Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- QuarterbackQuarterback Michael Vick understands what Chip Kelly wants him to do with the Eagles’ offense and he certainly has come close to giving the coach what he wants to see. Vick’s injured hamstring will not allow him to play in this game and that means backup Nick Foles will have to take over. Foles was sharp against the Giants and is an accurate passer.There was nothing wrong with the Bucs deciding that Josh Freeman was not an effective quarterback and making the decision to go with Mike Glennon. However, Greg Schiano’s decision to trash Freeman’s reputation will not help the Bucs in the lockerroom. Glennon has decent but not special skills and is just a caretaker at this point.
- OffenseThe Eagles want to make sure that LeSean McCoy gets enough touches every game because of his ability to break the long play. He is a stellar receiver who can make opposing tacklers look foolish with his head-and-shoulders fakes. DeSean Jackson is Vick’s favorite target, while Brent Celek is a solid third-down weapon.The Bucs have some highly skilled players on offense and Freeman’s inability to get the most out of them is a big reason he was sent packing. Doug Martin is a nasty running back who will take on linebackers and pick up tough yards. Vincent Jackson is clearly the best receiver on the team and he can overpower most defensive backs.
- DefenseThe Eagles are shockingly soft on the defensive side of the ball, but perhaps they will start to get well against the inconsistent Bucs. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans is not a naturally gifted player, but he will tackle effectively. Safety Patrick Chung can be an X-factor if he can make a big play early because he is smart and tough.The Bucs should be fairly effective on defense, but they rarely play the game with the intelligence needed to make big plays at key moments. Linebacker Lavonte David is a stellar athlete who can make big plays, but he can have a hard time controlling his emotions. Keep your eye on cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is coming into form and can still shut down the best receivers.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles have been awful in their special teams coverage, as they have already given up one kickoff and two punt returns for touchdowns. Placekicker Alex Henery is just ordinary while punter Donnie Jones needs to get better in his directional kicking.The Bucs have been ordinary in their punt and kickoff coverage, but that’s a lot better than the Eagles. Rian Lindell has been a liability to this point, making just 3-of-5 FG attempts. Michael Koenen does not have a great leg for punting, but he does get decent height on his kicks.
The Eagles have far more capabilities on the offensive end than the Bucs, and they should be able to assert themselves here as long as Vick does not have a miserable day turning the ball over. Schiano is struggling with his leadership as the Bucs appear to be regressing. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor