Date & Time: October 14th – 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field
Network: Fox/NFL Network
- Philadelphia Eagles Practice/Injury Report (as of 10-12-21)
- T Lane Johnson (Personal Matter)
- Limited Participation
- DE Derek Barnett (Ankle)
- C Jason Kelce (Foot/Rest)
- Full Participation
- OL Landon Dickerson (Ankle)
- T Jordan Mailata (Knee)
- Reserve/COVID-19 List
- TE Dallas Goedert
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers Practice/Injury Report (as of 10-12-21)
- LB Lavonte David (ankle)
- TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs)
- LIMITED PARTICIPATION
- QB Tom Brady (right thumb)
- WR Chris Godwin (knee/ankle)
- C Ryan Jensen (hip)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/hand)
- S Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion)
The Philadelphia Eagles come into this matchup on a short week, fresh off a comeback victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Tampa Bay is coming into Philadelphia off a 45-17 thrashing of the Miami Dolphins.
In this game, the Eagles offense will have to get off to a much quicker start, if they want to have any success. There will likely be an emphasis placed upon the passing game. Tampa Bay currently ranks 32nd against the pass and will be without it’s number 1 and 2 corners. Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is also a question mark as he’s currently dealing with a concussion.
There should be ample opportunity for the Eagles passing game to find rhythm in this game.
Tampa Bay has one of (if not the) most powerful offenses in the NFL.
Their offense is weapons galore with Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Mike Evans. Tom Brady is on pace for over 6,000 passing yards and 51TDs.
The defense will have their work cut out for them this week but they are coming off one of their better showings in the 2021 season. They forced 3 turnovers and got after Sam Darnold (including 13 pressures and 3 sacks) last week.
But, this is a different animal in terms of the offensive line the Eagles front 4 will be facing this week.
Tampa Bay allows the lowest pressure rate and has allowed the 4th least QB hits in the NFL this season.
This is a matchup that will be come down to whether or not the Eagles can get consistent pressure on Tom Brady, who is dealing with an injury to his throwing hand.
The Eagles have won six straight games on Thursday night football.
3 Things to Watch for the Eagles
1) The script to start the game for Nick Sirianni
Last week at Carolina, the Eagles offense struggled tremendously in the early going. The offense was predictable, bland, and stagnant. They utilized screens and RPO concepts on what seemed like every play of their first two drives.
They have to get off to a better start.
Utilizing more no huddle offense, more pre snap motion (like we saw against the Kansas City Chiefs), and quick throws on crossing routes to guys like Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins will help QB Jalen Hurts settle in.
It’ll likely be another pass heavy day for the Eagles as Tampa Bay has the 32nd ranked passing defense but, the number 1 rushing defense in the NFL).
2) The Eagles tight ends vs. the Buccaneers linebackers.
The utilization of Zach Ertz in the passing game in the intermediate areas of the field must be an emphasis. In their last 3 matchups the Buccaneers defense has allowed 167 yards, 8.2 yards per reception and 3 touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
Tampa Bay will be without starting linebacker, Lavonte David in this matchup.
3) How the Eagles go about defending Tampa Bay’s weapons.
This won’t be an easy matchup for the Eagles secondary.
They are going up against the number 1 passing offense in the NFL. The trio of Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Mike Evans is the most talented starting wide receiver core in quite some time.
The Eagles cornerbacks had success against the Panthers by utilizing a variety of zone looks with some man mixed in. Against Tampa Bay, they will need to utilize much of the same.
They secondary doesn’t have the personnel to man up on a consistent basis. It will likely be a heavy dosage of cover 2 with some cover 3 mixed in, which is the best option to defend this passing attack. This is where the Eagles front 4 have to make in impact in this game and affect the timing of throws.
The X-Factor for this matchup will be the Eagles defensive line. This game will hinge on the front 4. Unless they can consistently get penetration into the backfield, it will likely be a long day for the Eagles.
Pressures will matter a ton in this one. It’s all about impacting the timing. Tom Brady is a statue in the pocket. The defensive line has to get home.
Pick: Buccaneers 31, Eagles 27
The Eagles don’t match up well with this Buccaneers team at all. They simply don’t have the personnel to contain this passing attack.
I think the Eagles can hang with Tampa Bay on offense, just because of how bad the Buccaneers passing defense is, but the trio of Godwin-Brown-Evans will prove to be a bit too much for this Eagles secondary.
Bold Prediction: The Eagles have less than 5 penalties