Nine minutes, 22 seconds remained in the game and the Eagles held a 25-11 lead on Tampa Bay after a Bucs touchdown drive and following two-point conversion stirred the crowd at Raymond James Stadium on Monday night. The Eagles' first two wins of the 2023 season went right to the wire, so they wanted to avoid a close call this time.
They had started fast in Week 3 and they wanted to finish strong. That was the mindset as everyone huddled and the Eagles' offense took possession at the 25-yard line.
"Going into that drive, I didn't – I don't know if anybody – expected to finish the game with the ball in our hands," tight end Dallas Goedert said. "It was a great drive by everybody involved. We ran the ball well. We threw the ball a couple of times when we needed to. It's impressive that we were able to defeat them that way, to take 9:22 off the clock and end the game with the ball in our hands. It was obviously a long drive and it took the pressure off of the defense. It was really cool.
"We used the clock, waited until there were 10 seconds left (on the play clock) to snap it, but I definitely didn't think we could get it all the way to 0:00. We sealed it."
There is a four-minute offense in the NFL, a specific menu of plays designed to move the chains and melt the time off the clock, if executed properly. But a nine-minute offense?
Check out our award-winning team of photographers' best shots – some from on the field, some exclusive candids from inside the locker room – from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay where the Eagles beat the Buccaneers on Monday night to improve to 3-0.
The Eagles ran the ball eight times for 22 yards and quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 2 of 3 passes for 36 yards, including a 25-yarder on the sideline to wide receiver A.J. Brown that converted a third-and-13 play with five minutes remaining and all of that helped the Eagles reach the two-minute mark. From there, the Eagles ran a couple of plays and Hurts threw to Brown on fourth-and-2 to gain 4 yards and it was all over.
No kneeldowns. Just the end of the game.
"We were all on the same page. We knew what we were going to do," left tackle Jordan Mailata said. "We wanted to run out that clock as much as we could. When you have an offense that can execute that role and do it in a lot of ways, it's definitely helpful. What makes it helpful is that the communications on the sidelines and then to the huddle and then to everyone on the line who are trying to make the right calls as we're trying to execute the right run-call techniques, that's all part of it. It was great being part of it."
Said right guard Cam Jurgens: "We want to run that clock, that's for sure. We called good plays and guys just stuck to doing their job. It was cool being able to do that. We ran the ball and we felt they couldn't stop it. Our running backs were doing a great job getting extra yards. After that last play, the throw to A.J., I looked up at the clock and I was, 'Oh man, we don't have to kneel. Dang. The clock is already down.' We were exhausted, 80 plays, but it was a great feeling. We know we can do that moving forward. It's huge. We want to have the offense on the field to end the game. It was great for us."
That drive was one example of the many ways this offense gets the job done and why it is so difficult for defenses to prepare to play the Eagles. What do you try to take away? The coaches will recognize that, make an adjustment, and win doing something different, attacking weaknesses.
In that case, to run more than nine minutes off the clock, the Eagles did a little bit of everything very, very well and that pleased Head Coach Nick Sirianni.
"Just went a really long time, right?" Sirianni said. "Nine minutes we were able to bleed off the clock, so great job by the entire group of offense, playcalling by (Offensive Coordinator) Brian (Johnson), the offensive line, what a tremendous ... to have nine minutes run off the clock in a four-minute drill is pretty outstanding."