Buccaneers vs Eagles Live The Buccaneers go back on the road on a short week as they take on the Eagles in Philadelphia on Thursday Night Football. It will be the third primetime game of the season for Tampa Bay and the second Thursday game they’ll play. They opened the season on a Thursday edition of Sunday Night Football with their win over another NFC East team in the Dallas Cowboys.
How to watch
Date: Thursday, Oct. 14 | Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)
TV: Fox/NFLN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Buccaneers -7, O/U 52.5
When the Buccaneers have the ball
The Bucs will make their way through the entire division this year and they’re getting the Eagles coming off serving the Carolina Panthers their first loss of the season. Thanks, Philly.
That’s where the pleasantries end, though. It’s no secret these two franchises have history; “Shutting Down the Vet” ring a bell at all? The Bucs will be visiting the Vet’s replacement for the first time since 2015. Tampa Bay has won its last two matchups with the Birds and the all-time record between the two gives Philly a slight 10-9 edge, including the postseason. Thursday will be the Bucs’ opportunity to get to .500.
Here’s how to watch the nationally televised matchup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
Watch on TV:
- Thursday, October 14, 2021
- Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
- Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
- Television Network: FOX, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video
- Broadcast Crews: [FOX] Joe Buck (play by play), Troy Aikman (color), Erin Andrews & Kristina Pink (reporters) [Amazon] Hannah Storm & Andrea Kremer
The stream is available through Yahoo Sports, the NFL App, Twitch, the Buccaneers Official App and online at Buccaneers.com.
Tampa is off to a 4-1 start, with the only loss coming against the Los Angeles Rams, who are also 4-1. The Bucs occupy first place in the NFC South, with the Panthers and Saints close behind. After beating the Panthers last week, Philadelphia is 2-3, but still trails the Cowboys by two games in the NFC East and sits behind Washington due to the tiebreaker.
This should be a fascinating matchup, at least in terms of tactics, and we’re here to break it down. But first, here’s how to watch the game.
Tom Brady and Co. are operating at a flatly absurd level at the moment. Brady leads the NFL in completions, pass attempts, and passing yards, is on pace to break his career high by more than 25 yards per game, and is sporting a 15-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Like everyone else, I feel obliged to remind you that Brady is 44 (FORTY-FOUR) years old. This is outrageous.
He has a pretty friendly setup in this matchup against the Eagles, as well. Philadelphia has played zone coverage on just about 86 percent of pass plays, per TruMedia, and Brady while Brady actually has not been as good against zone as he has against man this season, he has still torn through zones with relative ease. He’s eighth in both passer rating and EPA per pass against zone, completing 97 of 130 passes for 1,093 yards, two scores, one interception, and a 101.2 passer rating.
Crucial to his success is his ability to decipher where the ball should go quicker than any other passer in the NFL. Brady is throwing the ball within 2.5 seconds of the snap on more than 60 percent of his dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus, and he is PFF’s highest-graded passer on those plays. Ready for these figures? He’s 106 of 142 for 1,095 yards, 13 touchdowns, one interception, and a 124.0 passer rating when throwing within 2.5 seconds. That is, frankly, disgusting and should be outlawed.
The best way to handle Brady, as is the case with every other quarterback, is to get pressure on him without resorting to the blitz. (Brady has been blitzed less often than all but eight of the 32 passer-rating-qualified quarterbacks so far, and for good reason.) Specifically, the best way to rattle him is to get pressure up the middle. Brady is one of the league’s best in-pocket maneuverers, but if he has to take off to the outside he’s a little bit out of his element. Again, he’s 44 years old.
The Eagles have an interior player who is playing better than almost anyone in the league right now in Javon Hargrave, who is absolutely wrecking offensive linemen and has generated pressure on 13.9 percent of his pass-rush snaps, the fourth-best mark among interior linemen. Tampa’s interior offensive line trio of Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, and Alex Cappa is not as good in pass protection as tackles Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs, so if the Eagles have an advantage anywhere, it’s in that spot. Brady’s ability to get rid of the ball quickly, though, helps neutralize it.