TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Darrelle Revis never envisioned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being winless through the first five games of the season.
But that’s the case after Nick Foles threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth as the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Buccaneers 31-20 Sunday.
“There’s no way you can, you know, block it away or shy away from it … we’re 0-5 right now and that’s the reality,” Revis said.
“We have to find a way to dig ourselves out of this hole. The hole is deep, but we can climb back up it. I never expected this.
“At the same time, this is my team, this is my family. I have to do a better job as well as everybody else has to do a better job of playing and executing.”
With the injured Michael Vick active but not playing, Foles made his seventh career start and beat the Bucs for the second time. He was 1-5 as a rookie a year ago, with that victory also coming on the road at Tampa Bay.
But unlike last December, the second-year pro didn’t have to throw a last-second TD pass for the win.
He gave the Eagles (3-3) the lead for good with a 47-yard scoring pass to Riley Cooper, then gave his team breathing room with his second TD pass to DeSean Jackson.
Foles completed 22 of 31 passes for 296 yards and no interceptions. NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy gained 116 yards on 25 attempts, and Cooper finished with four receptions for 120 yards.
In addition to playing through a messy split with Josh Freeman, the Bucs also have been dealing with three members of the team being diagnosed with MRSA, a staph infection that’s resistant to many common antibiotics.
“I didn’t feel distracted,” Tampa Bay tight end Tim Wright said. “It came at the end of the week. We already had our game plan in. We already executed what we had to do, the core stuff of our offense and our defense, special teams. I feel like, when that just came upon us, it was just something that we had to clear up, the guys that were affected by it and look forward to the game.”
The team announced Thursday that guard Carl Nicks, who along with kicker Lawrence Tynes was diagnosed with MRSA in August, is being treated for a recurrence on an infection in his left foot. By the end of the day, a third player — rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks — was diagnosed with MRSA.
Nicks was inactive Sunday, however Banks was cleared to play, with the league and NFL Players Association saying a joint statement that a medical specialist met with the Bucs, supervised the inspection of the team’s facilities, conducted medical examinations and agreed with the Tampa Bay medical staff that Banks did not pose a risk of transmission to other players.
“I’m not going to comment,” Banks said. “That’s just people assuming things that have nothing to do with football so I’m not going to talk about it. (The reports) didn’t faze me. I just showed up to play the game. I felt good out there. Just ready to get back to work tomorrow.”
Rookie Mike Glennon threw for 273 yards, including TD passes of 1 and 24 yards to Vincent Jackson in his second start for Tampa Bay, which benched Freeman before later releasing the 2009 first-round draft pick during the team’s bye week. Jackson had nine catches for 114 yards, and Wright had seven for 91 yards.
Tampa Bay, which began with expectations of contending for their first playoff berth since 2007, have dropped 10 of 11 games dating to last season.
“We’re a competitive franchise who’s been on the short end of the stick too many times,” Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano said. “We need to get on the right end of the stick. We’ve to play our way and coach our way out of it one day at a time. That’s how you do it. There’s no magical answer.”
Foles led an eight-play, 85-yard TD drive on Philadelphia’s first possession, opening the game with a short pass that McCoy turned into a 44-yard completion.
The Eagles drove 54 yards in the second quarter to take a 14-10 lead when Foles found Jackson running across the back of the end zone in front of Revis for a 12-yard touchdown.
Glennon took advantage of short fields to produce Tampa Bay’s first 10 points. Revis forced McCoy to fumble at the end of a 13-yard run and recovered at the Eagles 40 to set up Rian Lindell’s 38-yard field goal.
NOTES: Bucs WR Mike Williams was inactive with a sore hamstring. … Tampa Bay LB Lavonte David was credited with nine solo tackles and one sack.