TAMPA BAY (4-1) at PHILADELPHIA (2-3)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. EDT, Fox/NFL Network
OPENING LINE: Buccaneers by 6 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Buccaneers 2-3, Eagles 2-3.
SERIES RECORD: Eagles lead series 10-9.
LAST MEETING: Buccaneers beat Eagles 27-21 on Sept. 16, 2018 at Tampa Bay.
LAST WEEK: Buccaneers beat Dolphins 45-17; Eagles beat Panthers 21-18.
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (26), PASS (1), SCORING (3).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (17), RUSH (1), PASS (32), SCORING (t-20).
EAGLES OFFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (13), PASS (11), SCORING (t-16).
EAGLES DEFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (30), PASS (3), SCORING (22).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Buccaneers plus-3; Eagles plus-1.
BUCCANEERS PLAYER TO WATCH: Wide receiver Antonio Brown had seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns against Miami. He ran away from the defense on a 62-yard catch-and-run score.
EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: Wide receiver Quez Watkins is tied for first in the NFL with an average of 20.5 yards per catch. The second-year pro has become the team’s top deep threat.
KEY MATCHUP: Buccaneers RBs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones vs. Philadelphia’s linebackers. The LBs are the defense’s biggest weakness. they’ve struggled against the run and in coverage against tight ends. Panthers backup RB Chubba Hubbard ran for 101 yards against the Eagles.
KEY INJURIES: Buccaneers QB Tom Brady is bothered by a hand injury. … LB Lavonte David is out with an ankle injury. … TE Rob Gronkowski is uncertain because of injured ribs that forced him to miss the last two games. … Eagles RT Lane Johnson is expected to miss his third straight game because of a personal matter.
SERIES NOTES: The Buccaneers have won the previous two meetings. … The teams met in the playoffs three straight seasons from 2000-02. The Eagles won the first two wild-card games but the Buccaneers won the last one, closing out old Veterans Stadium with a victory in the NFC championship game on Jan. 19, 2003.
STATS AND STUFF: Tom Brady is coming off his first career game with 400 yards passing and five touchdowns. Brady is tied with Peyton Manning with nine career games with five TD passes, second most in the NFL. Brady is 5-2 vs. the Eagles, including 1-1 in Super Bowls. … WRs Mike Evans (393), Chris Godwin (366) and Brown (325) are on pace for 1,000-plus yards in receiving. … Brown last week became the fastest player ever to reach 900 career receptions and the fifth player to reach 12,000 career yards receiving in fewer than 150 games. … LB Shaquil Barrett is one of two players along with Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt with at least 30 sacks since 2019. Barrett has 31. … The Buccaneers’ defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in each of the past two games. … The Eagles have won seven straight games on Thursdays. … Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has 2,284 yards passing, 528 yards rushing, 12 TD passes and six rushing TDs in nine career starts. … RB Miles Sanders has 1,262 scrimmage yards in 15 career home games. … WR DeVonta Smith ranks second among rookies in yards receiving (314) and third in receptions (25). … TE Zach Ertz has three TD catches in his past four Thursday games. … DT Javon Hargrave has six sacks, first among interior linemen. … CB Darius Slay had his third career two-interception game vs. Carolina.
FANTASY TIP: Brown could take advantage of mismatches against Philly’s secondary, especially if Slay follows Mike Evans.
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