Alright Philly fans, the stage has been set officially. The Philadelphia Eagles will be heading down to Tampa Bay to face off against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. There is a bit of history between these two franchises facing off in the postseason, as this is not the first time these two teams have met.
Four total times since 1979 these teams have met in the post season, with the series split between the two. They also met up earlier this season, with last years Super Bowl champions winning 28-22. Not only did the Eagles lose that matchup, that was possibly the worst showcase by the entire team all season.
A lot has changed since the last time these two franchises have met up. The Birds have become one of the top offenses in the league with their found rushing ability and the Bucs have fallen off from their former self, especially on defense. The last time these two teams faced off, Tampa Bay had one of the most stout offenses and defense, due to major injuries they have since gone down.
However, no matter who they are missing, they still have arguably the greatest player of all time in QB Tom Brady and Philly should not take that lightly. As opening up by -7 point underdogs, does this team even have a chance to win? We think if they follow these three things they just might. Let's dive in and see what they are.
1. Aggressive needs to be the mindset of everyone, especially defense.
So this could be stated as being obvious, but we all still have some heartburn from earlier this season when the likes of Tom Brady and Dak Prescott torched this defense by simply just picking them apart up and down the field. That cannot happen if this team has any hopes of actually winning.
Gannon needs to allow his defensive line to feast and afford them the time by not calling zone coverage schemes. Every time this defense is allowed to play aggressive, they have generated sacks or pressures that have led to turnovers. Even though the Bucs are missing multiple offensive weapons, giving Brady any form of time is going to lead to points scored.
2. Don't shy away from what works.
The running game got you here. It is imperative that Sirianni does not abandon the run going up against some of these high power offenses. The best way to slow them down or force them into mistakes is by winning the time of possession battle. This offensive line has gone up against the best rush defense in the league and have ran over them each and every time.
The longer Brady sits on the sidelines, the better chance this team has at winning. Another thing that has kept this offense rolling is calling play-action passes for Jalen Hurts. Hurts is currently ranked 3rd overall out of all starting quarterbacks when calling play-action, so that is something that needs to continue heavily.
3. Zero room for error.
No matter what this team game plans are, they cannot afford any errors, in any phase of the game. The Eagles have done a solid job in cleaning up the penalties, but over the course of the past few weeks they have seem to have crept up again, normally at the worst time.
It may be the harsh truth, but this team does not have the talent to overcome costly penalties. This team also does not have the talent to overcome bad play designs or coverage schemes. Simply put, if this team gets into a hole early, it may be near impossible to dig out of.
No matter what, the Eagles heading to the post-season in itself is amazing, but if they want to be competitive and even have a shot at advancing, every single play, call, coach, and player must be perfect.