Eagles defense pitches a shutout in the first half

AP

Was Tommy Brasher the missing piece all along?

The first half with Brasher as the team’s defensive line coach has been a very good one for the Eagles. They shut out the Buccaneers on their way to a 10-0 lead at the break. They’ve sacked Josh Freeman twice and helped cause him to miss on 11 of his 16 passes through two quarters. Doug Martin hasn’t found much running room and the Eagles defense gave their offense time to find its footing.

That finally happened at the end of the half when Nick Foles led a seven-play, 80-yard drive capped off with a 10-yard run by Foles for a touchdown. The big play on the drive was a long completion by Foles to Jason Avant, a combination that also accounted for the biggest play en route to a field goal on their previous drive. Foles has been pressured a lot and Bryce Brown has been rendered totally ineffective (five yards on 10 carries), but the rookie has still hit on 16-of-23 passes for 193 yards without turning the ball over.

Much has happened since the last time the Eagles won a game, but they’ve put themselves in a position to end that long spell after 30 minutes of work in Tampa.