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Eagles-Bucs: What the (cough) experts say


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

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Eagles-Bucs: What the (cough) experts say

December 8, 2012, 1:00 pm

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It’s prediction time.

And picking the weekly Eagles game has become quite fun — and easy — for the experts (see Week 13 predictions).

The Eagles take their eight-game losing streak to Tampa Bay for a matchup with Doug Martin and the playoff-hopeful Buccaneers.

Here are this week’s picks:

Geoff Mosher
Something tells me an overnight scheme change from the wide nine to read-and-react doesn't just transition with a finger snap. I see lots of confusion on defense up front, which will perfectly complement the confusion we've seen all year in the secondary.

Buccaneers 34, Eagles 24

Ray Didinger
I expect the Buccaneers to come out and play hard Sunday. The Eagles, not so much.

Buccaneers 24, Eagles 17

Reuben Frank
If you've been paying attention to my picks the last six weeks, you've noticed a pattern. I've picked the Eagles to lose six straight weeks, and I've been right six straight weeks. And if you think that's going to change now ... umm, no.

I will predict that Josh Freeman will have a career day and throw for 251 yards with two touchdowns and no INTs and complete 78 percent of his passes, since those are the AVERAGES of the last six QBs the Eagles have faced.

Buccaneers 27, Eagles 23

And while we're at it, to save Jordan Hall the trouble of asking me ... I predict the Bengals, Redskins and Giants will beat the Eagles the next three weeks as well!

Derrick Gunn
The Eagles’ running game has been stellar the past few outings, but this is the week Nick Foles should be able to do a lot of damage through the air. Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked dead last in the league against the pass. If Foles is able to deliver consistently through the air, it will be a big help because the Buccaneers’ run defense is No. 1 in the NFL, giving up just over 82 yards per game.

The Birds’ porous and poor-tackling defense will have problems defending Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, who throws to 6-foot-5 wide receiver Vincent Jackson, 6-foot-2 wide receiver Mike Williams, and 10-year veteran tight end Dallas Clark. At Raymond James Stadium this season, Freeman is even better, having thrown 10 TD passes to just two INTs, and has a 105.5 passer rating.

If all that isn’t bad enough, then there’s rookie running back Doug Martin the Eagles must deal with. The Buccaneers’ first-round pick in 2012 is third in the league in rushing, and his nine rushing TDs are tied for second-best in the league.

The Eagles are playing for their future. The Buccaneers are still in this year’s playoff hunt. Enough said.

Buccaneers 30, Eagles 22

John Gonzalez
Aarrrrrgh, matey. Another week of keelhaul football. The Eagles play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a swashbuckling lot that’s plundered its way to a surprising 6-6 record and a shot at playoff booty.

Meanwhile, Captain Andy Reid and his crew long ago set sail for mediocrity. Ahoy! The bottom of the NFC sea! Blimey.

The Buccaneers have a giant pirate ship at the stadium. Perfect. The Eagles walked the metaphorical plank weeks ago.

Buccaneers 35, Eagles 17. Shiver me timbers.

Andy Schwartz
The Eagles looked better last week. Well, at least the offense did.

It's been a month since the Eagles last held a team to less than 30 points. And in that game, they allowed 28 to New Orleans. A week earlier, they allowed 30.

That's 30-plus in five out of six weeks.

This Sunday they're at Tampa Bay, which is fourth in the league in points, averaging 27.8 per game.

Bad combination.

Until I see an actual effort from the defense — and specifically the secondary — I can't begin to entertain the notion that the Eagles might win again.

Buccaneers 30.8, Eagles 22.8