Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson wreaked more misery on Gus Poyet's team in the final stages to leave them bottom of the table, seven points adrift of safety and facing a mountain to climb to avoid the drop.
Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action in North London.
On target: 11
On target: 4
Was the result fair?
This is Tottenham's biggest Premier League win of the season, and one of their best performances of the campaign too. Sunderland hung with them for a while, but could not survive the pressure that was applied on them without making defensive mistakes and class, Eriksen's in particular, prevailed in the second half.
This will have pleased Tim Sherwood at the end of what must have been a difficult day for him following the speculation over his future as Spurs manager. His side moved the ball as quickly in the final third as they have in a long time, and thus they created more chances than their starved striker are used to getting. Eriksen was at the heart of almost everything good that they did, finding pockets in a compact three-man Sunderland midfield, while also drifting wide to affect the play at every opportunity. His crosses for Adebayor and Kane's goals were near perfection. Sherwood's attacking lineup, though, often left Tottenham's defence with a lack of protection, and this could have been exploited by a better team.
They benefitted from a Spurs mistake to take the lead but then struggled to create any chances of note, only testing Hugo Lloris with a couple of long-range Fabio Borini shots. Support for the Italian was thin on the ground, although Cattermole did pop up to score a very well-taken goal, his first in over six years. Their midfield and defence may have been both mentally and physically exhausted when the final 15 minutes came around as they suffered a Spurs-like collapse in the latter stages, with mistakes from both the centre-backs and goalkeeper adding to their woes. Poyet is tinkering with his formation, but Sunderland appear as open at the back as ever and cannot get their most dangerous attacker, Adam Johnson, on the ball in the right areas anywhere near often enough. Poyet may want to revert to Plan A.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Christian Eriksen: This is one of the most deserving man-of-the-match awards that will be given this season. Eriksen has been playing very well of late, contributing goals and assist, and this was comfortably his best display in a Spurs shirt. He showed precise delivery with both feet to provide the strikers with Tottenham's opening two goals, and displayed again that he can score goals of all types with a left-footed drive which killed the game off. He was always looking to influence the game and get on the ball, thriving in the freedom provided to him by Sherwood tonight by popping up just about everywhere in the final third.
Chiriches has been sitting on the sidelines while his defensive colleagues have made blunder after blunder in recent weeks, and the Romanian followed the increasingly popular trend at White Hart Lane by making a clanger on his return to the team after two months out injured. His overhit, risky square pass was too firm for Younes Kaboul, and Cattermole swooped to finish past the stranded Lloris in style. Fortunately for Chiriches, Eriksen and company soon rendered his error largely irrelevant.
Lee Mason denied Tottenham's full Premier League debutant Kane what was a probable penalty, but apart from that he had little to do in the capital. He should be credited for taking the wet conditions into account when a few slide tackles were made to look worse than they were by the slippery surface.
Tottenham: They have little choice but to win all five of their remaining games if they are to have any chance of finishing in the top four, and next up is West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
Sunderland: Their perilous position could turn into certain doom following their next three fixtures, Champions League hopefuls Everton at home and then title-chasing duo Man City and Chelsea away.