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Going into week three, the only matchup that features two undefeated teams was the Monday Night Football matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0). It is not a surprise to see the Eagles among the few undefeated teams left. It is more surprising to see the Buccaneers on the thought that many analysts believed they would be one of the worst teams in the league.
The Eagles endured two battles at the New England Patriots and at home against the Minnesota Vikings in games that were closer than they prepared. The Buccaneers were able to scratch and claw their way to wins at the Vikings and at home to the Chicago Bears.
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See also how we think the Rams will do against the Bengals on this MNF doubleheader.
|Philadelphia Eagles||-5 (-108)||-225||O 45|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+5 (-112)||+185||U 45|
The Eagles' offenses remain as one of the most productive scoring offenses in the league, even if they aren't as prominent in the passing game through two games this season. Philadelphia ranks fourth in the league in points per game (29.5) thanks to their rushing offense ranking second in the league (178). Dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts and running back D'Andre Swift are among two of the dangerous runners in the Eagles' backfield that can break opposing defenses.
They will take on a Buccaneers' defense that plays physical at the line of scrimmage and looks to shut down the running game. Tampa Bay ranks seventh in points allowed per game (17) and fourth in rushing yards allowed per game (54). Through two games, Tampa Bay has accounted for 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
The most surprising aspect of the Buccaneers' offense is new starting quarterback Baker Mayfield has been more of an efficient asset than a liability through two games. Tampa Bay isn't as explosive as some of the other teams in the league, but they can win big matchups. Mayfield has played mistake-free ball by finding ways to get his passes to his two star receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Mayfield has completed 47-of-68 of his passes for 490 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
It shouldn't be a surprise to see the Eagles possess the top-ranked rushing defense (52 rushing yards allowed per game). They have rebuilt their front seven with several players of the Georgia Bulldogs' national championship-winning teams. Their biggest concern is defending against the passing game as they have lost some key veterans in the secondary. This could leave teams like Tampa Bay to generate an efficient passing offense.
While Eagles cornerback Darius Slay has remained to play at a high level, the other man coverage corner James Bradberry has been limited due to injury. The Eagles secondary has been hurting the most in their first season without safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Mayfield has averaged 245 yards in his two games of the season.
The Buccaneers' defense ranks 23rd in the league in passing yards allowed per game (248.5). Through two games this season, it is DeVonta Smith, not A.J. Brown that has been the best receiver. Smith has caught 11 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
Whether it is in a goal-line situation or through a screen pass, the Eagles are going to find ways to get their dynamic offense and their other dynamic playmaker in the game.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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