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Jalen Hurts, Nick Sirianni, Jonathan Gannon, Jalen Reagor

TAMPA, Fla. - Jalen Hurts has a gift for speech, which is often misused to obscure the obvious.

Hurts put his playoff press conference after the game on hiatus Sunday to make this statement:

"This struggle does not define us. It does not define who we are."

Of course it did. It defined the Eagles perfectly. It exposed any deficiency. Hurts threw two unforgivable interceptions. Nick Sirianni called a miserable fight and did not have his team ready to play. Tom Brady dissected defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon again: two touchdowns, no interceptions, 78.4% completion rate.

And Jalen Reagor? Oh. Just rehearse. Three more failed point returns. Three. Three. In a playoff match. Having Reagor on the list is reason enough to fire general manager Howie Roseman. Having him on the field is enough to fire Sirianni.

The list has more holes than a sunken pirate ship, and it gets worse quickly, because the best players are as old as Charlie Manuel's bathing shoes.

A football team spends six months preparing for a month, which is this month, and this is the month that defines all teams, and the Eagles lost to the Buccaneers, 31-15, in a game that did not deserve to look past the first. hour.

Do you want to speak defining?

The Birds is the definition of a team that should not have seen the playoffs. They slipped into the off-season with the No. 7 seed, NFC's bastard extra slot that only exists to fatten already fat purses. This team is the argument, incarnated, against the 13th and 14th playoff teams.

They came back, 31-0, after 40 minutes of play. The only reason the match did not end 51-0 was that the Bucs went into Protect Tom Brady Mode in the final 20 minutes.

»READ MORE: Eagles-Buccaneers analysis: Jalen Hurts and Jalen Reagor took steps back when the birds were jumped off

When they went into their wildcard playoff game, there was a legitimate question about the quality of this team. Was the Eagles 2-5 garbage truck that started the season against tough competition, or was it the 6-1 steamroller that ruined bad teams late in the season?

Sunday was garbage day.

Sirianni, the coach and play-caller, had no answer to Tampa Bay’s defense. It was as if Buc's defensive coordinator Todd Bowles had the Spygate movies that helped the Patriots beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. Sirianni tried to win with bubble screens and Power 5 college RPOs. Bowles laughed, as he does, saying RP-None.

If the Eagles hope to fight in future playoff games, then they need to find a No. 1 quarterback. Hurts' last-minute end zone interception at the end of the first half, rolling left and lazy, kept the match at 17-0 and essentially sealed the result. And this was not his worst pass of the day; it came late in the third quarter when he jumped into the air and tried to lick one over the middle as if he was playing for St. Louis. Louis University in 1906.

Reagor let a punt fly over his head and spoiled every chance at a field goal at the end of the first half. He undercut and dropped the next punt, which should have been a reasonable catch anyway. He dampened a third, early in the fourth quarter. He was never replaced. Sirianni said his backup, Greg Ward, had back spasms. Lived. Inserted into Burt Ward.

As for Gannon, he faced the most successful quarterback in history, at home after an MVP-worthy season in which he ran an offensive that he largely recruited, designed and implemented. Still, if the Eagles were hoping to leave Tampa with self-respect, much less a win, Gannon would have to do better than touchdown-point-touchdown field goals in the first 20 minutes.

He did not. Brady compiled a passer rating of 108.2 in his two games against the Eagles and completed 80% of his passes.

It's Hurts 'job, and also Siriannis', to spray perfume on the pile of manure they left at Raymond James Stadium, but they could only do so much.

Simply put, the heady crowd and the huge efforts ruined the Eagles. Reagor, a first-round pick from 2020, lost two points. Dallas Goedert lost an easy catch. Sirianni and Gannon showed all the improvisation of an Austrian school arm.

"I do not want to say that the moment became too big for them. We made some mistakes," Sirianni said. "Coaching error. There are some guys who want some acting left."

Hurts was more defiant. He considered himself a second-year player who had only made four NFL starts as a rookie; his recreated offensive line; his rookie coach and defensive coordinator; and his novice buddy, the receiver DeVonta Smith, and he turned it hard.

"This season was far from a failure," Hurts insisted. OKAY.

But Sunday?

For Hurts, Sirianni, Reagor and Gannon, Sunday was a profound failure.


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