Tonight Week 6 of the NFL season starts with our Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) hosting the defending Super
Bowl Champs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1). The game is set to kick of at 8:20 p.m. EST at Lincoln
Financial Field and will be televised on Amazon Prime Video, NFL Network, and Fox. These teams had
dramatically different Week 5 games, but both are coming in off a win and are looking to get a streak
Last week the Birds snapped a three-game skid after rallying from a 15-3 deficit to comeback and defeat
the Carolina Panthers 21-18 in Charlotte. Young quarterback Jalen Hurts was able to hurt the Panthers
with his legs as he ran for the only two touchdowns for the Eagles. Rookie sensation DeVonta Smith had
seven catches for 77 yards and a two-point conversion catch as he led the Eagles in receiving. The Philly
defense showed up and held Carolina to just 267 yards which helped get the ball in Hurts’ hands more
Tampa Bay on the other hand enjoyed a true offensive clinic in their Week 5 45-17 win over the Miami
Dolphins. Veteran quarterback Tom Brady, who some consider the greatest of all time, threw for an
incredible five touchdowns and 411 yards. They have a three-headed monster at receiver with Antonio
Brown, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin, with Brown and Evans each having over 100 yards.
Darius Slay and Steven Nelson will have their hands full with these guys but Slay has had a phenomenal
season so far. Last week, Slay held top receiver for the Panthers DJ Moore to just 2 catches and 14 yards
while also getting two interceptions. Slay is one of the NFL’s top lockdown corners and he will have to
prove that again tonight when matched up against the NFL’s best-receiving core.
Fletcher Cox also has to show up tonight as he is off to an unusually slow start to the season. Both Cox and Javon Hargrave must put pressure on Brady tonight and force bad passes to give Slay and Nelson more chances to make plays. Offensively the Eagles have started every game slow and that must change tonight. The Bucs love to attack immediately and if the Eagles can’t keep up then I am afraid they won’t be able to make one of their historic second-half comebacks against this stout defense.
Eagles’ fans have encouraged the coaching staff to run the ball more but that may have to wait another week as Tampa Bay currently has the NFL’s number one ranked rush defense. So, Hurts will have to use his arm to beat the Bucs and I am predicting a huge breakout game from rookie DeVonta Smith. Smith is off to a great rookie campaign and is the just 13th player in NFL history to have 25 catches and 300 yards after his first five games, the others were Julio Jones, Anquan Boldin, Andre Johnson, Stefon Diggs, and Michel Thomas. Hurts needs to continue to get the ball in Smith’s hands and let him make some plays in the open field.
Hurts should also utilize the speed, strength, and field vision of Miles Sanders. With the run game not working so far, get the ball in his hands with screenplays or check-downs and let him use his body to get yards.
If the Birds can keep up with the Bucs offense and force a turnover or two then Philly could come out on
top at the end of the night.
Philadelphia is 1-3 when facing teams with winning records this season and haven’t won a game at
Lincoln Financial Field yet this year, while Tampa Bay’s only loss was on the road against the now 4-1 Los
Angeles Rams. The Bucs not only have the number one offense in the league but also a top defense who
specializes in shutting down the running game of their opponents. Luckily for the Eagles, they don’t have
a true rushing attack so if the Birds can attack the Bucs through the air, I see them in this game towards
Some injury updates and score predictions
OT Lane Johnson (personal matter)
TE Dallas Goedert (COVID-19)
LB Lavonte David (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs)
S Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion)
OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/hand)
Eagles - 28
Buccaneers – 30
Money line: Buccaneers -290 (bet $290 to win $100) | Eagles +225 (bet $100 to win $225)
Over/Under (O/U): 52.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)