A bad thumb won’t keep Tom Brady out of the lineup on Thursday. He leads his Bucs squad into Philly for a primetime battle with the rapidly improving Jalen Hurts. The QB battle is going to be a lot of fun to watch, though one team is clearly on a slightly higher plane than the other, even with all of the injuries being included.
Tampa Bay is 4-1 to open up the season, and Brady is looking like a prime MVP candidate. The only team to beat them is the Rams, who then fell victim to the Cardinals in the first of their two matchups. As it is right now, the media has them as consensus Super Bowl favorites, a chance to repeat as champs, with #12 leading the offense for a second year.
On the other side, a playoff trip would be nice for the Eagles. But Dallas won’t just make it easy for them. They have been very good, while Philly has a lot of things to clean up still. The run game is not consistent, and there are some real holes on D. All that matters is that they won their last game and come into one with some nice momentum. They’ll need it.
Betting Odds & Lines
The spread for Thursday night is set at TB -6.5. The over/under is 52.5 points. The PHI moneyline is +232, while TB’s is -289.
Bucs Seek 5-1 Start
A great start has seen Tampa Bay keep the Super Bowl swagger that carried them all the way to the title. They have come back strong, trying to defend last year and make it happen all over again. The offense is as good as any in the league, while the short-handed defense hasn’t been costing them games as most might think it should.
Tom Brady has 17 touchdowns in five games and has not thrown an interception since a hail mary to end the first half against Dallas on opening night. All they do is move the ball down the field and score, constantly frustrating the defense on the other side. It’s what they do.
On the downside, Rob Gronkowski is expected to miss the third game in a row. OJ Howard and Cameron Brate will need to continue to hold it down.
Eagles Seek the Move to .500
At 2-3, this isn’t the start Philly wanted. And yet, it is still more respectable than what they saw at the opening of last season. Hurts is playing some tremendous QB, racking up impressive yardage totals, and trying to enter the Lamar Jackson/Kyler Murray conversation as a dual-threat.
Hurts is very solid at throwing it to his teammates out of the pocket and can also do it on the move. He can run the ball all over the field, even better perhaps than his RB Miles Sanders. But, until he can get his team more wins, he can’t join the discussion. Murray is 5-0, and Jackson is 4-1.
To win this one, they need to slow Brady’s role and score early and often.
A road win for Tampa Bay as they improve to 5-1, folks.
- Tampa Bay -6.50
- Over 52.5
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