Eagles vs. Buccaneers: 3 things we saw

1. Poised and confident.

In his fourth start, Nick Foles looked every bit like an NFL starting quarterback. The rookie took the Eagles on a 64-yard, game-winning drive to snap an eight-game losing streak, the franchise’s longest skid in 42 years. Foles hit Jeremy Maclin in the corner of the end zone with no time remaining. More importantly, Foles was in total control when it mattered. He converted every crucial third down and hit on two fourth downs on the winning drive. His 32 completions and 381 yards were single-game rookie passing records.

2. Improved defense.

Yes, Doug Martin gashed the Eagles in the second half. Yes, Nnamdi Asomugha got beat several times in key situations. Overall, however, the defense looked improved without Jim Washburn’s famed wide-nine. The defensive line generated an actual pass-rush (and collected two sacks, Cullen Jenkins and Fletcher Cox) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played his best game in an Eagles uniform. He ran stride-for-stride with receivers on long passing routes and finished with three pass deflections.

3. Receiving the call.

With DeSean Jackson out with a concussion — and Brent Celek leaving in the first quarter with a concussion of his own — Jason Avant and Jeremy Maclin answered the bell. Avant was outstanding, owning the slot and making a spectacular, one-handed catch to convert a 3rd-and-17. Avant finished the game with seven grabs for 133 yards. Maclin, who caught the 1-yarder to win it, also enjoyed one of his best performances. He hauled in nine balls for 104 yards.

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