Sunday, December 9, 2012
How you feeling? Eagles-Buccaneers
By Dan Graziano
As the Philadelphia Eagles try to stop their eight-game losing streak at 1 p.m. ET today against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, here's one reason for Eagles fans to feel good about their chances and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: The Buccaneers have the worst pass defense in the league, allowing an average of 309.4 passing yards per game. They have made 17 interceptions, which is the fourth-highest total in the league, but if they don't intercept your throw, it's likely to gain yards. The Bucs have just 18 quarterback sacks this season, more than only Oakland and Jacksonville, so rookie quarterback Nick Foles will have time to throw and should be able to find success downfield. If there's a game among these final four in which the Eagles can expect to see the best of their third-round rookie as they evaluate his worthiness for next season and beyond, today's game is the most likely candidate.
Cause for concern: Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman is having a fine season and thriving with Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams as downfield wide receiver targets. This is not good news for an Eagles defense that has been historically bad against the pass over the past six weeks. Each of the last six quarterbacks to face the Eagles have posted a passer rating over 120.0, and they've racked up 16 touchdown passes against no interceptions in that time. So, yeah, Foles may have a good game. But the odds appear to favor Freeman having one of the best games of his life.