The Eagles have their hands full as they try to avoid a disastrous 1-4 start to their season in Carolina against a solid 3-1 Panthers team. This article will compare both teams at every position and see which one has the advantage in this matchup.
QB: Advantage Buccaneers
No discussion needed for this one for obvious reasons…
RB: Advantage Buccaneers
Until Nick Sirianni actually allows a running back to get 15+ touches in a game, the Eagles running backs can’t be considered an advantage other any other team’s rushing game. But Hurts is definitely a better running quarterback than Brady, so maybe the running game won’t be that drastic in this one.
WR: Advantage Buccaneers
The Bucs have three receivers projected to reach 1,000 receiving yards. The Eagles haven’t had a wide receiver reach 1,000 receiving yards since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. Case closed.
TE: Advantage Eagles
Rob Gronkowski is out for this game, and Dallas Goedert is likely out as well. Even though he is past his prime, I’d still take Zach Ertz over O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.
OL: Advantage Buccaneers
The Bucs have the advantage but it’s not as drastic as you might think. Even with four of the five starting o-line missing time already, the Eagles have only allowed 10 sacks this season, with the Bucs o-line allowing Brady to be sacked nine times.
DL: Advantage Eagles
Javon Hargrave is still a beast and Fletcher Cox finally woke up last week. The Eagles line has the slight advantage but the Bucs d-line is pretty ferocious as well.
LBs: Advantage Buccaneers
It is not likely the Eagles have any linebacker advantages this season since the front office never addresses the position properly in the offseason. Even with Lavonte David out, the Bucs still have Devin White so they have the clear advantage.
DBs: Advantage Eagles
The Bucs had to sign Richard Sherman off the street to help fill the void being left by other injured Bucs cornerbacks. The Eagles are coming off of a three interception game, so they are coming into TNF hot and with the advantage.
STs: Advantage Eagles
The kicking and punting games are pretty similar, but the Eagles special teams had a big play in Carolina to block a punt and help the team take the lead. The Birds will have the slight advantage for this one.
Obviously the reigning Super Bowl Champions have the advantage on Thursday Night, but the Birds so have some scattered advantages given the injuries on the Bucs roster. If the defense can slow down Brady and the offense, maybe the home crowd will help give the Eagles offense enough momentum to stay in the game and potentially pull off the ultimate upset.