This article is part of our NFL Observations series.
As someone who had the Bucs minus seven, that was unfortunate. I also had Mike Evans going in the NFFC primetime (though also Zach Ertz) and no Antonio Brown or Leonard Fournette. At least it was a watchable game.
- Tom Brady looked sharp early, but the Eagles smartly took away the outside deep throws and forced him to hand off and dink and dunk. Game flow was also a factor as Brady was content to run clock and settle for longer drives, but almost all of his damage was done in the first half.
- Leonard Fournette (22-81-2, 6-6-46) would go in the second round were we to re-draft for the rest of the season. He's the clear starter, looked smooth as a receiver and seems like the guy from last year's playoffs with his tackle breaking and vision. I made the comp to Marshawn Lynch, an early first-round prospect on whom his initial team soured, only to resurrect his career during the playoffs, and so far it holds.
- Antonio Brown (13-9-93-1) was Brady's favorite target. Mike Evans (4-3-27-0) and Chris Godwin (5-5-43-0) will get theirs in this offense, but it'll be almost random as to which one blows up in which game.
- O.J. Howard (7-6-49-1) did a decent Gronk impression. If he ever gets going, the riches will be beyond embarrassing.
- Jalen Hurts (4.4 YPA, 115 passing yards, one TD, one pick) didn't look sharp except for a couple nice throws on roll-outs, but he always delivers the fantasy goods (44 rush yards, two rush TDs.)
- Miles Sanders (9-56-0, 4-2-10-0) wasn't used much, but showed his speed and explosiveness when he was. He also got one goal-line carry, but was stopped at the one.
- Zach Ertz (6-4-29-1) salvaged his day with a TD, but no Eagles receiver did much.
- I loved the Eagles going for two down eight in a game with a seven-point spread. If they miss, the cover is probably good, and if they make it, the Bucs have more urgency to kick a field goal to make it nine and not risk losing the game. But stupid Brady and his QB sneaks.