During the 4-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Week 5 defeat of the Miami Dolphins, 45-17, quarterback Tom Brady suffered a minor injury to his thumb, one that reportedly will not keep him out of this Thursday night matchup, but whether it will affect his ability to connect with Antonio Brown, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin remains to be seen.
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts tossed another interception, his third of the season, but Philadelphia still managed to get the Week 5 win over the McCaffrey-less Panthers with the help of Hurts’ two scrambling touchdowns, but he will need to find DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and TE Dallas Goedert for some scores if his 2-3 Eagles expect to outscore Brady’s bunch.
These two NFC rivals have played each other 19 other times (including 4 postseason games), with the Philadelphia Eagles winning 10 of those games and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning 9 of the games.
Nobody is sure how serious the injury is to Tom Brady’s thumb, and though he is listed as questionable to play in this matchup, he and his coaches have made it clear that he plans to suit up against the Eagles on Thursday.
Despite the bruised finger, Brady still managed to throw for 411 yards and five touchdowns with no turnovers last week, a sign that however painful his digit becomes he can still function under center despite of it.
GOAT Tom Brady has thrown five TDs in a game nine times in his career, and four of those games have been after he hit the age of 40, so don’t expect a sore thumb to keep him on the bench, his need to compete far greater than his fear of pain.
Right now the Eagles have a top-10 defense that keeps opponents under 25 points per game while allowing opposing offenses to gain over 335 yards of total offense each time, numbers that are impressive despite the team’s 2-3 overall record.
One key to neutralizing the Buccaneers is to put pressure on their passing attack, and DEs Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat will have their hands full against a QB like Brady who likes to get the ball out of his hands in well under two seconds every time.
Tight coverage by Philadelphia’s 3rd ranked secondary including some shutdown work by S Anthony Harris and CB Darius Slay (below) will help give the Eagles’ defensive front an extra half a tick to get in on Brady in the backfield before he can find an open target.
When you are 6’ 5” tall and weigh over 230 pounds like Buccaneers’ receiver Mike Evans, you tend to win most battles for the football against smaller defenders, something that he and QB Tom Brady have been taking advantage of since the start of last season.
So far this year, Evans and Brady have connected 29 times for almost 400 yards and four touchdowns, their longest a 34 yarder, and last week the two combined for 6 receptions on 8 targets for 113 yards and two scores.
Every season that Evans has been in the NFL since 2014, he has posted a 1,000+ year, and three times he has scored double-digit touchdowns in a season, so watch for him and Brady to try and light up the Eagles top-3 passing defense on their way to a fifth victory.
With the perfect name for what he does to opposing quarterbacks, Eagles’ cornerback Darius Slay has a tendency to get in the way of the receivers that he covers, the nine-year NFL veteran with 22 career interceptions and 113 passes defended in the league.
Last week against the Carolina Panthers, Slay had his best game of the season with two interceptions, two passes defended, and three total tackles on the day, becoming a huge reason why his struggling Eagles was able to get their second win.
Now it will be up to Slay to cover some big Bucs playmakers, the 6’ 190-pound corner undersized compared to a receiver like Evans, but what he lacks in height he makes up in hops with a 35 and a half-inch vertical leap that can help him take away most errant passes.
|Buccaneers vs Eagles Information|
|What||Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles|
|Where||Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA|
|When||Thursday, October 14, 2021; 8:20 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX / NFL Network|
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