The Eagles are on a mission to beat the Buccaneers and win their first Super Bowl. What will they do to exploit Tampa Bay’s biggest weakness?
The Eagles Must Unleash Their Secret Weapon to Exploit the Buccaneers’ Biggest Weakness and Slay Tom Brady on Thursday Night. Read more in detail here: who is tom brady playing for.
The Philadelphia Eagles have never defeated Tom Brady at Lincoln Financial Field, and when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit on Thursday night, that trend is expected to continue. The Bucs are seven-point favorites against the Eagles, but if they unleash their hidden weapon and attack Tampa Bay’s greatest defensive flaw, the Eagles have a chance to pull off the shock.
The Buccaneers have a hard time stopping pass-catching running backs.
The Buccaneers target opposing running backs 9.2 times per game on average.
This frequency jumps to 12 times each game in the three blowouts, compared to only 5 times per game in competitive games.
Eagle RBs were targeted 10.5 times each game in two blowouts against the Cowboys and Chiefs.
14 October 2021 — Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler)
The Buccaneers continued their winning ways from previous season, when they won the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 55. Tampa Bay is 4-1 so far this season, with a 33.4 point per game average that ranks third in the NFL after five games.
However, despite their strong start to the season, the Buccaneers have a few defensive problems. They’re enabling opposition running backs to slice them up into the air, for example.
Tampa Bay has given up 301 receiving yards to opposition running backs in five games this season. In 2021, just three clubs have allowed more. The Buccaneers have also surrendered three receiving touchdowns to running backs, which is tied for third in the NFL.
The Bucs are strong against the run (allowing 39.6 running yards per game), but they are susceptible in the screen game and on check-downs. Because the Eagles are already failing to run the ball, they must use their running backs in the receiving game to attack Todd Bowles’ defense.
And they’ve found the right guy for the job: Kenneth Gainwell.
On Thursday night, the Eagles must use their hidden weapon.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Kenneth Gainwell and Jalen Hurts celebrate a touchdown | Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
On Thursday night, the Eagles won’t be expected to keep up with Brady and the Buccaneers’ explosive attack, but they can if they take advantage of their best offensive matchup.
Surprisingly, it’s rookie running back Kenneth Gainwell versus Tampa Bay’s linebackers in that battle.
This season, Gainwell is the finest pass-catching back on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster. In his last season at Memphis in 2019, he had 51 receptions for 610 yards and three touchdowns via the air, and he’s continued that success in the NFL. Gainwell has 14 receptions for 122 yards out of the backfield in his first five games as Miles Sanders’ backup.
Gainwell has 21 targets this season, which puts him fourth on the squad, and he’s had at least three targets in every game this season. Head coach Nick Sirianni has more faith in him as a receiver than he has in Sanders, so the rookie should see a lot of action via the air on Thursday night.
Kenneth Gainwell is expected to have a breakthrough season.
In Week 5, Nick Sirianni’s reluctance to use the run game continues.
Sanders, Miles 10 yards on three carries Kenneth Gainwell had one run for four yards. Jalen Hurts had one rush for 0 yards.
The Philadelphia RBs combined for just four rushes.
10/10/2021 — Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports)
The Eagles may be down all night against the Buccaneers, which means Sirianni will have to forsake the run game and start airing it out to stay in the game. Gainwell will be in line for a big game against Tampa Bay’s weak defense if all goes according to plan.
Gainwell’s pass-catching skill may be used as a run-game option for Philadelphia. Short screens, fast routes versus linebackers, and check-down options may both neutralize and exploit the Bucs’ greatest strength.
Get ready for Kenny G’s breakthrough performance.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
On Facebook, follow Sportscasting. @sportscasting19 is our Twitter handle.
Nick Sirianni’s Perplexing Practice Habit Could Explain Why the Eagles Can’t Fix Their Most Embarrassing Issue