The Eagles beat up on Eli Manning and the winless New York Giants in Week 5 (see last week's predictions).
Next up for the Birds: the 0-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (see scouting report).
Here are our predictions:
Tampa's defense is going to pose some problems, but in the end, it's hard to see Mike Glennon putting up enough points to match the Eagles.
Eagles 26, Buccaneers 21
All week we've heard what a great 0-4 team the Bucs are. Best 0-4 team ever. Best winless team in the league. Amazing defense. Truth is, the Bucs really aren't that good. Decent defense, yeah, but they've scored just four offensive touchdowns all year. Four games, four TDs. Maybe the Eagles' defense is so bad it can even make Mike Glennon and this terrible Buccaneer offense look good, but I don't think so.
The Bucs have scored 44 points all year. Eleven per game. Even if they double that Sunday and put up 22 on the Eagles, Nick Foles and Co. should still be safely in the mid-20s and get the Eagles to 3-3. So I'll go Eagles over Buccaneers, and Foles improves to 2-6 in his career and 2-0 against the Bucs.
Eagles 24, Buccaneers 20
Almost every Eagles fan has this game as an easy W which is usually a bad sign. The fans felt that way about the home opener against San Diego and they were equally sure about the Thursday night affair with Kansas City, and how did that work out? Now along comes 0-4 Tampa Bay with a rookie quarterback and a head coach who might lose his job at any minute. Looks like a slam dunk, right? Don't be so sure.
The Bucs' defense can stuff the run and the secondary with Darrelle Revis is much improved. They are coming off a bye and the Eagles are playing their third consecutive road game and maybe looking ahead a wee bit to next week's game with Dallas. All of which makes me think this will be a closer and lower scoring game than most folks expect. Still, I can't see Mike Glennon -- the rookie QB who looks like Napoleon Dynamite and moves about as well-- making enough plays to win it.
Eagles 20, Buccaneers 13
On paper this is the perfect matchup for the Eagles do a lot of good things on both sides of the ball against a struggling Tampa Bay squad. The Buccaneers' offense has been awful, and maybe the now departed Josh Freeman was the big reason why. The Birds' defense should get a heavy dose of running back Doug Martin, who hopes to take some of the pressure of off rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Tampa Bay’s defense is not bad. They don’t give up many points (17.5 ppg), they are a fast unit that cover’s well in the secondary and the defense as a whole tackles well.
Nick Foles will return to the scene of his only professional win. There are a number of matchups to keep an eye on, like Desean Jackson going against Darelle Revis, and the Eagles' cornerbacks, Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams, vs. the Bucs' tall wideouts, Vincent Jackson (6-5) and Mike Williams (6-2), who may not play because of a hamstring issue, and Kevin Ogletree (6-1).
Somehow I feel this game may be closer than it should but because the Bucs are starting a rookie at QB, and their defense may be on the field longer than it wants to be. I think the Eagles will do just enough damage to prevail.
Eagles 24, Buccaneers 13
Not all 0-4 teams are equally awful. The Buccaneers haven't won a game, but they've come close several times. They lost by one point to the Saints, two to the Jets and three to the Cardinals. And all four of their defeats came courtesy of teams with winning records. That doesn't mean the Bucs are a good team (they aren't), it just means they're not as bad as their record might indicate.
The Bucs' defense has been solid. They've held three of their four opponents to 18 points or fewer. The problem for Tampa, as it's been all season, will be keeping up offensively. They won't. Eagles win a somewhat low-scoring affair (for them).
Eagles 21, Bucs 17
I'll keep this simple. Before the season, this was one of the games I said the Eagles would win. Now? The Bucs are winless. They've cut their starting quarterback. And they're dealing with MRSA.
Maybe if Ronde Barber were playing ...
Barber will be there -- in the television booth.
Eagles 27, Buccaneers 17