Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#109 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs.
#110 Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 8:25pm EDT
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Written by Chris King

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It’s the start of week 6 of the NFL schedule as a pair of NFC teams do battle in the City of Brotherly Love. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the road as they make the trip to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football. Tampa Bay cruised to an easy 45-17 home victory over Miami in a battle of teams from the Sunshine State Sunday afternoon. Philadelphia rallied to down Carolina 21-18 on the road Sunday afternoon in their most recent contest. In the all-time regular season series between the teams, Philadelphia owns an 8-7 advantage though the Buccaneers have won two straight and five of the last seven in the series. That includes a 27-21 home victory as a three-point underdog in the most recent matchup on September 16, 2018.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seek Third Straight Win

Tampa Bay put the boots to Miami in their most recent game as they shrugged off a sluggish performance against New England in Tom Brady’s homecoming last week. The Buccaneers improved to 4-1 on the season and hold a one-game lead over the Saints and Panthers in the NFC South race. Against Miami, Tampa Bay trailed 10-7 after the opening quarter before scoring 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to lead by 14 at the half. The Buccaneers saw the lead trimmed to seven after three quarters but scored three touchdowns in the opening 6:03 of the fourth quarter to turn the game into a rout. Tampa Bay outgained Miami 558-301 in total offense, picked up 33 first downs while allowing 17 and controlled the clock by a 37:07 to 22:53 margin. In addition, the Buccaneers forced two turnovers while not committing a turnover in the game.

On the season, the Buccaneers lead the league with an average of 349.4 yards per contest through the air and 26th in the league in rushing offense with 82 yards per contest on the ground. Tampa Bay is third in the league in scoring offense as they average 33.4 points per game while they are ranked 19th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 24.4 points per contest. Tom Brady has completed 149 of 225 passes for 1,767 yards with 15 touchdowns against two interceptions. Blaine Gabbert has hit all four of his throws for 41 yards in mop-up duty. Leonard Fournette leads the ground game with 56 carries for 251 yards plus a score. Ronald Jones II (26 carries, 98 yards, TD) and Giovani Bernard (four carries, 21 yards) are next in line in the ground game. In the passing game, Mike Evans (393 yards, four TD) and Chris Godwin (366 yards, two TD) each have 29 receptions to share the team lead. Antonio Brown (20 catches, 325 yards, three TD), Fournette (19 grabs, 167 yards), Rob Gronkowski (16 catches, 184 yards, four TD) and Tyler Johnson (seven grabs, 110 yards) each have more than 100 receiving yards on the season. Ryan Succop has connected on 20 of 21 extra points and seven of nine field goal attempts with a long of 48.

Philadelphia Eagles Try to Even Record

Philadelphia snapped a three-game skid as they rallied in the second half to beat Carolina on the road Sunday in their most recent game. The Eagles improved to 2-3 on the season and sit tied for second in the NFC East, two games behind the Cowboys in the standings. Against Carolina, Philadelphia trailed 10-3 after one quarter and was down 15-3 in the final minute of the first half. The Eagles got a 58-yard field goal with four seconds to play in the half to cut the deficit to 15-6. Philadelphia trailed 18-13 in the fourth quarter but blocked a punt with under four minutes to play. That set up a four-play, 27-yard drive that was capped with Jalen Hurts’ six-yard scoring run with 2:38 to go that gave the Eagles the lead for good. The Eagles held a narrow 273-267 edge in total offense and forced three turnovers, in addition to blocking a punt, while committing a pair of turnovers. The big plays negated that they lost the first down battle 17-15 and the time of possession by a 35:03 to 24:57 margin.

For the year, the Eagles are 12th in the league in passing offense with 256.2 yards per game and 13th in rushing offense with 116.4 yards per contest. Philadelphia stands 16th in the league in scoring offense with 23 points per game while they are 21st in the league in scoring defense by allowing 24.8 points per contest. Jalen Hurts has completed 118 of 182 passes for 1,365 yards with seven touchdowns against three interceptions while getting sacked 10 times. He leads the team on the ground with 43 carries for 256 yards and three scores. Miles Sanders contributes 48 carries for 214 yards while Kenneth Gainwell chips in 21 carries for 100 yards. DeVonta Smith leads the team with 25 receptions for 314 yards plus a score. Quez Watkins (13 receptions, 267 yards), Dallas Goedert (15 grabs, 216 yards, two TD), Zach Ertz (14 receptions, 160 yards, TD), Jalen Reagor (17 catches, 140 yards, TD), Gainwell (14 receptions, 122 yards) and Sanders (16 grabs, 111 yards) are all over the century mark in receiving yards. Jake Elliott has hit all 10 extra point attempts and five of seven field goal attempts with a long of 58 this season.

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While Tampa Bay is banged up, especially in their secondary, the fact remains that this is an explosive offensive unit. Brady threw for more than 400 yards and five scores against the Dolphins Sunday, marking the first time that he hit both milestones in the same game in his illustrious career. He may not put up those gaudy numbers in this one as the Eagles are third in pass defense, mainly because teams run all over them. Philadelphia is 30th in the league in rush defense by allowing 142 yards per contest on the ground. We’ve seen the Eagles face a high-octane offensive team with a mediocre defense already but they were outgunned in that one by the Chiefs. It’s hard to have faith in the Eagles seeing how they’ve been gashed by the two really good offenses (Dallas, Kansas City) that they have faced this season. Give the advantage to the Buccaneers as they roll to a 5-1 mark.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7

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Tampa Bay can pile up points, as we’ve seen in the first few weeks of the season. The Buccaneers have scored at least 24 points in four of their five contests and have hung at least 31 in three of them. Tampa Bay has seen the over go 4-0 in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game, 4-0 in their last four after a straight up win and 10-1 in their last 11 after a straight up win by at least 14 points. Philadelphia has seen the over go 5-0 in their last five games in week six. The over has hit in five of the last six meetings between the teams. With the way Tampa Bay can score and the leaky defense on both sides, look for this one to wind up over the mark.

Prediction: Over 51.5
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.