Every season, the most anticipated games on the schedule are against division rivals. These games often generate hype and emotion from both squads, leading to hard-fought wins and crushing losses. When the next game is against a perceived weaker opponent, you have a trap–game scenario and one that the Philadelphia Eagles must avoid this week as they face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs have the third-ranked defense in the league and this says a lot when your team has yet to get a number in the win column. As Bill Parcells famously quipped, “you are what your record says you are.” Last time I checked, the Bucs defense must have allowed enough points to lose every game they’ve played so I don’t really buy into the stats surrounding Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, Mark Barron and company. Chip Kelly should be ready and the offense needs to step up in support of Nick Foles having his first start in 10 months. Look for more timing routes as Foles brings a much quicker release than Michael Vick. Revis is coming off a knee injury and DeSean Jackson should be running by him all afternoon.
If there is any game for the Eagles’ defense to make a statement, this is it. They will be facing rookie Mike Glennon in his first pro start. This is the time for Billy Davis and his exotic pressures to get home and confuse the rookie quarterback. The secondary will need to keep tabs on Vincent Jackson but if they can generate enough pressure, he should not be an issue. The Eagles pulled off a much-needed win against the hapless New York Giants last week and must keep the momentum going. This is the part of the schedule to gain some ground and Kelly should make the most of it.