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Free Pick: Tampa Bay (4-1) at Philadelphia (2-3) 10/14/21
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: Tampa Bay (4-1) at Philadelphia (2-3) 10/14/21

The Buccaneers roll into Philadelphia for the Thursday night game against the Eagles. On paper, this should be an easy win for Tampa, but it is a Thursday night and strange things happen sometimes. Let’s check out the matchups.

QUARTERBACKS: Really no reason to compare these two and that is not a knock on Jalen Hurts. Hurts has been remarkable on a team that is not very good. He has completed 118 passes for 1365 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also has 256 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. However, Tampa Bay has Tom Brady and he is the best. He has 149 completions for 1767 yards and 15 touchdowns and is showing no signs of slowing down. Advantage: Tampa Bay

RUNNING BACKS: Leonard Fournette is the leader for the Bucs with 251 yards on 51 carries. The Eagles will counter with Miles Sanders (48 carries for 214 yards) and the aforementioned Hurts. Advantage: Tampa Bay

RECEIVERS: Brady has 3 guys to throw to that are having big years. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown have combined for 78 catches and 1084 yards resulting in 9 touchdowns. For the Eagles, rookie DeVonta Smith is the big threat with 25 catches for 314 yards. Advantage: Tampa Bay

DEFENSE: The Buccaneers have struggled in the secondary and are allowing 314 yards per game passing. They also have managed to force only 6 interceptions. Hurts has shown he can make plays in the passing game and the Eagles will have success through the air. The Eagles have allowed 167 yards per game on the ground so look for a heavy dose of Leonard Fournette for Tampa. It is always a key on whether or not the opposing team can put pressure on Brady. Javon Hargrave has registered 6 sacks for the Eagles and he needs to be a factor in this game. Advantage: Philadelphia

A lot of things are going to have to happen for the Eagles to win this game. The Bucs are going to have to be flat or turn the ball over a bunch. With Brady, they don’t usually turn it over. Could they be emotionally down; perhaps but Brady will probably have them locked in. Tampa Bay is favored by 7-points.


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