TAMPA, Florida – It meant a lot for the Eagles to have Jason Peters back at left tackle for the opening-night win against Atlanta. It also meant a lot for the Eagles when Peters left Sunday's game in the first quarter of a 27-21 loss to Tampa Bay as a quad injury, suffered in practice a few days before, tightened up on him and sent him to the sidelines.
"I hurt it on Thursday in practice and it just got tight on me early in the game," Peters said, who termed the injury a "quad strain."
"It's frustrating, man. But I know it's nothing long term. I'll be back out there next week."
Halapoulivaati Vaitai replaced Peters and gave up a sack, but otherwise played a solid game against Jason Pierre-Paul. The offense, however, did not get untracked until the team was down 27-7 in the third quarter and quarterback Nick Foles was pressured early and often. He was sacked three times, hit more than a dozen other times, and pressured in and out of the pocket all game.
"We need to be more consistent," Peters said. "We had too many self-inflicted wounds. It was very frustrating. I looked up at one point and it was second-and-40 (in the first quarter). We shot ourselves in the foot. We've just got to correct it. We will look at the tape and correct it."
CARSON TO THE RESCUE?
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported before the game that quarterback Carson Wentz was "on track" to return to the starting lineup as early as Sunday against Indianapolis. While head coach Doug Pederson chose not to speak about the report, the players did. And they basically spoke in unison that they need to better all around, no matter who is playing quarterback.
"We're 1-1, the same exact start as last year," Peters said. "When Carson is ready, he's going to step in and do his thing. But right now, we're rolling with Foles and when Carson is ready, we're going to roll with him."
Said tight end Zach Ertz: "We need to play better, no matter who the quarterback is. We're not waiting on anybody. We just need to play better than we did today."
SOUR HOMECOMING FOR AGHOLOR
Wide receiver Nelson Agholor had eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in his return to his native Tampa, but he was far from satisfied with the homecoming.
"We lost the game. That's very disappointing for me. I'm here to win. That's all that matters to me," Agholor said. "It's great that my family is here, but I came here to win the game and we didn't get that done."
Check out all of the best photos from Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 16, 2018.
BY THE NUMBERS
Some numbers to digest from the 27-21 loss on Sunday ...
- Nick Foles reached several career milestones in today's game: With a 12-yard, second-quarter completion to Nelson Agholor, Foles surpassed Norm Van Brocklin (7,497; 1958-60) for the ninth-most passing yards in Eagles history. Foles also eclipsed 10,000 career passing yards with a 34-yard completion to Zach Ertz in the second quarter. Foles finished the game with 334 passing yards (35-of-48) and one touchdown for a 98.8 QB rating.
- Jay Ajayi scored his team-leading third rushing touchdown with a 2-yard plunge in the third quarter to cut the score to a 27-14 deficit. Ajayi's three touchdowns are his most in a season since 2016 (career-high eight touchdowns).
- Corey Clement rushed for a 15-yard TD (tied for the longest rushing TD of his career – Week 3, 2017 vs. Giants) in the second quarter to tie the game, 7-7. Three of Clement's five career rushing touchdowns have either tied the game or given the Eagles the lead.
- Nelson Agholor provided the offense with a spark in the second half, hauling in a critical 2-yard TD on fourth-and-goal to cut the deficit to 27-21 with 2:51 to go. On the team's third-quarter scoring drive (capped by Ajayi's touchdown), Agholor registered a 50-yard reception. It was his longest catch since posting a 51-yard reception during a career-best 141-yard receiving performance last December at Seattle.
- Zach Ertz led all Eagles receivers in receptions (11) and yards (94), recording his franchise-record sixth-career game with 10-plus receptions. Ertz's six career games with 10+ receptions lead all NFL tight ends since he entered the league in 2013.
- Fletcher Cox, who sacked Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for a 7-yard loss in the first quarter, leads Philadelphia with 2.5 sacks this season. Cox's first-quarter takedown of Fitzpatrick moved him into sole possession of ninth place on the Eagles' all-time sacks list. His 36.5 career sacks are the second-most ever by an Eagles interior defensive lineman, trailing only Andy Harmon (39.5; 1991-97).
- Ronald Darby recorded his first interception of the season when he picked off a ball tipped by Rodney McLeod on a deep pass intended for Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard in the first quarter. It marked Darby's sixth-career interception and fourth overall with the Eagles. Darby has posted three interceptions in his last five regular-season games dating back to 2017.
- In the fourth quarter, Malcolm Jenkins (ninth-career forced fumble) punched the ball out of Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans' hands and was recovered by Jordan Hicks (sixth-career fumble recovery).