The Philadelphia Eagles are 6-0 in their last six Thursday Night Football games as they prepare to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their Week 6 game tonight.
The Buccaneers are 4-1, losing their only game to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3. Philadelphia, on the other hand is 2-3, winning their first game in four weeks last Sunday, providing some confidence going into tonight’s battle.
So, how do both teams match up?
Tampa Bay’s run defense is one of the best in the league, if not the best. But, luckily for Philadelphia, that won’t be an issue. Head coach Nick Sirianni has been under fire for lack of running the ball, and in tonight’s game, the Eagles don’t need it.
What the Eagles do need is substantial passing. The Bucs rank last in the NFL against the pass (314.4 yards), giving second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts a lot to work with. With Dallas Goedert recently placed on the Reserve/COVID list, tight end Zach Ertz and wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins should see a lot of gameplay tonight.
Focusing on the passing game will also place significant importance on the offensive line. In five games, the Eagles have already used three different line combinations. Last week against the Panthers, starting left tackle Jordan Mailata played on the right, incurring two penalties. However, Mailata could see the right side again as Lane Johnson will be out for his third consecutive game.
Jonathan Gannon’s defense was under scrutiny following their Week 4 performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, but last week was a completely different story. Darius Slay had two interceptions of his own (three total for the team), as the remainder of the defense logged three sacks and a blocked punt. They rank third in the league against the pass, allowing fewer than 195 yards, which will give superstar Tom Brady a run for his money.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
You can’t really say anything bad about Tom Brady. In five games, he leads the league with 1,767 passing yards, 15 touchdown passes, and two interceptions. He’s consistently been ranked as the No. 1 quarterback this season with help from Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. Rob Gronkowski will remain out during tonight’s game with a rib injury.
Though the Buccaneers also haven’t had a substantial run game, averaging 82 yards, Brady will rely heavily on running back Leonard Fournette tonight as the Eagles rank 30th in the league against the run. This season, Fournette has averaged 4.5 yards per carry for 418 total yards and 19 receptions.
As for the Buccaneers’ defense, they will be missing key players secondary to injuries, including safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and linebacker Lavonte David.
The game starts tonight at 8:20 PM at Lincoln Financial Field.