Billy Davis: ‘The Whole Thing Was Awful’

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Billy Davis. (Jeff Fusco)

Billy Davis’ eyes, big and glassy, told the story after the Eagles’ 45-17 thrashing at the hands of the Buccaneers today.

“Awful,” Davis said after the game, surrounded by a horde of reporters with more questions than he could answer. “All day. Starting with me. The whole thing was awful.”

Tampa Bay piled up an astounding 521 yards on Davis’ defense, the third-most yards allowed by the Eagles since Davis was hired as Chip Kelly‘s defensive coordinator in 2013.

Doug Martin rushed for the second-most yards by an opposing running back in Eagles franchise history, picking up 235 yards on 27 carries, devouring the Birds’ vaunted defensive line.

Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston completed 19 of 29 passes for 246 yards and five touchdowns, shredding Davis’ secondary.

“There’s not one spot [that played well],” Davis said. “There’s no starting spot, there’s no ending spot. A game like that, that comes out of nowhere and is that bad for us defensively, starts with me, and it’s on me, but there’s enough blame to go around for everybody.

“We didn’t do anything well today, starting with coaching. So this is one that, we have to give [Tampa Bay] the credit, we have to move on, and we have to go play Detroit. Really. We didn’t stop the run, and five touchdown passes. There’s no excuses for anybody. Awful day.”

The Eagles had allowed more yards and more points since Davis arrived, but he said after the game that this was the worst game he’s coached in 43 games as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator.

“Yeah, this is it,” Davis admitted. “This is it. We didn’t do anything well today. I didn’t call it well, I didn’t prepare them well. Whatever you want to say, as a collective unit, it just shows out there. The scoreboard shows the game. Everybody saw it.”

This was an Eagles’ front seven that prided itself on stopping the run heading into the season, squashing teams last year with a combination of All-Pro-level talent in Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan.

This Eagles defense entered the game as one of the most potent turnover-generating teams in the league, taking the ball away from their opponents 20 times in its first nine games.

On Sunday, none of that mattered as Martin, Winston and the Bucs ran right over Davis’ unit.

“It’s tough,” Davis said. “We’ve got a bunch of real prideful men in there, and they’re real pissed off about the way we played, and it starts with me.

“A game like that will shake your confidence, and that’s our biggest enemy right now. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t destroy us. We’ve got to make sure this thing gets fixed, and it was a one-game thing. And that’s a challenge right now, to make sure this was a one-game thing.”

But Davis asserted time and again that the defense will move past this loss, that it won’t sink their ship, and that Thursday against Detroit is a good chance to get the horrid taste out of their mouth.

“We have to collectively hang together, get it right, get it fixed, and move on to Detroit, and get a win there,” Davis said. “As competitors, mature competitors, you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to put it behind you, find out what you did it wrong, why you did it wrong, and not repeat the mistake. That’s they key right now, not repeating that performance.”

It’s unlikely the Eagles will allow back-to-back 230-yard rushers. But bouncing back is also easier said than done, and the onus will fall squarely on Davis and his players if they can’t show improvement against Detroit come Thursday afternoon.