THURSDAY NIGHT PREVIEW:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-1) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (2-3)
Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season gets underway on Thursday, October 14 (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) as the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1) take on the Philadelphia Eagles (2-3). Philadelphia leads the all-time regular-season series, 8-7, while Tampa Bay has won each of the past two contests. In their last meeting, Week 2 of the 2018 season, Buccaneers wide receivers MIKE EVANS and CHRIS GODWIN each recorded touchdown receptions in the team’s 27-21 win over the Eagles.
In Week 5, quarterback TOM BRADY threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns as the NFC South division-leading Buccaneers defeated Miami, 45-17. It marked Brady’s ninth career game with at least five touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (nine games) for the second-most such games in NFL history. In seven career starts against Philadelphia, including the postseason, he has 16 touchdowns (15 passing, one rushing) against two interceptions for a 96.3 rating and has thrown three touchdown passes in two of his three career starts at Philadelphia. In 15 career starts on Thursday, Brady has averaged 298.8 passing yards per game.
Last week, wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN recorded seven receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Brown, who has 906 receptions for 12,071 yards in 143 career games, became the fastest player ever to reach 900 career receptions and the fifth player in league annals to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in fewer than 150 games. Evans registered six receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 5 victory and is one of four wide receivers with at least 30 100-yard games (30) since 2014.
The Buccaneers defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in each of the past two games and leads the NFL in rushing defense (45.8 yards per game allowed). Linebacker DEVIN WHITE led the team with eight tackles last week and has recorded eight sacks in his past seven on the road. Linebacker SHAQUIL BARRETT had a season-high 1.5 sacks and his 15th career forced fumble last week. Since joining Tampa Bay in 2019, Barrett is one of two players (T.J. WATT) with 30-or-more sacks (31).
Philadelphia has won its past seven games played on Thursday, the longest active streak in the NFL. Last week, the Eagles overcame a 12-point deficit to defeat Carolina, 21-18, as quarterback JALEN HURTS rushed for two second-half touchdowns in the victory. In nine career starts, Hurts has totaled 2,812 yards (2,284 passing, 528 rushing) and 18 touchdowns (12 passing, six rushing). He has rushed for at least 30 yards in each of his first nine career starts.
Running back MILES SANDERS has 1,262 scrimmage yards (84.1 per game) in 15 career home games and has reached 50 scrimmage yards in four of his first five games this season. Wide receiver DEVONTA SMITH led the team with seven receptions and 77 receiving yards last week and is the only NFC rookie with three games with at least five receptions in 2021. He ranks second among rookies in receiving yards (314) and third in receptions (25) this season. Tight end ZACH ERTZ had 11 receptions for 94 yards in the last meeting between the two clubs and has three receiving touchdowns in his past four Thursday games.
The Eagles defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in three of the first five games this season and ranks third in the NFL in passing defense (194.8 yards per game allowed). Defensive tackle JAVON HARGRAVE ranks tied for second in the NFC with six sacks and is one of four NFC defensive linemen (NICK BOSA, DANIELLE HUNTER and DARRELL TAYLOR) with at least one sack in four games this season. Defensive tackle FLETCHER COX recorded his first sack of the season last week and registered a sack in the last meeting between the two clubs. Cornerback DARIUS SLAY had his first two interceptions of the season in Week 5, his third-career two-interception game.
FOX will broadcast 10 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 5-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) and is slated to be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes and streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
The game will feature Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink on the call for FOX. The Amazon broadcast features Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm, and the Amazon Scout’s feed is called by Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah and Joy Taylor.
For the Week 6 Tampa Bay-Philadelphia capsule, click here.