December 2, 2023

Eagles Take 2-0 Record to Tampa Bay for a Monday Night Showdown


Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Questions and concerns aside, the Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0.

For their week 3 matchup they will travel to face another unbeaten team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even with the media still unsure about this Eagles team’s identity fans should be confident in coming out of Tampa Bay with their third straight win.

One of those questions is injuries, which have been killer to the Eagles to start the season. Avonte Maddox has been lost for the season and Nakobe Dean is on IR. Boston Scott and Quez Watkins have already been ruled out for the game and a handful of important pieces including James Bradberry, Kenneth Gainwell, and Reed Blankenship are all listed as questionable. As per the last two games, the defensive side has missed those pieces dearly. With our defensive backs this thin the Eagles have given up over 300 passing yards per game through two weeks. Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai must figure out matchups with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans lined up at Wide Receiver for the Bucs.

Another question has been the effectiveness of Jalen Hurts. Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson and Hurts have clearly not had the connection as previous OC Shane Steichen did with the third-year quarterback. He already has two turnovers this season and has been sacked seven times. I believe the playbook cannot revert back to quarterback draws after the first two weeks. The Vikings were daring this offense to run and the Eagles followed their lead. The Bucs have a well-coached defense and have ample amounts of experience. They just played Justin Fields last week and held him and checked and they got another running Quarterback with Hurts. Johnson needs to call plays that will protect Hurts and utilize this offensive to be inconsistent with how the Eagles beat you. They have enough weapons to score 34 and still seems like it wasn’t their best game.

The matchup against Tampa is an interesting one. Sort of reminds you of New England’s matchup with how they operate their offense. The Bucs will do everything they can to keep the Eagles offense off the field and try to tire the thin Eagles’ defense as the games go on. As for the Bucs’ defense, they remain an above-average unit in this league and I expect them to try to rush Hurts on his pass attempts. He has not been as comfortable with pressure in his face and has resorted to escaping the pocket almost too early in the play progression. However, I do believe this is the week the Eagles escape their shell and play a complete game. There will indeed be ugly plays on defense and I expect the Bucs to score but Hurts will have a textbook game in Tampa for the first time since his first playoff loss in 2021. The Eagles will win the game 30-17 with it being close throughout the first half. A 13-10 halftime lead would have the Eagles pleased but not satisfied. The Bucs show heart but a crucial Mayfield turnover puts it out of reach and the Eagles will improve to 3-0.

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