Philadelphia Eagles take on rejuvenated Buccaneers

It was a hectic week around the Nova Care Complex for the Philadelphia Eagles. As you all know, the Eagles fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn in a surprising late season move. It has been reported that Washburn was fired, in part, because of his attitude and behavior around the team. Many sources, including ESPN, have said that Washburn was very disrespectful to other coaches; especially former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Whatever the reason, head coach Andy Reid has said that this is the right move for the Philadelphia Eagles at this time.

The other big news coming from Andy Reid this week was that Nick Foles has taken over as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. That means that even if Michael Vick is healthy, he will not play. Vick has said that he is on board with the move. This has led many fans to believe that the Eagles will be releasing or trading Vick after this season.

What to look for:

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman has had a tremendous season, passing for 3,003 yards and 23 touchdowns. Freeman, who is in his fourth year as an NFL player, has done a good job spreading the ball out to his receivers Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson. Don’t sleep on tight end Dallas Clark or running back Doug Martin either. The rookie Martin has rushed for over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns so far this year.

First year head coach Greg Schiano has proved many critics wrong by leading the Buccaneers to a surprising 6-6 record so far this year. Schiano, who spent 10 years as the head coach at Rutgers, is proving that some college coaches can be successful in the NFL. There was serious doubt in many people’s minds after the failed Nick Saban experiment that a college coach could succeed in the NFL. That has now changed a little bit thanks, in part, by Greg Schiano.

The Philadelphia Eagles will once again go with Bryce Brown at running back this week. Brown, who has been successful at times but sloppy at others, will keep trying to prove that he can be a solid NFL running back. To do that, he needs to hold on to the football. He coughed up the ball at  critical moments of the games against Dallas and Carolina. You can’t be fumbling the ball if you expect to make it in the NFL.

X-Factor:

The game will come down to whether the Eagles defense can stop giving up the big plays or not. The wide-nine defense will not be used as much anymore because Jim Washburn is gone. It will be interesting to see how the players react to a less complex scheme, especially in the secondary.

Prediction:

Buccaneers 34 Eagles 20