Eagles

Eagles

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 05: Vita Vea #50 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers applying pressure during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Week 3 is here. The Eagles had an ugly win in week 2. They followed that up with a slightly less ugly win in week 2. Progress? Yes, the passing game still struggled to get off the ground, but the running game exploded for 250 yards. The secondary was super leaky in week 2, but that is mostly because they were down 3 starters on a short week, and they got stops when they needed to get stops. What matters most is they won both games and are one of just 9 undefeated teams left in the NFL. But they are facing another one of those 2-0 teams on Monday night, the Buccaneers.

Nobody expected much from the Buccaneers this season. In fact, a lot of people in the media had them as one of the worst teams in the NFL. But so far, they have beaten both opponents they faced. Including a dominating win over the Bears in week 2. The defense has been playing well, and Baker Mayfield has been a pleasant surprise in 2 games.

With that said, the Eagles are still road favorites. Going into the weekend, Vegas had them as 5-point favorites. A big line for the visiting team. But that does not mean the Eagles can take things for granted. They are heading into Monday with a banged-up secondary against an elite WR duo. And the Bucs are one of the few teams that are potentially capable of slowing down the Eagles’ run game. The Eagles should win, but there are a few ways that the Bucs could give the Eagles issues.

So who should the Birds be the most worried about? Here are the 6 Bucs players who could give the Eagles the most trouble in week 3:

  • WR- Mike Evans

    Last week Evans put up 171 Yards on the Bears’ secondary. He will look to build on that against a banged du Eagles Secondary. There is no Avonte Maddox. Maddox usually covers the slot, so you wouldn’t think that would impact covering Evans, but one of the ideas to replace Maddox has been to move James Bradberry inside. It may be best to hold off on that for a week. Bradberry is by far the best option to match up with Mike Evans, with Slay being better suited for the faster finesse guys.  Bradberry should probably shadow Evans as much as possible. 

  • WR- Chris Godwin

    Last year, Godwin played 60% of his snaps in the slot. With no Avonte Maddox, that number may be even bigger this week. If the Eagles do go with Mario Goodrich, that will be a matchup the Bucs attack all night. Goodrich did some decent things in week 2. But he clearly was not 100% comfortable with what his role was each play in the Zone Defense. Far too many times there was a wide-open guy because either he or Jobe made the wrong read. If that happens again in week 3, it could be a big game for Godwin.  

    NFL on Twitter: "Baker. Godwin. TD. Could be seeing a lot of this in Tampa this season.📱: Stream #BALvsTB on #NFLPlus https://t.co/624TrfDUF6 pic.twitter.com/rOO3Ygbiug / Twitter"

    Baker. Godwin. TD. Could be seeing a lot of this in Tampa this season.📱: Stream #BALvsTB on #NFLPlus https://t.co/624TrfDUF6 pic.twitter.com/rOO3Ygbiug

  • DT- Vita Vea

    Does Vita Vea put up the biggest numbers on the Bucs Defense? Not usually. But he may just be the most important player on that side of the ball for them. Because what Vea does is completely disrupt the middle of the field. What we are hoping Jordan Davis becomes, Vea already is. Running up the middle at him is usually futile, and he can get after the QB a little bit as well. The Eagles’ entire offense last week was inside runs. We will see if they can pull that off again while Vea is on the field. He is a big reason why the Bucs are always in the top 5 run defenses around the NFL. 

  • LB- Lavonte David

    The other reason why the Bucs run defense is always so great is LB Lavonte David. David is a tackle machine. He has been with the Bucs since 2012 and only failed to reach 100 tackles twice. Last season he finished with 125. If the blockers and the RB can get past Vea, they also have to contend with David, who always seems to be right where the ball is to make a play. It should be a fun battle to watch. The best run-blocking team in the league, against one of the best run-stopping teams.  

    TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 01: Lavonte David #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recovered a fumble during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Tampa, Florida.

    (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

  • LT- Tristan Wirfs

    The Bucs O-Line is a mess. It is banged up, with a lot of guys with very little experience playing. But there is one sure thing along that line, and it is Wirfs. Wirfs has been one of the best LTs for years. He gave up just 2 sacks all of last season. Josh Sweat is out to a crazy start and is top 5 in QB pressures. But he will get his toughest test yet on Monday.  

    SportsCenter on Twitter: "Bucs OT Tristan Wirfs is 6′5" 345 lbs and doing seated 48" box jumps ... with a weighted vest 😳 @ESPNNFL (via @TristanWirfs74) pic.twitter.com/I5VODw5Hgd / Twitter"

    Bucs OT Tristan Wirfs is 6′5" 345 lbs and doing seated 48" box jumps ... with a weighted vest 😳 @ESPNNFL (via @TristanWirfs74) pic.twitter.com/I5VODw5Hgd

  • CB- Christain Izien

    Izien has only played two games, but he has already built a reputation for being a ball hawk. The former Rutgers DB has a pick in both weeks 1 and 2, and will surely be looking to keep that trend going.  

    NFL on Twitter: "Christian Izien ices it with an INT! #CHIvsTB pic.twitter.com/gNuggLsQpD / Twitter"

    Christian Izien ices it with an INT! #CHIvsTB pic.twitter.com/gNuggLsQpD

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