The Eagles defense has been known for getting to the opposing quarterback but over the last two seasons the unit's sack numbers have greatly decreased. With a new 3-4 scheme, the defense has understandably needed time to adjust this season. However, with Week 6's matchup against rookie quarterback Mike Glennon and Buccaneers just around the corner, the kid gloves have to come off.
Sunday will be Glennon's second-career start and will be a followup to his one touchdown, two interception and one fumble performance against the Cardinals in Week 4. Glennon is not just a rookie. He is a rookie with a vast history of being turnover-prone. With three turnovers in his first NFL game, he continued a habit that has haunted him since college. His tendency to hold onto the ball for too long leads to a lot of strip sacks (13 fumbles in 2012) and staring down his receivers leads to easy interceptions for opposing defenses (29 picks in the last two seasons).
For the Eagles to take advantage of Glennon's shortcomings, they will have to not only get pressures and hits, but actually close and sack the young passer. The likes of Trent Cole, Fletcher Cox, Connor Barwin and Cedric Thronton need to be active behind the Bucs' backfield. Davis will also need to play Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham more than he has so far this season. Another great idea would be to blitz...alot.
The Buccaneers have a talented running back in Doug Martin and two talented wide receivers in Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson, but it is not like they are stacked across the board with talent. While the Eagles need to respect Glennon's arm (and he has a big one), they need to find a way to send five men on nearly every passing down. The defensive line needs to force bad decisions and habits out of Glennon as the Tampa Bay defense is likely to limit the Philadelphia offense through the air.
This game will likely be determined by the respective run games and the turnover battle. The Eagles have the talent to easily win on the ground, but need to force turnovers as they did toward the end of the Giants game in Week 5. If the Eagles can hit and hurry Glennon and get strip sacks, it will be a nice afternoon for those traveling to Sunday's game and the thousands of Eagles fans watching around the world.