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Tom Brady Picks Apart Eagles Defense, Leads Bucs to 21-7 Halftime Lead

The Eagles' offense once again was light on running plays and managed just 52 yards passing against the worst pass defense in the NFL
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PHILADELPHIA – Too much Tom Brady, not enough offense for the Eagles, and the halftime score was rather predictable.

Tampa Bay 21, Eagles 7.

Brady played about as well for the opening two quarters as he could. Maybe.

At 44, he’s been doing it a long time, so, yeah, he’s probably had halves like the one he played Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

He took the Bucs on three long scoring drives, each of which last more than five minutes.

He completed 19 of 24 passes for 190 yards with a touchdown throw of two yards to tight O.J. Howard and 23 yards to Antonio Brown to open a 14-7 lead.

He also tossed an interception to Anthony Harris with just 57 seconds to play in the opening half.

Brady was 11-for-12 in the first quarter, with those two touchdowns and 121 yards.

The Eagles’ lone touchdown came on their first possession when Jalen Hurts found a wide-open Zach Ertz from five yards away with 6:01 to play in the opening quarter.

Zach Ertz celebrates a TD against Tampa Bay

Zach Ertz celebrates his 5-yard touchdown catch that tied the game at 7-7

They had to overcome two third-and-12 situations to keep the drive alive and a good chunk of that came on a 45-yard pass interference called against Jamel Dean as he tried to defend Jalen Reagor inside the 10 to set up a first-and-goal.

But the Eagles’ offense went three-and-out on four of their possessions.

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At least the defense forced two punts from Tampa Bay.

It appeared that Marcus Epps had intercepted Brady, with Fletcher Cox in the QB’s face to force a bad throw. After a lengthy delay, the interception was overturned.

Instead of starting near midfield, the offense had to begin at the 11 after a Tampa Bay punt.

On third down, however, Hurts threw his fourth interception of the season trying to hit Quez Watkins.

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Brady then engineered a 72-yard drive that covered 11 plays and 5:34 to open a 21-7 lead.

Hurts finished the half with five completions in 14 attempts for 52 yards and a passer rating of 48.6. That was the best he could muster against a Buccaneers’ pass defense that entered the game ranked dead last in the NFL and lost cornerback Richard Sherman in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, the Eagles' run game was nonexistent, as expected.

Not only do they make much effort to run, but Tampa Bay has the league's top-ranked run defense.

Miles Sanders ran the ball once. Jalen Hurts had 20 yards on six runs, mostly scrambles.

As a team, the Eagles had just five first downs. At least they had only one penalty, an unnecessary roughness penalty on Sanders.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.