PHILADELPHIA, PA –
On Sunday, September 16th, the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) head down to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers (1-0). Both teams are fresh off of a week one victory against NFC playoff-caliber teams in the Falcons and Saints respectfully. Here is what you need to know to get ready for this week’s matchup:
1. Bradham Returns – The Eagles defense will get a big addition this week with the return of linebacker Nigel Bradham from his one-game suspension. Jim Schwartz did a great job rotating linebackers Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry and even Laroy Reynolds last week. This week the Eagles will play a ton of nickel with Jordan Hicks joined by Bradham at the two linebacker spots. Bradham held the middle of the defense down last season when Hicks went down with an injury, this week we get a fresh taste of the two playing together.
2. Sproles goes down – While it will be nice to see Bradham back on the field, the Eagles lost a key player for at least a week. Veteran Darren Sproles will miss Sunday’smatchup after leaving Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury. Sproles was used a lot early in the backfield last week. This should mean more reps for Corey Clement in the passing game and some early carries for Jay Ajayi. The Eagles will also need to fill Sproles’ spot at punt returner. This could go to Shelton Gibson (also dealing with a quad injury and listed as questionable for Sunday) or training camp standout DeAndre Carter.
3. Bottling up Fitz-Magic – Ryan Fitzpatrick is fresh off of a phenomenal performance against the New Orleans Saints. Fitz finished with 5 total touchdowns (4 passing and 1 rushing). The Saints defense had no answers for Fitz and the Bucs’ passing game. The Buccaneers were able to connect on three +50-yard touchdown passes. The Eagles will need to avoid letting up the big plays and force Fitzpatrick to get rid of the ball quickly.
4. How much of an Away Game will it be? – Philadelphia Eagles fans are known for traveling well. This will be the first test of Eagles fans traveling to an away game since the Super Bowl victory. Think the Tampa players are worried about the Eagles crowd invading? Bucs LT Donovan Smith took to Twitter to ask the fans to show up.
— Donovan Smith (@DSmith_76) September 11, 2018
5. Nick Foles gets “one more start” – Carson Wentz has yet to be cleared, therefore Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will get the start once again. Foles was rusty in week 1 but was able to help the Eagles pull out the late victory. The Eagles will need Foles to knock off the rust this week and hit on a big play or two to get the offense rolling. The Bucs defense was carved up by Drew Brees and the Saints last week for 439 yards passing a week ago. Foles may not get to those numbers but this should be a good opportunity for him to find his grove.
Tune in to FOX at 1:00 pm on Sunday as the Eagles take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet from @BirdsInformer during the game.
Listen to Ep. 7 of the Birds Informer Podcast ahead of Sunday’s week 2 matchup.