Eagles at Bucs: 5 Keys and a Pick
The Eagles will be missing some key offensive talent when they head to Tampa to take on a Buccaneers team that scored 48 points last week in New Orleans.
Tampa QB Ryan Fitzpatrick torched the Saints secondary, completing 21-of-28 passes for a career-high 417 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Buccaneers’ Week 1 win over the Saints.
His main targets, Mike Evans, hauled in seven catches for 147 yards and a touchdown and former Eagles WR DeSean Jackson had five receptions for 146 yards and two touchdown before leaving the game with a concussion.
NFL Network's Peter Schrager reports Jackson cleared the concussion protocol and will play today against the Eagles.
Here are five keys to today's Eagles vs Buccaneers game:
1. Eagles secondary vs Evans and Jackson
The Eagles have one of the deepest and best group of corners in the league, but they will have their hands fulls today against a very talented Tampa receiving core. While they have more weapons than just Evans and Jackson, those two present the biggest challenges for the Eagles.
It should be a fun battle between Evans and Jackson vs Darby and Mills.
2. Bucs secondary vs Eagles passing game
The Bucs secondary is very banged up for the game today, with starting corners Vernon Hargreaves and Brett Gimes out for today's game. Tampa will have a pair of rookies in the game, so expect the Eagles to take some shots down-the-field with Nelson Agholor and Mike Wallace. Tampa was also torched by Saints running back Alvin Kamara, so you should anticipate that the Eagles try to get the ball to their running backs out-of-the-backfield.
3. Eagles defensive line vs Bucs offensive line
Part of the reason Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to find so much success against the Saints, was the lack of pass rush from New Orleans. That most likely won't be the case today against the Eagles, who will rotate multiple defensive lineman at the Bucs offensive line, and should be able to force Fitzpatrick into some key mistakes.
4. Zach Ertz vs Bucs linebackers
One area the Eagles would like to get more production from this week is tight end. Zach Ertz did not have his best game against the Falcons, but has a favorable matchup today against the Buccaneers. Last week in the game against the Saints, New Orleans tight end Ben Watson caught four balls for 44 yards and Josh Hill added a catch for 15 yards.
Ertz should be able to find plenty of room in the middle of the Tampa defense.
5. Eagles depth vs Tampa heat
The weather is Tampa is expected to feel like 105 on the field, which means the Eagles depth should be challenged in today's game. But if there is one team that can handle depth issues its the Eagles. Jim Schwartz will rotate his ends, the Eagles secondary has plenty of depth on the corners, so one area the Bucs expect to have an advantage should be negated.
The Pick: Eagles 28, Buccaneers 10