The Eagles (2-3) are hosting the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (4-1) at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (4-1)
They shut down Matt Ryan, Jimmy Garoppolo and Sam Darnold and they got lit up by Dak Prescott and Pat Mahomes. You can probably see where we're going here. The GOAT is headed to the Linc on a short week, and sore hand or not, the Eagles just don't have the personnel to slow him down. Brady is having one of his best seasons ever at 44 years old — 15 TDs, 2 INTs and averaging over 350 yards per game, which nobody has done over a full season in NFL history. He's got weapons, he's got an o-line, he's got a running game and the Bucs are just as good on defense as offense. Top-5 in both. Things will get easier after this one, but this is a very tough matchup.
Buccaneers 33, Eagles 24
Dave Zangaro (4-1)
I just don’t see it. Tom Brady is still too good, he still has too many weapons and the Bucs’ offense is just rolling too smoothly. Maybe the Eagles won’t give up Brady’s age (44) in this game, but I still don’t know if we can expect Jonathan Gannon’s unit to do enough to stop this offense even on a short week, even on the road, even with an injury to Brady’s thumb. The key on that side of the ball will be for the Eagles’ front four to get pressure on Brady; that’s not an easy ask.
On the other side of the ball, if the interior of the Eagles’ offensive line can hold up, then maybe they can score some points. But if this ends up being a shootout, it would be tough.
Maybe the Eagles can keep it close for a while. I just can’t see them pulling off this upset.
Buccaneers 33, Eagles 21
Ray Didinger (4-1)
Tom Brady is 44 years old with a bruised thumb on his passing hand and he will be playing on the road on a short week. So how effective can he be? Answer: As effective as he needs to be. He is Tom Brady. He's not a quarterback, he's a cyborg.
He won six Super Bowls with New England then signed with Tampa Bay last year and won a seventh. He has won 268 games, including post-season, and last week he threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns against Miami. In other words, this ain't Sam Darnold the Eagles are playing this week.
The Buccaneers defense is battered and vulnerable so the Eagles should be able to move the ball and score some points but Brady will score more. Good luck, Jonathan Gannon.
Buccaneers 31, Eagles 20
Barrett Brooks (3-2)
This is a game in which my expectations are be tempered. The realistic expectation should be to just get better as a team. The Bucs’ offense is explosive and led by the best QB to ever play the game. This is the best WR core in football. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown are on pace to each go over 1,000 yards this season. Defensively, the Bucs are the No. 1 run stopping front. So needless to say, I will not be screaming to run the rock in this game!
Eagles lose a tough one.
Buccaneers 31, Eagles 19
Mike Mulhern (4-1)
It’s a familiar script that seems likely to play out on Thursday night: the Eagles face an elite offense and are powerless to stop them. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys buried the Birds in Big D, then Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were nearly flawless a couple weeks ago at the Linc. While Jonathan Gannon’s group has had great success against lesser talents, we’re talking about Tom Brady here, folks. He’s got the Bucs’ offense humming and he’s surrounded by top-end talent. His offensive line is among the best in the league and should be able to neutralize the Eagles’ biggest strength, their pass rush. Then pick your poison when it comes to defending their wideouts. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown are all on pace to eclipse 1,000 yards this year. Darius Slay was phenomenal last week shadowing D.J. Moore. Even if Slay’s able to blanket one option, there are still two more Pro Bowl-caliber targets for Brady to find.
Speaking of familiar scripts, expect the Eagles to continue to be among the most pass-happy teams in the league. You simply cannot run on the Bucs (an eye-popping 45.8 yards per game allowed on the ground) and opponents have just flat out stopped trying to. So once again it’ll be on Jalen Hurts to carry the load. The Bucs are banged up at corner so surely the Eagles will try to take advantage, assuming they can hold up along the line. Vita Vea is a complete game wrecker in the middle of the Bucs front and could pose some major problems against Jason Kelce and a pair of young backup guards inside. In the end it’ll be same script, same results.
Buccaneers 38, Eagles 27
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