The Eagles can be in first place by the end of the day with a win at home today against the Tame Bay Buccaneers. 

With the Giants on a bye, the Eagles can take a half-game lead over the G-Men, but it won't be easy.  The Eagles will turn to Mark Sanchez today in place of Sam Bradford at quarterback and will get Jason Peters back to play left tackle.

The Eagles dropped an ugly 20-19 decision to Miami last week, while the Bucs beat the boys 10-6 to improve to 4-5 on the season.

Overall, the Eagles and Buccaneers have met 17 times, including playoffs, with Philadelphia holding a 10-7 series advantage. In Philadelphia, the Eagles are 6-4 against the Buccaneers with the last home contest taking place in 2009.

(Listen on 97.3 ESPN, coverage starts at 7:30pm, Kick-off at 8:30pm)

 Sal Pal Friday on Eagles vs Cowboys:

Eagles’ inactives: RB Ryan Mathews, QB Sam Bradford, CB Denzel Rice, LB Emmanuel Acho, OL David Andrews, OL Tanner Hawkinson, and DE Brandon Bair

Buccaneers’ inactives: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donteea Dye, QB Ryan Griffin, S Kimario McFadden, OG Ali Marpet, DE Jason Shirley, and DE George Johnson.

Outside View: Scott Reynolds, Pewter Report:

 

Matchup to Watch:  Eagles secondary vs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson

The Eagles have been good against the "X" plays this season, but will face two big, physical wide outs this week. Against the Dolphins, the Eagles streak of 14-straight games with at least one takeaway came to an end, but they could force rookie Jameis Winston into mistakes this week after he had two picks last week vs. Dallas.  The Eagles are tied for second among NFL defenses in forcing turnovers, as they have recorded 12 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries in nine games.

Reaction:

While it’s not a ‘must-win’ game for the Eagles, they will be mathematically alive with a loss in the NFC East race, a loss would continue to show this team has no identity or ability to get hot and make a December run.

The Eagles have run the ball much better since week 2 but last week they struggled on the ground against a poor Miami defense, and will be without the services of Ryan Mathews today.

The team will start Mark Sanchez at quarterback for the first time this season, Sanchez could be auditioning for the starting quarterback job if he plays well, it could be his team the rest of the way. Sanchez completed 14-of-23 passes for 156 yards, but had a key interception in the end zone in the Eagles 20-19, Week 10 loss to the Dolphins.

I think Sanchez plays well today with a week of practice under his belt, I think the offense ran better with Sanchez, better pace, better rhythm.  The Eagles defense should force some turnovers, but if the Bucs can control the game on the ground, it could be an ugly last team to have the ball type.

The Pick:  Eagles 31, Bucs 21

John McMullen’s Take: