TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jalen Hurts threw for a touchdown, ran for another and led the Eagles on a game-ending drive that lasted more than nine minutes as Philadelphia remained unbeaten with a 25-11 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
The defending NFC champions, who won their first eight games a year ago, are off to a 3-0 start in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992-93.
Hurts improved to 20-1 over his last 21 regular-season games. He tossed a 34-yard TD pass to Olamide Zaccheaus that helped Philly build a 13-3 halftime lead, and his 1-yard scoring run gave the Eagles a 17-point advantage early in the second half.
The Eagles led 25-3 by the time the Bucs finally got into the end zone on Baker Mayfield’s 1-yard TD throw to Mike Evans. A 2-point conversion trimmed Philadelphia’s lead to 14 with 9:22 remaining, but Hurts and the Eagles never let Tampa Bay get the ball back.
Hurts was 4 of 5 passing and ran for a first down on that final drive.
The Bucs (2-1) lost for the first time with Mayfield at quarterback, turning the ball over twice after playing turnover-free against Minnesota and Chicago. The Bucs’ usually reliable defense struggled, too, yielding 201 yards rushing.
A week after rushing for a career-high 175 yards, D’Andre Swift ran for 130 yards on 16 attempts for Philadelphia. Hurts was 23 of 37 passing for 277 yards and two interceptions, while A.J. Brown finished with nine receptions for 131 yards for the Eagles — one of just three NFL teams that remain unbeaten, along with Miami and San Francisco.
Mayfield completed 15 of 25 passes for 146 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Evans had five receptions, giving him 700 in his career.
Twelve of the past 14 teams to start 3-0 have gone on reach the playoffs.
Ronde Barber’s 92-yard interception return for a touchdown that sealed Tampa Bay’s victory over the Eagles in the 2002 NFC championship game in Philadelphia is perhaps the most memorable play in Tampa Bay franchise history. The former Bucs star was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August and received his Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence at halftime Monday night.
Eagles: WR Quez Watkins (hamstring) and RB Boston Scott (concussion) were inactive. S Justin Evans (neck) left the game in the first quarter.
Buccaneers: CB Carlton Davis III (toe) and DL Calijah Kancey remained sidelined after sitting out the previous week against Chicago.
Eagles: Back at home to face NFC East rival Washington on Sunday.
Buccaneers: At NFC South rival New Orleans on Sunday.
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