By Max Luckan
Finally adding closure to the Josh Freeman saga in their bye week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking forward to getting their focus back solely on football and figuring out how to win their first game.
In Week 5, the Bucs will be at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, who have also struggled a bit this season. Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon will make his second career NFL start. He’s had a week to review his first start against the Arizona Cardinals, so his play should improve against the Eagles. At this point, the Bucs are desperate for a win and they hope Glennon can lead them to a victory.
Eagles Season Record
Surprisingly, the Eagles find themselves in first place in the NFC East after the first five weeks of the season. With the Dallas Cowboys losing against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, both teams have a record of 2-3.
The Eagles have wins against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. Both of those teams are struggling so the wins aren’t that impressive. However, the three losses have come against very good teams: the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, and Denver Broncos.
If the Eagles are able to beat the Bucs this Sunday, they could be alone atop the NFC East.
Eagles on Offense
Chip Kelly’s offense has invaded the NFL. The Eagles haven’t been able to win as many games as they would have liked to so far, but the offense has been arguably one of the most high-powered offenses in the league. Currently, the Eagles are second in total yards with an average of 454.8 yards per game.
The offense is very fast-paced, which will pose a unique challenge for the Bucs. However, the Eagles might be without quarterback Michael Vick against Tampa Bay. That means Nick Foles might get the start, and the read-option offense will be limited with Foles at quarterback.
Still, the Eagles do things very differently on offense, as opposed to teams like the Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers, so they will pose a unique threat to the Bucs.
Eagles on Defense
Philadelphia has struggled mightily on defense, kind of the opposite of the Bucs, who have played well on the defensive side. The Eagles are 30th in the league in points allowed, giving up an average of 31.8 points per game so far.
And on average, the Eagles allow 434 yards per game, which is second to last in the NFL. Despite their struggles on defense, the Eagles have talented players on that side of the ball. But they have been plagued by inconsistent play. In typical Eagles fashion, they will try to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, especially with the rookie Glennon playing for the Bucs.
Eagles Players to Watch
LeSean McCoy: McCoy has played well for the Eagles as expected. With Foles starting at quarterback, McCoy should see some extra carries, so the Bucs have to keep an eye on him.
Nick Foles: Foles led the team to a solid victory over the Giants last week and he’s flashed at times. It will be interesting to see how he performs over the course of an entire game this season.
Cary Williams: The cornerback is very tenacious and already has two interceptions this season. Bucs wide receiver Vincent Jackson is a little banged up, so this is one matchup to watch closely.
The Eagles lead the all-time series between the two teams 9-7, but Greg Schiano has yet to face Chip Kelly in the NFL. Both coaches are rather new head coaches in the league, which could factor into some of the decisions made on Sunday.
For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.