Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about Sunday’s Eagles-Bucs matchup.
Andy Benoit of TheMMQB.com chimes in on what to expect:
If you think the Eagles will simply carry on as usual with Nick Foles in the lineup, you’re wrong. This offense might still be productive with Foles, but it won’t feature the same concepts. When Foles came in last week, the Eagles got away from their read-option and featured more short, out-of-the-backfield passes. They also eschewed the moving pockets to favor a more traditional drop-back game. Call it good coaching; Chip Kelly was playing to the strengths of his quarterback. Foles was good in his progression reads and showed poise and arm strength whenever the pocket quivered (which wasn’t often against a bad Giants pass rush).
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com thinks the Eagles pull out a 21-17 victory:
It’s ironic that these two teams are meeting this week in Tampa Bay, where Nick Foles (expected to start for the Eagles) delivered a win for Philly in the waning moments of a Week 14 matchup with the Buccaneers last season. This year, Foles will find Tampa Bay’s defense harder to throw on, as the Bucs have given up just five touchdown passes while snaring six picks. They’re also allowing less than 11 yards per completion, third-best in the NFC. LeSean McCoy — a far better player than any running back Tampa Bay has faced thus far — will be the great equalizer. Mike Glennon might not have to put up 30, but he must top the 55.8 passer rating he posted in Week 4 if the Bucs are to have a shot.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com likes the Bucs, 27-24:
The Bucs are coming off a bye and will do so with Josh Freeman being sent packing. How does that impact this team? Can they move on? The Eagles are playing consecutive road games after beating the Giants last week. That’s tough, made tougher by a team coming off the bye. Bucs take it to give Mike Glennon his first NFL victory.
Prisco is looking forward to the Darrelle Revis-DeSean Jackson matchup:
Revis is back playing at a high level, even if he isn’t playing as much man as he would like. I would imagine he would spend a lot of time on Jackson in the Eagles spread offense. This should be a blast.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com goes with the Bucs, 27-23:
The Bucs need this one as much as any team needs a win this weekend. The Tampa D, lost in all the Josh Freeman nuttiness the past few weeks, has been excellent. Coming off a bye and in desperation mode, give me Greg Schiano over the man who turned down the Bucs job a year earlier. Don’t kid yourselves — Chip Kelly leaving Tampa ownership at the altar two years ago was not exactly viewed favorably within those walls.
ESPN.com’s John Clayton weighs in with what he’ll be watching:
Glennon might be able to do well against the Eagles’ struggling defense. But how well will the Eagles’ offense do with Foles starting? Vick might not be winning games for the Eagles, but the Chip Kelly offense is putting up big numbers. The Eagles are averaging 27 points and 454.8 yards a game. The Bucs are averaging only 11 points and 274.8 yards a game.
From Chris Burke of SI.com:
Will it be Michael Vick or Nick Foles at quarterback for the Eagles? Will it matter against an 0-4 Tampa Bay team that boasts the league’s second-worst offense? Vick’s ailing hamstring could keep him out of this one, but Nick Foles stepped in last week and torched the Giants.
Burke has the Eagles’ kelly green uniforms as the third-best throwback:
Like the Chiefs or Bears (or Patriots, still to come on the list), the Eagles accomplished a throwback look that’s classic without being overwhelming. Some Philadelphia fans have been pushing for the organization to re-adopt this kelly green color scheme, over the dark green that the Eagles have worn for the past several seasons. I’m with those fans: This uniform should be in the permanent rotation.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk predicts a 30-20 Eagles victory:
Chip Kelly and company continue to take advantage of a soft spot in the schedule by running circles around a team that won’t be able to keep up with the Eagles offense, regardless of whether Nick Foles or Mike Vick is running it. If Vick doesn’t play, it’ll be the first time in league history that both starting quarterbacks in the same game are Napoleon Dynamite dopplegangers.