TAMPA, Fla. -- The Philadelphia Eagles went more than two months without a win, and even then they had to wait a few anxious minutes more to be sure they had ended the team's longest losing streak in 42 years.
"Nick put the ball down and away like he was supposed to, I went down and got the ball, made sure I was in bounds, and the rest is history," Maclin said.
Foles threw for two touchdowns in the final four minutes to overcome an 11-point deficit, finishing with an Eagles' rookie-record 32 completions and 381 yards. He was sacked six times, but withstood the punishment to also lead Philadelphia in rushing with three carries for 27 yards and a touchdown that helped build a 10-0 halftime lead.
"Very special. Very humbling," Foles said of his first victory as an NFL starter. "It's a great win, too, because we came back. We were winning, then we lost the lead. Guys stuck together."
The 6-foot-6 Foles rolled to his right and found Maclin open in the side on the end zone, where the receiver made the catch going to his knees before being pushed out of bounds by cornerback Leonard Johnson.
"All around as a team, we just never quit. You guys are seeing Nick Foles grow into a phenomenal quarterback reight in front of your eyes," Maclin said. "I think the sky's the limit for him."
That's when Foles, who scored on a 10-yard run in the first half, took charge.
The Eagles drove 72 yards in eight plays to Harbor's TD. Foles threw incomplete on a 2-point conversion that would have enabled his team to pull within 3 points, meaning Philadelphia needed a TD when the offense got the ball back with no timeouts and less than three minutes remaining.
Foles kept the final drive alive with a 3-yard run on fourth-and-1 from the Tampa Bay 31. It looked as though the Bucs might hang on before the rookie moved around to buy some time and threw 22 yards to Avant cutting across the middle to keep the Eagles' hopes live. Avant had seven receptions for 133 yards.
"They're gutty. That's what they are," Reid said, adding that Foles requested to run the play that produced the winning TD. "Some of the starters made big plays, and then the backups jumped on the bandwagon and joined them. ... I'm proud of the whole bunch."
The Bucs (6-7), who honored the franchise's only Super Bowl championship team at halftime, lost for the third week in a row since using a four-game winning streak to climb into playoff contention.
"Any time we lose, it's frustrating, no matter what the reason is," Freeman said, who was 14-of-34 passing for 189 yards and no interceptions. "Philly just found a way to make more plays than us. Whether it was at the beginning of the game or down the stretch, it doesn't matter."
NOTES: Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha was shaken up early in the second quarter when he took a hard fall on a near interceptions. X-rays on his neck were negative and he returned to the game. ... The Bucs limited the Eagles to 29 yards rushing on 16 attempts. ... All four of Philadelphia's wins have been two or fewer points.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press