The Philadelphia Eagles are in Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. In order to preview this Week 3 matchup between two 2-0 teams, I reached out to our enemies over at Bucs Nation. The elegant Evan Wanish kindly took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to Evan’s questions about the Eagles, stay tuned to BN.]
1) Who deserves the most credit for the Bucs’ 2-0 start?
I think it’s a combination of the defense being as good as it’s been, specifically with creating turnovers and Baker Mayfield’s ability to protect the football. It is still early in the season, but the Bucs defense looks like a top unit and if Mayfield can continue to protect the ball, the Bucs offense could be dangerous.
2) What are the biggest concerns about the Bucs through two games?
The offensive line, specifically the interior is a concern even though it hasn’t burned them quite yet. The other concern is that there have been points in both games this season where the offense goes cold and can’t get much going. Tampa can get away with that facing Minnesota and Chicago but against better teams that won’t fly.
3) I know it’s early ... but are you buying or selling Baker Mayfield as the Bucs’ QB of the future?
You are definitely right when you say it’s too early and this answer could very well change even in a few weeks but right now I think you have to buy it. Mayfield has been everything the Bucs could have asked for out of the QB position so far and if it keeps it up, they could very well win the NFC South.
4) To what extent do you think Todd Bowles can replicate the success the Bucs’ defense had against the Eagles’ offense in their wild card playoff win over Philly?
That’s a tough one because while not much has changed on the Bucs defense, a lot has changed for Philly’s offense. Jalen Hurts is a completely different player than he was in that playoff game and the Eagles also didn’t have A.J. Brown at the time. I still do believe though that the success Todd Bowles’ defense can have is with the two linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White. Both players could be asked to contain Hurts and limit his running ability to force the Eagles into some third and long situations.
5) Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as 5-point road favorites, what’s your score prediction? And what are your expectations for the rest of this Bucs season?
Unfortunately for the Bucs, I do think the Eagles hand Tampa their first loss of the season. I just think the Eagles are too much in the trenches on both sides of the ball for Tampa to handle. I think a 26-17 final score sounds about right. The Bucs have a good chance to be competitive in just about every game they have this season, but whether they win those games or not depends on health and if the QB can continue his strong play.