 38 yards on 14 carries as the Bucs ground game couldn’t get going against the top-rated Eagles run defense. The Bucs mustered 41 yards on 17 carries overall and never gained more than White’s 12-yard run on any other play, and White took the safety after Bucs defensive back Dee Delaney‘s interception near the goal line.
Mayfield’s mobility also didn’t make a difference in this loss as he lost 13 yards on the sacks, and he gained only two yards on a carry. He also couldn’t find an advantage at tight end with one completion to Cade Otton for 16 yards — a position that burned the Eagles in the previous two weeks.
“Cade made that one good catch. Early on, that was our only first down,” Mayfield said. “We started too slow, and that’s a good football team, so anytime you give them opportunities to have the football in their hands, they’re going to capitalize.”
Bucs Defense Couldn’t Make Enough Stops
Defensively, Tampa Bay couldn’t make enough stops amid 472 yards of total offense allowed. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had his way much of the time with 23-37 passing for 277 yards for a touchdown versus two interceptions.
“They came in here, and they beat us pretty good, and we own that,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said. “We can’t mope about it. We’ve got to get ready for New Orleans.”
The Bucs face the Saints (2-1) in Week 3 to stay in first place in the NFC South. Former Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will face his old squad since Saints starter Derek Carr sustained an AC joint sprain against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2.
“Maybe a little bit more juice next week,” Mayfield said.