It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve seen the Philadelphia Eagles play a football game. Pretty weird to have two NFL Sundays go by without the Birds being in action.
One would expect the Eagles used the mini-bye to try to help Jalen Hurts and the passing offense find a rhythm. It’ll be easier to feel better about the team’s outlook once the aerial attack gets going.
Is Monday night going to be the get-right game the Eagles are looking for? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the season with relatively low expectations (6.5 over/under win total) ... but they’re 2-0. The Bucs no longer have Tom Brady but they do still have quality defensive talent. And though he’s a flawed head coach, there’s little doubt that Todd Bowles is a strong defensive mind. He’s specifically had success shutting down Jalen Hurts in the past.
Hurts is a better player now. He also has better weapons to work with. The Eagles don’t need to go out and drop 70 like the Miami Dolphins just did (could be cool, though). But they do need their quarterback to be sharper than he was in his first two outings this season.
The feeling here is that Hurts and Brian Johnson will make some meaningful progress. The Eagles have too much talent not to figure it out. And they could take advantage of a Bucs secondary that could be starting an injury-hampered Carlton Davis (or his backup if he can’t play) and a struggling Jamel Dean (156.2 passer rating when targeted so far). A.J. Brown might be a much happier man this week.
When it comes to the Eagles stopping the Bucs’ offense, Baker Mayfield could prove to be annoying than expected. He’s played efficient, mistake-free football. The Bucs have protected him relatively well; Mayfield has only been sacked once so far. But the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears can’t say they boast the defensive line talent that the Eagles have acquired. It’s not hard to imagine that Mayfield could be pressured into making mistakes.
The more I think about it, the more I have confidence in the Eagles winning this game. But maybe I’m allowing the concerns that have crept up be washed away by the passage of time since their last game. And so I’m wont to believe things will not be easy for the 2023 Eagles until they prove that’s the case.
The Eagles will win but they’ll fail to cover the spread as five-point road favorites.
Will the Eagles beat the Buccaneers?
This poll is closed
Score prediction: 27 to 23, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: A.J. Brown logs his first multi-touchdown game since Week 13 last season.
Leave your own score predictions in the comments.