Know Your Enemy: Can the Buccaneers upset the Eagles in week 3?

Eagles vs buccaneers vs bills vs buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (1) celebrates scoring a touchdown with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Eagles are set to take on the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football at 7 pm Eastern time. Jalen Hurts and the offense will look to get the passing game back on track while relying on the run game to get them there. 

As for the defense, well they will be as healthy as can be as Reed Blankenship and James Bradberry make their return. Unfortunately, the team will be without their top slot CB Avonte Maddox, and will have to rely on their youth to fill the void. The Bucs have been just as hot as the Eagles and are on the same path of finding their identity.

Let’s take a look at the matchup at hand for the Eagles, Who are the 2023 Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Buccaneers Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Todd Bowles

Offensive Coordinator: Dave Canales

Defensive Coordinator(s): Larry Foote, Kacy Rodgers

The Eagles have an 8-8 all-time regular season record against the Patriots but have lost 3 of their last four regular-season matchups against Tampa Bay. The Eagles have not won a regular season game against the Buccaneers since 2013.

Buccaneers Offense

Eagles vs buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

It’s the rebirth of what Baker Mayfield was supposed to be when he was drafted by the Browns. Fortunately for him, he made it out of Cleveland and found his way to the top of the totem pole in Tampa. With a revitalized Bucs offense, it looks like Mayfield can do no wrong. Both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are healthy and have provided Mayfield with lethal options.

The Eagles’ secondary will have their work cut out for them on Monday night. They lost their top slot cornerback for the season and will have to rely on Mario Goodrich to hold down the fort against Chris Godwin. As for Mike Evans, it will be a big test for Sean Desai to stop the red-hot WR. Hopefully, a healthy Darius Slay can neutralize him and limit Mayfield’s options.

Buccaneers Defense

TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 05: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Linebacker Devin White (45) looks into the offensive backfield during the regular season game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 05, 2022 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

The Bucs’ defense has been one of the better defenses after two weeks of play so far. They’re fourth in the league in interceptions and rushing yards allowed. While many have been writing off the post-Brady Buccaneers, it seems like they’ve made it a personal agenda to prove the world wrong. 

With players like Devin White, Vita Vea, and Antoine Whitfield, it seems that it could be a long day for the Eagles’ offense. While the Buccaneers have 4 interceptions on the season so far, they’re currently ranked 23rd in the league in passing yards allowed.

X-factor: Bucs Run Defense 

If the Eagles want to leave Tampa with their third victory in a row then they will have to find a way to beat the Bucs run defense. Vita Vea and Devin White can make it a long game for Hurts and the offense but if the coaching staff can focus on playing their best RB then maybe it’ll help. The issue at hand is the uncertainty at RB for the Eagles. 

The Eagles staff have convinced themselves that Gainwell should be heavily involved as opposed to relying on Swift and having Gainwell be the change-of-pace guy. You can’t make that mistake against Bowles and the Bucs.

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara